The North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide for 2013 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 early September.
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.
The 2013 archery deer season begins Aug. 30 and runs through Jan. 5, 2014.
Prospective bowhunters are reminded that this year for the first time, deer bow licenses and accompanying tags are only available through electronic purchase, either online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov; by calling (800) 406-6409; or at license vendors in counties that are linked to the Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s online licensing system.
North Dakota bowhunters compiled what is likely a record archery deer harvest during the 2012 season, according to statistics recently released by the State Game and Fish Department.
The Game and Fish Department issued 19,940 resident and 2,336 nonresident bow licenses last year, 245 more than the previous record bow license sales in 2010. Approximately 19,300 of those license buyers actually hunted, taking an estimated 6,856 deer, for an overall hunter success rate of 35.4 percent.
Administrative Rules Hearing Scheduled
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will hold a public hearing to address proposed new rules and amendments to North Dakota Administrative Code Title 30. The hearing is scheduled for 1:15 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5 at the agencyâ€™s main office in Bismarck.
The purpose of the proposed rule changes is to implement statutes. The proposed rules changes are not expected to have an impact on the regulated community in excess of $50,000.
The purpose and an explanation of the proposed rule changes follow:
Excellent walleye fingerling production from the Garrison Dam (9.7 million) and Valley City (1.3 million) national fish hatcheries resulted in a record 11 million walleye fingerlings stocked into state waters.
Jerry Weigel, North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries production and development section leader, said with a record number of walleye waters across the state, there has never been a larger demand for walleye production. â€śWe are fortunate to have the production capability of the two federal hatcheries to help address this demand,â€ť he said.
Wildlife populations were flourishing in 2006-07 when Conservation Reserve Program acres peaked at more than 3.25 million in North Dakota. Since then, as CRP acres have steadily declined, so has the overall harvest of game species.
This is never more evident than with pheasant (see attachment). According to statistics released by the State Game and Fish Department, while the number of pheasant hunters increased by 4 percent from 2011 to 2012, overall harvest fell 10 percent.
Years of rising water, a record number of fishing lakes and aggressive fish management in North Dakota have helped produce record fishing license sales.
State Game and Fish Department fisheries chief Greg Power said in 2012-13 virtually every license category established a record high, or at the least had a substantial increase. â€śEven more impressive is this was spread throughout the state, and not just in the rapidly growing counties of western North Dakota,â€ť Power said.
Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest
The deadline for submitting photos to the North Dakota Game and Fish Departmentâ€™s annual Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest is Sept. 30.
The contest has categories for nongame and game species, as well as plants/insects. An overall winning photograph will be chosen, with the number of place winners in each category determined by the number of qualified entries.
Contest entries are limited to digital files submitted on disk or via email. Contestants are limited to no more than five entries. Photos must have been taken in North Dakota.
North Dakotaâ€™s 2013 pheasant crowing count survey indicates that rooster numbers were down about 11 percent statewide compared to last year, heading into the spring breeding season.
All four pheasant districts had lower counts than last year. The number of crows heard in the northeast declined by 18 percent, southeast and southwest by 11 percent, and the northwest by nearly 2 percent.