Moose poachers get jail time, fines

Two Rolette County men have been sentenced to jail for killing five moose in May 2020 south of Dunseith, N.D., the North Dakota Game and Fish Department said this week.

Shawn Morin Jr., Dunseith, pleaded guilty to one Class C felony, five Class A misdemeanors and five Class B misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail and ordered to pay $5,560 in fines, fees and restitution. He also lost his hunting privileges for three years and will never be able to hunt moose, elk or bighorn sheep in North Dakota, court records show.

Jake Charbonneau, Belcourt, N.D., pleaded guilty to three Class A misdemeanors and four Class B misdemeanors. He was sentenced to 20 days in jail, two years of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay $2,360 in fines, fees and restitution.

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The sentencing follows a months-long investigation by North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game warden Jonathan Tofteland and other wardens from District 2; the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Rolette County Sheriff's Department also assisted with the case.

North Dakota’s Report All Poachers (RAP) program was a huge help in solving the case, the Game and Fish Department said in a post on its Facebook page. As part of North Dakota’s RAP program, people who report game- or fish-related violations are eligible for rewards ranging from $100 to $1,000, depending on the nature or seriousness of the crime.

Tipsters who provided information in solving the moose poaching case will receive a reward for their help, the department said.

To report game and fish violations, call the RAP hotline at (701) 328-9921.

– Herald staff report

CWD meetings set in Beltrami County

Two public information meetings are scheduled for late September to discuss chronic wasting disease in the Beltrami County area, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

Officials from the DNR’s wildlife health and big game programs, along with partner representatives from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and the University of Minnesota’s Center for Prion Research and Outreach, will present information and answer questions about CWD at each of the meetings.

Meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Sept. 28: Bemidji High School commons, 2900 Division St. W., Bemidji, 6 to 8 p.m.

  • Sept. 29: Kelliher (Minn.) High School commons (345 Fourth St. N.W., Kelliher 6 to 8 p.m.

Full details of the events and virtual participation options will be available at mndnr.gov/cwd in early September. The webpage also will be updated with any changes based on the evolving COVID-19 response.

– Herald staff report

DNR: Sept. 9 is doe permit deadline

Thursday, Sept. 9, is the deadline for hunters to apply for an antlerless deer tag in Minnesota deer permit areas designated as antlerless deer permit lottery, the DNR said this week. Hunters who purchase their license before Sept. 9 are automatically entered into the lottery for the deer permit area or special hunt area they declare.

No application is needed to take antlerless deer in permit areas with either sex, two-deer limit, three-deer limit or five-deer limit designations.

Hunters who want to participate in special firearm or muzzleloader deer hunts also need to apply for permits that are issued through a lottery, and that application deadline is also Sept. 9.

More information about designations and regulations for deer permit areas, as well as details about special hunt opportunities, are available on the DNR website and in the 2021 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook.

– Herald staff report

Give dove hunting a try

Want to take someone new hunting this fall? If so, the upcoming dove season offers a great opportunity to introduce a new hunter to North Dakota’s outdoors, the Game and Fish Department says.

The Game and Fish website has a Virtual Dove Hunting Mentor webpage with all of the basics, including license requirements, regulations, gear recommendations and tips for finding a place to hunt.

North Dakota’s dove season opens Sept.1 and continues through Nov. 29.

All dove hunters regardless of age must possess a general game and habitat license, and hunters 16 and older need a small game license.

Hunters are also reminded to register with the Harvest Information Program before hunting any migratory game birds, including doves. Those who already HIP registered before hunting the spring light goose or August management take/early September Canada goose seasons in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again.

– Herald staff report

Lower water levels require caution at ramps

The ongoing extreme drought will likely begin to impact boating access throughout North Dakota if it hasn’t already, the Game and Fish Department said. With that in mind, boat owners need to be aware of water levels and exercise patience and caution when launching and loading a boat.

As water levels decline, the bottom of many ramps lack sufficient water to launch boats and can become exposed, said Bob Frohlich, fisheries development supervisor for Game and Fish in Bismarck. In many cases, he said, boat ramps have large prop-wash holes and steep dropoffs at the bottom, which can damage boat trailers and axles if backed off the end of the cement.

“Boaters should back their trailer in slowly and be aware of the end of the ramp on lakes with lower-than-normal water levels,” Frohlich said. “And it’s likely that some lakes could still lose another 1 to 2 feet of water this year, given the extremely dry conditions.”

– Herald staff report

Duck stamp required Sept. 1

A federal duck stamp is required beginning Sept. 1 for waterfowl hunters 16 and older. The requirement includes ducks, geese, swans, mergansers and coots.

This year’s 2021-22 federal duck stamp is available for electronic purchase through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov, or at license vendors registered with the department’s licensing system. Physical stamps are not available at North Dakota license vendors but can still be purchased at many U.S. Postal Service offices.

The electronic stamp is a purchase item like any other hunting or fishing license. When the purchase is completed, the electronic stamp is valid immediately. “Federal Duck Stamp” will be printed on the license certificate, along with an expiration date 45 days from the date of purchase. The actual physical stamp will be sent by postal mail.

The physical stamp is processed and sent by the official duck stamp vendor in Texas and should arrive to buyers well before the expiration date printed on the electronic license. The physical stamp must remain in possession of the hunter after the 45-day electronic stamp has expired. For more information, call the federal duck stamp vendor customer service number at (800) 852-4897.

The federal duck stamp costs $25, and an additional $2 fee is added to cover shipping and handling costs of the physical stamp.

– Herald staff report

Did you know?

  • North Dakota’s deer bow season opens at noon Friday, Sept. 3, continues through Jan. 2, 2022. Minnesota’s archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 18, and continues through Dec. 31. More info: gf.nd.gov in North Dakota; mndnr.gov in Minnesota.

  • Pheasants Forever has launched a third round of funding for its Soil Health and Habitat Program conservation initiative, with applications now open to farmers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Funded by pet care company Purina, the program is designed to enhance soil health, protect water quality and increase wildlife habitat for more resilient farms. Signup is now available on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is expended. More info: pheasantsforever.org/soilhealthandhabitat.

– compiled by Brad Dokken

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