The North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s annual fall wetland survey indicates fair wetland conditions statewide for duck hunting. However, hunters will need to plan ahead because most areas of the state are substantially drier than last year.
Rost, Hecker Named to Game and Fish Advisory Board
Governor Jack Dalrymple has appointed Tom Rost of Devils Lake and Dwight Hecker of Fairfield to the North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s advisory board.
The governor appoints eight Game and Fish Department advisors, each representing a multi-county section of the state, to serve as a liaison between the department and public.
Rost, an avid hunter and angler, replaces Tracy Gardner, Devils Lake, in District 3. Hecker, a farmer-rancher, replaces Wayne Gerbig of Amidon in District 8. Gerbig and Gardnerâ€™s terms expired on June 30.
Friday, Sept. 14 at noon signals the start of a nine-and-a-half day deer hunting season for youth ages 12-15.
Licensed youth ages 12 and 13 are allowed to hunt statewide, but only for antlerless white-tailed deer. Deer hunters age 14 or 15 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.
More than 2,000 licenses for antlerless deer are still available after the North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently completed its second lottery drawing.
These remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Sept. 19. These licenses are only available to individuals who have not already received a lottery or landowner license, and are valid only during the regular deer gun season, Nov. 9-25.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding bowhunters that hunting deer over bait is now prohibited in deer units 3C, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.
Expansion of the area in which hunting over bait is no longer allowed is in response to recent discoveries of chronic wasting disease in deer in part of southwestern North Dakota. In 2011 only unit 3F2, where the first two CWD positive deer were taken, was closed to hunting over bait.
North Dakota hunters should expect to see a slight increase in sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge numbers this hunting season, based on spring survey numbers. However, the ruffed grouse population continues on a downward trend.
The season for sharp-tailed grouse, ruffed grouse and Hungarian partridge opens Sept. 8.
North Dakotaâ€™s deer archery season opens Friday, Aug. 31 at noon. Hunters must have an archery license to hunt during the bow season â€“ there are no concurrent season deer gun licenses in 2012.
Bowhunters must follow all regulations of the managing agency when using tree stands on public hunting areas, including displaying the ownerâ€™s name, address and telephone number on tree stands left unattended on North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide for 2012 is now available online at the Departmentâ€™s website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, PLOTS Guides will be available at most license vendors throughout the state in late August.
North Dakotaâ€™s 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.
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.