The 2017 spring survey results show that hunting can be increased in all badlands units except 4A, which experienced more severe winter conditions and a slight decline in mule deer numbers.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department
Game and Fish won’t finalize a 2017 hunting season until after a summer sheep population survey. The state typically doles out only about half a dozen of the highly desired licenses. More than 10,000 hunters applied last year for eight licenses.
In addition to the eagle language, House Bill 1204 reduces the age from 16 to 12 for individuals to qualify for an apprentice hunter validation license, and allows youth who turn age 11 before the end of the calendar year to receive a whitetail doe license valid for only the youth deer hunting season.
Last fall’s egg take was excellent, exceeding the goal of raising 400,000 salmon for stocking purposes.
Overall hunter success was 66 percent, with each hunter spending an average of 4.4 days in the field.
The northern badlands population, which was hit the hardest from 2014 die-off, increased 2 percent from last year. However, the southern badlands population was down 3 percent.
Over a 10-year period, approximately $19 million in federal funds from the Farm Service Agency will be used to provide annual rental, incentive and cost-share payments for filter strips, riparian buffers, or pollinator and honeybee habitat.
Despite the heavy snow that covered much of the state in December, major widespread fish kills not expected.
This year, a record 614 archers competed in the North Dakota National Archery in the Schools Program state bull’s-eye tournament, a 15 percent increase from the mark set last year.
Change could mostly affect out-of-state hunters, who plan in advance and might be leery of scheduling later in the year due to wintry weather.
Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.
A conditional season in zone 1 will open March 21 for hunters to pursue the additional five mountain lions that were not taken during the early season. The zone 1 early season quota was eight, and only three were taken.
Anglers and hunters may purchase new licenses starting today at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website and at more than 140 vendor locations throughout the state.
Applications are available online now, with paper applications scheduled to arrive at vendors by March 10, and the deadline to apply for the hunts is March 22.
Remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis beginning March 15.
Hunters may call the light goose “hotline” to hear recorded information 24 hours a day, and migration reports are also posted on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website.
The spring season is only open to light geese – snows, blues, and Ross’s. Species identification is important because white-fronted and Canada geese travel with light geese. The season is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department cost-share program helps landowners prevent damage to their property
One of the 22 hunting units has slightly more spring licenses than in 2016, five have fewer and 15 remain the same
Doe, buck were taken during gun season in southwestern part of the state
But North Dakota Game and Fish Department promotes habitat development that can provide critical winter thermal cover, and food plots should be considered and planted near adequate winter cover
And as habitat continues to disappear, protection from winter’s elements is limited