One of my first work details after I became a game warden in 1996 was working an enforcement effort during the paddlefish snagging season.
My first open-water cast of the 2015 fishing season came before spring turkey season, and even before Easter. While the first fish of the year didn't happen on the same trip, it was reason to smile. Just getting outdoors in early April without mud boots or winter jacket was enough to call it a successful outing. Heading into the last half of April, we all realize the topsoil and even our fishing waters could use a little spring precipitation.
The spring snow goose season opened in mid-February, and leading up to it, the open winter and unseasonably warm weather had hunters and biologist alike thinking this just might be the year birds arrived before March. As luck and meteorologists would have it, a more typical weather cycle settled in, and colder temperatures and a little snow held off spring and the migration until mid March. The majority of the massive flocks—tens of thousands at a time—pushed through in late March and early April.
One of the primary benchmarks North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists use to assess deer populations and hunter satisfaction is the success rate by gun hunters. Over time, a success rate of about 70 percent means hunters are generally satisfied with deer numbers and hunting opportunities. Last year, the Game and Fish Department offered 48,000 deer gun licenses, and all licenses were issued. About 43,500 of those who were issued deer gun licenses actually hunted, taking an estimated 26,300 deer, for a success rate of about 60 percent.
My interest in fishing and hunting began long before specific opportunities were designed to encourage young hunters and anglers.
Signs of spring honestly began weeks ago. For me, the first bald eagle pairs setting up their nests in February is proof winter is losing its grip, and this year,...
While it's a long way from the next big game hunting season, the past month or so has had its share of North Dakota big game hunting news. Harvest statistics for moose, elk and bighorn sheep came out in February, followed by 2015 moose and elk season details in early March. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently released 2014 deer season figures, as well. The most notable development in all of that information is that for the first time in more than 30 years, North Dakota will not have a bighorn sheep hunting season this year.
Every year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department provides a report on the number of citations issued by state game wardens the previous year. The statistics for 2014, recently published in the February 2015 issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine, carry some not-so-positive news: Game wardens cited a record number of anglers, hunters and others with violations in 2014. The grand total of 2,712, was up nearly 300 from the number of violations in 2013. The No.
A couple of decades ago, March was typically sort of a down time for outdoor activity in North Dakota, but that's no longer the case. With fishing season for game fish now open year-round instead of closing about the first weekend in March, plus the advent of the spring light goose conservation season, there's more to do and more licensing and regulation reminders to think about as we make the transition from winter to spring. Get HIP Up until March 31, your 2014 hunting license is good for the spring light goose season, but you still need a new Harvest Information Progra
Last week driving near the Fargodome in north Fargo, I was scanning the road ahead, and I spotted a bald eagle. Then another. Then another. One of my kids noticed it, but the others in the car didn't seem too interested. We didn't stop. I didn't turn down the radio, point and begin a narrative on the history of bald eagles nationally and locally. Fact is, I could have driven them to at least two bald eagle nests in less than 15 minutes. It hasn't always been that way. Twenty-five years ago, on a fall side trip across Logan County, I thought I noticed an odd bird.