72nd annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 3.4 million birds, up 20 percent from last year. That’s the 22nd highest index on record and stands 40 percent above the 71-year average.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department Reports
The primary regions holding pheasants ranged from up 14 percent in the southeast and up 17 percent in the northwest, to down 8 percent in the southwest, and the count in the northeast, which is not a primary region for pheasants, was up 33 percent from last year.
Increases in all categories add up to 65,500 licenses available to hunters this fall, 10,350 more than last year.
But population is said to be above objective and remains at a level able to support more hunting opportunities this fall.
And mule deer buck success was 81 percent, and antlerless mule deer was 83 percent.
Following the positive detection, Game and Fish removed an additional 52 deer for testing. All tested negative.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s enforcement division has tallied the number of hunting, angling and boating citations for 2018, and failure to carry a license was the number one violation. Game wardens issued more than 2,400 citations last year, compared to 2,500 in 2017 and 2,300 citations in 2016. Counties with the most violations were Ramsey (343), Williams…
It’s said that the number likely would have been higher, but the blizzard that hit North Dakota in late December undoubtedly pushed some birds south prior to the survey.
While two positive deer were taken in unit 3F2, an area of North Dakota known to have CWD, a third was taken from Divide County in deer unit 3A1, previously considered free of CWD.
Average size of Lake Sakakawea female salmon was 6 pounds, and once again there was an abundance of young male salmon, which typically forecasts a good run the next couple years.
Big game biologist: Mule deer fawn production has been on a positive trend since 2013.
Lake Sakakawea had the eighth highest catch of young-of-the-year walleye on record. And Devils Lake saw fair to good numbers of walleye, with the catch close to average even though Game and Fish didn’t stock any walleye in the fishery this year.
Palmer amaranth seedlings have egg-shaped leaves with a hair-like protusion at the leaf tip. (Photo by Christy Sprague, Michigan State University)With pheasant season opening this weekend, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is asking hunters be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth, an invasive weed that was recently identified in the state for the first time. Palmer amaranth is…
This year’s duck brood index was up 37 percent from last year, and showed 5.11 broods per square mile, an increase of 39 percent.
North Dakota’s 2018 pronghorn hunting season is set, with 1,075 licenses available in 10 open units. That’s way up from 410 licenses and five open units last year. But if you’re not from North Dakota, you’re out of luck – the hunt is only open to state residents.
While catch-and-release is often encouraged under the right conditions, fish reeled in from this depth will likely die if released.
“Considering not many went into Lake Sakakawea, this was one of the largest stockings of more than 8 million fingerlings into the smaller fishing waters across the state.”
Population index is down 30 percent from the same time last year; number of roosters heard crowing this spring reportedly down statewide, with decreases ranging from 15 to 38 percent in the primary regions holding pheasants.
Drought conditions and not as many hunters in the field last fall meant fewer pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge in the bag.
(Conservation Law Foundation)A fish kill affecting adult rainbow smelt is ongoing in portions of the upper half of Lake Sakakawea. Dave Fryda, Missouri River System fisheries supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the cause of the die-off has been documented in the state numerous times in the past. “The vast majority of the dead and dying…
Antlered mule deer licenses increased by 150 from last year, antlerless mule deer by 550, antlered whitetail by 150 and antlerless whitetail by 150.
Biologists counted 2,540 mule deer over 245.8 square miles during this year’s survey. That’s 45 percent above the long-term average, with overall mule deer density in the badlands at 10.3 deer per square mile, down only slightly from 10.9 in 2017, and well above low of 4.6 in 2012.
(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)Hunter success during last fall’s pronghorn hunting season was 75 percent, according to statistics provided by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Game and Fish issued 410 licenses (255 lottery and 155 gratis), and 366 hunters took 275 pronghorn – 264 bucks, 10 does and one fawn. Each hunter spent an average of 2.4 days…
Down 11 percent from 2016 and 9 percent below the five-year average. Status of bighorn sheep hunting season will be determined Sept. 1, after the summer population survey is completed.
The whoopers that do make their way through North Dakota are part of a population of about 400 birds that are on their way from wintering grounds at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas to their nesting grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada, a distance of about 2,500 miles. Anyone seeing these endangered birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.
Mule deer hunters did particularly well, with buck success at 83 percent, antlerless mule deer 86 percent.