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OUTDOOR NOTEBOOK: UND offering five bow tags on Forest River site

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outdoors Grand Forks, 58203

Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

UND is taking applications from bow hunters interested in one of five archery deer permits available again this fall on 160 acres of land the university owns along the Forest River northwest of Inkster, N.D.

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Ike Schlosser of the UND biology department said the university partners with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department to manage the site as the Forest River Biology Station and Wildlife Management Area. UND has owned the site since the 1960s and has used it for various classes and research projects.

Last year marked the first time UND had opened the area to archery hunting, and about 25 hunters applied for the five available permits, Schlosser said. Four of the five successful applicants hunted the site, he said, and one of the hunters spent “considerable time” in the area, shooting a buck and a doe and passing on several potential shots.

The other three didn’t get a deer, Schlosser said.

“Virtually all of the hunters enjoyed the area and hunting experience, even if they were not successful in obtaining a deer,” he said.

The deadline to apply for the UND archery license is June 16, Schlosser said. North Dakota’s archery deer season opens at noon Aug. 29 and closes Jan. 4.

To apply, prospective hunters should send a letter to Isaac Schlosser, Department of Biology, Deer Permit, Starcher Hall, 10 Cornell St., Stop 9109, Grand Forks ND 58202-9019.

Successful applicants also will have to purchase a regular archery license from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

PF receives N.D. outdoor grant

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Industrial Commission last week awarded a $173,750 grant to Pheasants Forever from the state’s Outdoor Heritage Fund. Pheasants Forever and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will use the grant to upgrade 1,250 acres of upland habitat for pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse, pollinating insects and other wildlife.

One of 17 projects awarded by the commission in its second round of Outdoor Heritage Fund grants, Pheasants Forever’s “North Dakota Pollinator Partnership” project will restore or enhance 1,250 acres of privately owned land, improving the quality of upland habitat through the federal Wetlands Reserve Program. Of this total, 1,000 acres will be new WRP tracts being converted from cropland to upland habitat and 250 acres will be converted from brome grass to high-diversity prairie habitat.

Pheasants Forever and the NRCS will focus on priority areas near existing prairie habitat or tracts already enrolled in the state’s Private Lands Open to Sportsmen, or PLOTS, program as well as areas located near apiaries.

“Not only has North Dakota been a consistent top-tier pheasant state, it’s also the No. 1 honey-producing state, by a 2-to-1 margin,” Matt Olson, Pheasants Forever’s regional representative in North Dakota, said in a statement. “A successful pheasant hatch and a banner honey harvest aren’t mutually exclusive — they both require upland habitat. Growing the flowering plants bees depend on creates the exact same habitat pheasant broods need to survive.”

There has been a sharp decline in upland habitat in North Dakota in recent years because of reductions in Conservation Reserve Program acreage (a decline of more than 1.5 million acres) and the conversion of native prairies to cropland.

NAWCA grants to help fund habitat projects

A wetland restoration in northwest Minnesota is among the projects Pheasants Forever and partners will be embarking on as a result of eight grants the conservation group received through the North American Wetland Conservation Act’s small grants program.

Located in Becker, Mahnomen and Polk counties, the Waterfowl Production Area Enhancement will restore 40 acres of wetlands that have been drained or impaired because of siltation and will also remove invasive trees to enhance waterfowl nesting habitat on 1,719 acres across six Waterfowl Production Areas. The work will increase breeding habitat for grassland nesting birds on the sites and improve public access for recreational activities such as wildlife viewing and hunting. The project will be paid for through a $75,000 grant and $88,000 in matching funds.

Other projects funded through the eight grants to Pheasant Forever are set for Stearns, Kandiyohi, Sibley, Stevens, Swift and Carver counties in Minnesota and Rock County in Wisconsin.

“Conservation is a partnership effort, and we are thankful for the NAWCA partnership that brings precious resources to aid in the cause of wetland and grassland conservation,” Matt Holland, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s director of grant development, said in a news release. “And no one can do this work alone; we are continually partnering with landowners, agencies and funders like the Outdoor Heritage Fund in Minnesota and Knowles Nelson Stewardship Fund in Wisconsin to achieve meaningful results.”

Minnesota parks make family friendly list

North Dakota didn’t have any destinations on the list, but four Minnesota state parks were among the “Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots” list compiled by the Take Me Fishing organization.

To qualify, Take Me Fishing said the places had to be within an hour’s drive of a major city or town, have a body of water known for having plenty of common fish species, be part of a park that offers family friendly amenities and offer plenty of places to cast a line such as fishing piers and boat ramps.

The four Minnesota destinations were Itasca State Park near Park Rapids, No. 48; William O’Brien State Park, Marine on St. Croix, No. 96; Fort Snelling State Park, West St. Paul, No. 98; and Father Hennepin State Park, Isle, No. 99.

Topping the list was Lake Berryessa, Pleasure Cove Resort and Marina, Napa Valley, Calif.

To see the full list of top 100 destinations, go to bitly.com/1kRf4Lr.

Minnesota offers free ATV trail access

Minnesotans with ATVs registered for private or agricultural use won’t need to pay the additional registration fee — $53.50 for three years — to ride the state’s public ATV trails Saturday and June 8. Out-of-state riders can explore Minnesota ATV trails next weekend, as well, without a nonresident trail pass, which costs $21 annually.

This is the second year Minnesota has provided ATV riders with free access to more than 3,000 miles of state forest and grant-in-aid trails during “No Registration Weekend.”

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