A decade ago, North Dakota still did not have its first documented case of chronic wasting disease in a wild deer.
This time of year, it seems every week there is new information coming out about hunting seasons, regulations or license applications. Here's a recap of some recent topics from North Dakota Game and Fish news. Small game and furbearer regulations North Dakota's 2016 small game and furbearer regulations are set, and most season structures are similar to last year.
Archery deer hunting has gained popularity in North Dakota. Even as deer numbers have fallen from record highs a decade ago, bow license sales have increased. With North Dakota's archery deer season opening at noon Central time Friday, it's a good time for a few reminders on some rules and regulations that apply to bow hunting. Licenses
For hunters my age, the acronym HIP isn't anything new. At one time, HIP might have meant "aware" or "fashionable," but to those of us familiar with migratory bird hunting today, it also refers to the Harvest Information Program. What is HIP? HIP is a survey method developed by states and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to collect more reliable estimates of migratory bird harvests throughout the country. The program provides agencies the information necessary to manage hunting seasons.
These days, spending time outdoors in August no longer is just about winding down the fishing season and starting the planning and preparation for hunting seasons that start in September and October. For hunters of my generation and older, perhaps that's still a back-of-the-mind thought process, but for nearly a generation of young hunters, the early Canada goose season has always been there as something to consider in addition to late summer fishing.
Walleyes are the most popular fish for a good share of North Dakota anglers, so it was good news when the state Game and Fish Department announced a couple of weeks ago that this summer's walleye production effort hit record marks for both the number of fingerlings produced and number of lakes stocked.
Most North Dakotans can relate to the trials and tribulations of growing a crop of any kind in the extremes of the Midwest. And it doesn't matter whether the crop is thousands of acres of wheat or a few square feet of backyard tomatoes. It's not much different with annual production of deer, pheasants and pronghorn in North Dakota. While the jury's still out on pheasant and deer production, it appears 2016 was a good year for pronghorns, and that means hunters will find more units open and more licenses available this year.
During mid-July, we obviously note the sun is setting a bit earlier, the small grains are nearing harvest, the Aug. 15 early Canada goose opener is nearing and hunters can begin to form plans for the fall hunting seasons. In the past few weeks, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has released some numbers from spring surveys, which might give hunters an idea of how this fall could play out compared to the last few years.
Even with more places to fish, boat and enjoy the water than ever before in North Dakota, the increase in opportunity also means an increase in anglers, boats and personal watercraft. It's a unique combination that can lead to isolated problems at boat ramps when everyone has the same idea: Get on the water sooner rather than later. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department offers these reminders that just might help calm things down when boat ramp congestion is cutting into recreation time. Launching
The spring round of North Dakota Game and Fish Department Advisory Board meetings wrapped up over the past couple of weeks. As usual, the dominant conversations were about deer. The fall round of advisory meetings occurs during the two or three weeks right after deer gun season ends, so it's logical deer are the dominant topic. You might think fishing topics would hold court in spring, but when you dig into it a bit, there is a lot going on in North Dakota this time of year that relates to deer.