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.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
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.
Extent of the outbreak won’t be known until a summer smelt population survey, but Game and Fish isn’t overly worried.
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…
The 15-pound, 13-ounce fish was caught this morning on the Missouri River in Bismarck.
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.
For the ninth consecutive year, the success rate of deer hunters in North Dakota in 2017 was below the 70 percent threshold that state wildlife officials consider a good season. Hunter success rate is one of the factors considers when determining deer licenses numbers, and “It very well may look like the number of licenses issued in 2017. It doesn’t jump out that there could be a great increase coming.”
A total of 21,042 applications were received for moose, 18,079 for elk and 14,617 for bighorn sheep.
(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…
State wildlife officials are still confident that this year’s fall hunting season will be held, though possibly with fewer licenses.
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.
More deer in southwestern North Dakota have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, but state wildlife officials remain optimistic they can keep the deadly ailment from spreading throughout the state, where deer hunting is a major economic contributor.
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.
(North Dakota Game and Fish)It’s not quite like shooting fish in a barrel. But fish numbers – walleyes, in this case – reportedly are swelling in North Dakota’s premier fishery. And, not far from Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River, spearfishing is the thing. Or, at the very least, a thing. Combine the two, and winter fishing opportunities would appear…
MINOT, N.D. — A Balta man is accused of illegally killing deer after a tip was called in to the state’s “Report All Poachers” hotline. The Minot Daily News reports that Daryl Klein is facing seven counts of unlawful taking of a big game animal. State Game and Fish Department officials say they discovered about 20 dead dear in or…
Those fishermen who typically winterize their boats around Labor Day and put them away until the following spring may feel good about getting all in order before the first snowfall of the season, but they also miss out on some wonderful and enjoyable fall fishing opportunities.
North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department is adding Montana to the list of states from which the movement of deer carcasses into North Dakota is restricted. The goal is to keep the disease from spreading throughout North Dakota.