Reaching state-set goal for deer licenses would represent a significant bounce-back from several harsh winters about a decade ago that impacted both the white-tailed deer and mule deer populations. That in turn would mean a boost to the state’s economy.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
The bill to authorize $1.5 million for an aquatic nuisance species prevention program is awaiting final approval from Gov. Doug Burgum.
But population is said to be above objective and remains at a level able to support more hunting opportunities this fall.
Game and Fish Department biologists counted 283 bighorns in a population survey that began last fall and was completed in March to see how many lambs survived the winter. The total number is up 7% from the previous year’s count of 265, which was the lowest in a dozen years.
And mule deer buck success was 81 percent, and antlerless mule deer was 83 percent.
Record that before last year had stood for nearly 60 years lasts about 11 months this time around.
Following the positive detection, Game and Fish removed an additional 52 deer for testing. All tested negative.
State wildlife agency last year more than doubled the number of pronghorn licenses from the previous year, due to a rebound in the population.
They contributed an estimated $2.1 billion in annual input to the state’s economy in 2017-18. That’s up by $290.2 million for residents and $41.4 million for nonresidents from 2011-12.
A walleye collected by a North Dakota Game and Fish biologist has set a “new old-age standard in walleye.”
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…
North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department is issuing only three bighorn sheep hunting licenses this year because the western Badlands population is still dealing with a deadly bacterial pneumonia outbreak.
Pheasant production last year was at its lowest level in two decades, dramatically reducing the number of adult birds nesting earlier this year. While the dry conditions eased this summer and pheasant brood sizes were up from 2017, the estimated population still dropped 2 percent from last year.
Pheasant and partridge numbers similar to last year, according to roadside surveys.
There are more than 50 new lakes in North Dakota in which the walleye population is still getting established.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows just 2 percent of North Dakota in some stage of drought. That compares with 82 percent at the same time last year.
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 Game and Fish Department is more than doubling the number of pronghorn licenses this year, a dramatic turnaround from earlier this decade when the hunting season was canceled four consecutive years due to low animal numbers.
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.”
Much of western North Dakota was mired in severe, extreme and even exceptional drought last summer. That reduced food and habitat for pheasants, resulting in a population loss of about 60 percent from 2016 – the lowest level in two decades. Still, wildlife officials see better days ahead.