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.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department Reports
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.
North Dakota’s 2018-20 fishing proclamation is set, with regulations effective April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2020. Noteworthy regulation changes include: The season for taking of nongame fish with a bow will now be open year-round. The transportation of live white suckers, other than within Richland, Cass, Traill, Grand Forks, Walsh and Pembina counties, is now illegal. The beginning of…
Major spike in North Dakota moose licenses; online applications also available for elk, bighorn sheep
Elk licenses also are up; status of bighorn sheep season to be determined after summer population surveys are completed.
And of 362 elk hunters, 211 were successful – or 58 percent.
While game and fish violations were up in 2017, the number of citations has remained relatively consistent in North Dakota from year to year, the state Game and Fish Department said in a news release Monday, Jan. 29. Robert Timian, chief of enforcement for Game and Fish, said there are three basic causes of violations – intentional disregard of the…
An additional 16,400 mallards were tallied statewide.
Whitetail buck, mule deer doe were taken during 2017 deer gun season from same unit in southwestern N.D. Since 2009, the total now stands at 11 deer to test positive for CWD in North Dakota – all from the same unit.
Biologists counted 2,548 mule deer, down from 3,003 in 2016, in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.32 (0.48 in 2016) was lower than the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.76 (0.90 in 2016) was down from the long-term average of 0.91 fawns per doe.
Fisheries biologists have completed fall reproduction surveys, which evaluate natural reproduction, stocking success and forage abundance in many waters across the state. And, mostly, the news is good.
But fair reproduction for ducks in traditional breeding areas this year still makes for good fall hunting potential in the state.
Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way into and through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked. Whoopers stand about five feet tall and have a wingspan…
Total pheasants observed per 100 miles are down 61 percent from last year, brood observations down 63 percent, and average brood size down 19 percent from 2016.
On the eve of the season opener for both, Game and Fish announces that sharptail numbers are down 29 percent from 2016, while partridge are down 62 percent. So, “in general, hunting will be fair at best.”
Ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus) standing on his drumming logNorth Dakota’s popular hunting seasons for grouse and partridge will open Saturday, Sept. 9. State Game and Fish Department upland game biologist R.J. Gross says hunters will likely see fewer sharptails and Huns compared to last year, while ruffed grouse numbers are up from 2016. Gross said that hot, dry early summer…
In 2016, pheasant harvest down 15 percent, sharptails 21 percent and Hungarian partridge 9 percent from 2015.
This year’s brood index came in at 3.68 broods per square mile, down 5 percent from last year. The statewide average since the survey began in 1955 is 2.59 broods per square mile. Overall brood size was up 8 percent from last year.
But for the most part, season framework similar to last year.
North Dakota’s 2017 small game and furbearer regulations are set, and while most season structures are similar to last year, there are some notable changes: Fur harvesters will have an opportunity to take river otters, with a season limit of 15 taken by traps or cable devices. A limit of one per person is allowed during this season. As per…