Outdoors notebook: North Dakota offers new state park permit option, DNR wants info on wildlife sightings etc.

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department’s 2022 annual permit offers visitors access to all 13 state parks from the time of purchase through April 30, 2023.

Lake Metigoshe State Park.JPG
Lake Metigoshe State Park is featured on the North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department's annual permit for 2022. Carrie Snyder / The Forum
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N.D. offers new state park permit option

Visitors to North Dakota state parks will find a new annual permit option available to them this year. The North Dakota Legislature during the 2021 session passed a bill allowing members of the same household to buy two annual permits at a discounted price. This new option, the family permit, is now available for $55.

The 2022 annual permits went on sale Monday, Nov. 1, and feature Lake Metigoshe State Park, which celebrates its 85th anniversary in 2022. Lake Metigoshe State Park is located near Bottineau, North Dakota, and is home to a variety of historical and natural features. One of those includes the state’s first nationally recognized trail, the Old Oak Trail.

The North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department’s 2022 annual permit offers visitors access to all 13 state parks from the time of purchase through April 30, 2023. Permits can be purchased online at The single-vehicle annual permit price remains unchanged at $35. Discounted annual permits are also available for North Dakota seniors, eligible disabled veterans and prisoners of war. Permits can be purchased in person or online.

In related news, the Parks and Recreation Department has moved its headquarters from the Century Avenue location in Bismarck to the Capitol grounds. The new office is located on the second floor of the Liberty Memorial Building at 604 E. Boulevard Ave. All other contact information for the agency remains the same.

  • More info:

– Herald staff report



DNR: Share wildlife observations

Minnesota deer hunters can use an online questionnaire to report wildlife they see during each hunt, the DNR said. Data from the observation survey will provide a helpful comparison to the DNR’s population estimates for various species, the agency said in a news release.

Using a mobile device or desktop computer, hunters can enter information on the DNR website about wildlife they see each day of hunting, including deer, turkeys, bears, fishers and other species. The DNR also encourages hunters to report specific information about any deer they harvest, including antler size. Hunters are encouraged to fill out a report after each hunt even if they don’t see any deer that day. The questionnaire will be available until Jan. 15, 2022.

  • More info:

– Herald staff report

Grafton tops clay target conference

Grafton High School placed first in its conference during the fall trapshooting season of the North Dakota State High School Clay Target League.

Competing in 1A-Conference 3, Grafton trapshooters tallied 2,543.5 points during the five-week season. Rounding out the top five in Conference 3 were Mohall-Lansford-Sherwood, second, 2,472; Watford City, third, 2,028; Dakota Prairie, fourth, 1,922; and Valley City, fifth, 1,769.

Devils Lake placed fifth in 1A-Conference 2 with 788.5 points. Wilton High School was Conference 2 champion with 1,804 points.

This year’s fall season included 29 high school teams assigned to six conferences based on team size.


  • More info:

– Herald staff report

Did you know?

  • Hunters, media and anyone interested in Minnesota deer harvest data can find current deer harvest figures that are updated twice a week and harvest reports for past years on the DNR’s deer reports and statistics webpage . The page also features an interactive map and graph that visualizes the data.

  • Seeking to minimize economic losses from this year’s historic drought, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum has asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help maintain access at boat ramps on Lake Sakakawea. The lake’s elevation is predicted to remain lower next spring because of this year’s drought. According to the North Dakota Department of Commerce, visitors to counties bordering Lake Sakakawea spent more than $290 million in 2020, supporting more than 3,000 jobs. Many of those jobs are provided by private concessionaires who operate in partnership with the Corps on public lands.

  • With the deer gun season underway in North Dakota, the Game and Fish Department is encouraging hunters, anglers and landowners who witness a fish or wildlife violation to file a report with the Report All Poachers program at (701) 328-9921. Callers should note the vehicle description, including make, color, license plate number and state issued, if possible. Description of the violator should also be considered. Callers can remain anonymous and rewards ranging from $100 to $1,000 can be offered for information that leads to a conviction.

– compiled by Brad Dokken

Brad Dokken joined the Herald company in November 1985 as a copy editor for Agweek magazine and has been the Grand Forks Herald's outdoors editor since 1998.

Besides his role as an outdoors writer, Dokken has an extensive background in northwest Minnesota and Canadian border issues and provides occasional coverage on those topics.

Reach him at, by phone at (701) 780-1148 or on Twitter at @gfhoutdoor.
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To get an event in the Outdoors Calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1148 or by email at Deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesdays.
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Conducted every five years since 1990, the survey originally was scheduled for the summer of 2020 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.