The Oct. 4-5 snowstorm that covered southwestern North Dakota may present some challenging travel conditions for hunters when the 2013 pheasant season opens this Saturday.
State Game and Fish Department officials say that while most of the foot or more of snow that fell in some counties will likely be gone, the moisture left behind may still make travel difficult on some section line trails and other unimproved roads.
North Dakotaâ€™s roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds, number of broods and average brood size are all down statewide from 2012.
Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are down 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were down 29 percent, and the average brood size was down 10 percent. The final summary is based on 253 survey runs made along 101 brood routes across North Dakota.
Last week was quite active with moose, elk and even a mountain lion involved in vehicle-critter accidents. Let's keep vigilant:
Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.
Find it. Now. If you canâ€™t. Do you really think youâ€™ll be able to find it by the opener? Neither did I ;)
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department urges deer hunters to find their license and check it for accuracy.
Every year the Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s licensing section receives last-minute inquiries from hunters who canâ€™t find their license. When that happens, itâ€™s difficult to try to get a replacement license in time for the season opener.
Another reason to check the license now is to make sure the unit and species is what was intended.
With the non-resident opener today in North Dakota I've had a number of questions on legal transportation requirements. Here it is:
Transportation and Storage
State law restricts nonresident waterfowl hunters to zones (exception - statewide license) and specified days.
While the fall fishing bite will eventually fade, efforts to monitor the presence of aquatic nuisance species in North Dakota waters continue.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department urges local entities and water recreationists to check for new aquatic nuisance species infestations when pulling and storing fishing piers, boat docks and lifts prior to ice up.
Even though results from this summerâ€™s survey indicated the bighorn sheep population in western North Dakota remains steady, State Game and Fish Department biologists are concerned about a significant decline in the number of adult rams.
Brett Wiedmann, big game biologist in Dickinson, said the July-August survey showed a minimum of 299 bighorn sheep, unchanged from last year and only 17 percent below 2008â€™s record summer survey.
The 2013 fall wild turkey lottery has been held and more than 930 licenses remain in seven units. Unsuccessful applicants who applied online will have a refund issued directly to their credit card.
Beginning Sept. 27, 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.
North Dakota's 2013 fall duck flight is expected to be down significantly from last year, but still similar to the good fall flights of 2007-11.
Mike Johnson, game management section leader for the State Game and Fish Department, said the fall flight estimate is a combination of the spring breeding duck survey and the summer brood survey.
Results from the breeding duck survey in May indicated the duck index was down 17 percent from 2012, but still exceeded the long-term average by 73 percent.
May water conditions were up 17 percent from 2012 and 12 percent above the long-term average.