A few years ago on a Sunday drive near the edge of West Fargo, creeping along with no particular route in mind, one of my kids let out the proverbial: "Look." Instinctively I took my foot of the gas—not that slowing from 10 mph down to 5 would make much of a difference—but it was slow enough to allow enough of a look to positively identify the bird as a Western meadowlark.
One of the many North Dakota hometowns I claim is LaMoure, in the southeastern part of the state. The James River runs by, just off the western edge of town, and it was there, at a popular fishing spot called the James River Damsite, that some of the first Asian carp in the state were detected a few years ago.
For many, the month of May conjures up images of the first tulips and perennial flowers emerging, spotting the first baby goose and even swatting a mosquito. Gardens are planned and planted, jigs and spinners sorted, and we look forward to a walk after supper and spending a little more time outdoors than indoors. And while May doesn't have a true statewide fishing opener in North Dakota, it does have a special season that attracts a lot of attention in the northwestern part of the state.
Winter has kind of softly tiptoed into the Midwest, to the joy of pheasants and deer and somewhat to the dismay of ice anglers and everyone else who likes or needs snow. However, it's late December, and we're finally getting some better ice fishing conditions, so it's a good time for a refresher on the rules and regulations.
With the busy fall hunting seasons, I often wish I was able get more important updates worked into my weekly column. From deer to pheasants, ducks and geese—did I forget fall fishing?
As the sun sets on the 2015 deer gun season, the State Game and Fish Department is already well into the process of thinking about next year and beyond. Agency biologists and administrators are close to finalizing a new plan that will guide deer management for the next five years, with a goal of increasing the number of deer gun licenses available up to around 75,000, compared to about 43,000 allocated this year. In an article in the http://gf.nd.gov/magazines/november-20
I was having a conversation with a friend about our attitudes and perceptions. The back-and-forth went from complaining about the weather to the fear of flying, and it got me to thinking about hunting. A bright, sunny day with no wind is usually not very good for duck hunting in October, but such a day is picture-perfect for the hunter who is after grouse or pheasants, as long as it's not 80 degrees. It's a matter of seeing the day for what it is, not for what you want it to be. We talked about little kids flying for the first time.
One of the final pieces of North Dakota's fall hunting picture is the setting of waterfowl season. While the moose and elk season was set way back in March, followed by deer, pronghorn, small game and fall turkey, waterfowl must wait until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service establishes the frameworks under which states can set their seasons, and those frameworks weren't available until mid-August. Frameworks include things such as maximum season lengths for ducks and geese, earliest starting date, latest closing date and daily bag limits.
For all the good stories I'm told about an angler's memorable catch or a hunter's tale of hits or misses, I also hear a fair share of stories without laughs or smiles.
In the coming weeks when thousands of North Dakota hunters will go through the annual ritual of buying a Federal Duck Stamp, most people will notice a change or two. One of those changes is a price increase from $15 to $25 passed by Congress and signed into law late last year. It was the first duck stamp price increase since 1991.