North Dakota's 2012 fall duck flight is expected to have twice as many birds as last year.
Mike Johnson, game management section leader for the State Game and Fish Department, said the fall flight estimate is a combination of the breeding duck survey and the brood survey.
Results from the breeding duck survey in May indicated the duck index was up 16 percent from 2011 and exceeded the long-term average by 112 percent.
May water conditions were down 57 percent from 2011 and 6 percent from the long-term average.
North Dakotaâs early Canada goose season is set and the season will open Aug. 15. The limits are 15 daily and 30 in possession
Limits and shooting hours for the early season are different from the regular season. Shooting hours during the early season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.
Normal licensing requirements for the regular season, including a federal duck stamp, apply to the early season. Nonresidents who hunt in Benson, Ramsey, Towner, Sargent and Richland counties during the early season may do so without counting against their 14-day regular season license.
The online application for North Dakotaâs 2012 tundra swan license lottery is available on the state Game and Fish Departmentâs website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline for applying is Aug. 15.
Paper applications will be available the first week in August from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors. Hunters can also apply by calling (800) 406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made by phone.
More hunting opportunities meant more pheasants taken during the 2011 season, as last fallâs pheasant harvest was 683,000, up from 552,000 in 2010.
Aaron Robinson, upland bird biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the overall landscape probably didnât have more birds, but Mother Nature allowed for an increase in harvest due to mild weather conditions and minimal snow cover in November, December and early January.
Deer Lottery Held, Antlerless Licenses Remain
North Dakotaâs deer gun lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the State Game and Fish Departmentâs website, gf.nd.gov.
More than 5,800 antlerless deer gun licenses remain. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the first lottery can apply.
An option to apply online will be available July 23. Paper applications will be mailed to individuals in late July. The deadline for applying is Aug. 22.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel, along with staff from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fish hatcheries, recently completed stocking 9.8 million walleye fingerlings in 113 lakes across the state.
Jerry Weigel, fisheries production and development section leader for the Game and Fish Department, said this yearâs walleye goal required exceptional production from nearly every hatchery pond in the state.
North Dakotaâs spring pheasant crowing count survey revealed a 10 percent increase statewide compared to last year.
All four pheasant districts showed an increase compared to last year. The number of crows heard in the southeast increased by 12 percent, northwest by 8 percent, northeast by 6 percent and southwest by 4 percent.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the State Game and Fish Department, said birds did not experience excessive mortality last winter.
Outdoor recreationists can camp Tuesday and Wednesday, July 3-4 on some wildlife management areas in western North Dakota along Lake Sakakawea because those days fall on a holiday.
Earlier this spring, the State Game and Fish Department implemented no overnight camping on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, except holidays, on the following WMAs: Audubon, Custer Mine, Deepwater Creek, deTrobriand, Douglas Creek and Wolf Creek in McLean County; and Beaver Creek and Hille in Mercer County.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâs annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 4.8 million birds, up 16 percent from last year and 112 percent above the long-term average (1948-2011). The 2012 index is the third highest on record.
All species were well above the long-term average. Wigeon (+88 percent) and green-winged teal (+221 percent) were at record highs. Mallards, gadwall, blue-winged teal, shovelers, redheads and ruddy ducks exceeded the long-term average by more than 100 percent.
Fall Turkey Season Set, Apply Online
North Dakotaâs fall turkey season is set with 4,145 licenses available to hunters, a decrease of 10 percent from last year.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the state Game and Fish Department, said harvest and population data from hunting units in the southwest and in some units in the central part of the state indicate poor production and chick recruitment from 2008-2011.