Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way 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.
North Dakotaâ€™s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds and number of broods are up statewide from 2013.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are up 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were up 37 percent, while the average brood size was down 4 percent. The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 106 brood routes across North Dakota.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is currently working with 18 landowners in 14 hunting units across the state who would like to host hunters with antlerless deer licenses in 2014.
Participating landowners are located in hunting units 2C, 2G2, 2I, 2J2, 2K2, 3A4, 3B3, 3C, 3D2, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 4B and 4E.
The program is not intended for buck hunters, but designed to direct hunters with antlerless licenses to specific areas to reduce deer populations.
The 2014 fall wild turkey lottery has been held and more than 1,000 licenses remain in eight units. Unsuccessful applicants who applied online will have a refund issued directly to their credit card.
Beginning Sept. 30, all remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters are allowed a maximum of 15 licenses for the fall season.
Resident and nonresident hunters will be able to apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will also be available at license vendors.
A goldeye taken from Lake Audubon in July still remains a state record, even though the official weight is about a half pound less than originally reported.
Initially, the weight for the big goldeye, caught by Velva angler Brayden Selzler, was determined as 4 pounds, 12 ounces. After a follow-up investigation, North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists concluded that the fish officially weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces.
Selzlerâ€™s goldeye still broke the previous state record by 6 ounces.
Friday, Sept. 19 at noon signals the start of a nine-and-a-half-day deer hunting season for youth ages 12-15.
Licensed residents ages 12 and 13, and 11-year-olds who turn age 12 in 2014, are allowed to hunt statewide, but only for antlerless white-tailed deer. Resident deer gun hunters age 14 or 15, and 13-year-olds who turn age 14 in 2014, with a â€śyouth seasonâ€ť license, can hunt statewide for any deer, except antlerless mule deer in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. In addition, a special license is required to hunt antlered mule deer in those same units.
North Dakotaâ€™s hunting seasons continue rolling out and many hunters may not being taking the proper care of their guns. Jerry Gulke has some valuable advice and share his insight on this weekâ€™s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov.
NDGF survey coordinator Jerry Gulke talks about Gun Care. Click here to Watch!
North Dakotaâ€™s sandhill crane season opens Sept. 20 and continues through Nov. 16.
Limits are three daily and nine in possession in unit 1 (west of U.S. Highway 281), and two daily and six in possession in unit 2 (east of U.S. Highway 281). Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 1. Beginning Nov. 2, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.
Hunters are urged to use caution and identify birds to prevent shooting at whooping cranes as they begin their fall migration.
The August-September issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is out and has a comprehensive fall hunting outlook. Author and and now retired Game and Fish wildlife chief Randy Kreil shares with his last official fall preview.
Itâ€™s an excellent read and youâ€™ll learn more about the prognosis and status of North Dakotaâ€™s hunting populations, plus an update on the PLOTS program, and a call for more grouse hunters to participate in the annual wing survey.
Check these stories and more for free in the full August-September issue available right here: or here
North Dakotaâ€™s two-day youth waterfowl season is Sept. 20-21. Legally licensed resident and nonresident youth waterfowl hunters age 15 and younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers statewide.
The daily bag limit and species restrictions for the youth season are the same as for regular duck and goose seasons. Exception: the additional two blue-winged teal allowed during the first 16 days of the regular season are not allowed during the youth season.