OUTDOOR NOTEBOOK: N.D. pheasant kill drops in 2012

N.D. pheasant kill drops in 2012 BISMARCK -- Despite more hunters going afield, North Dakota's pheasant harvest declined 10 percent last year, a trend Game and Fish Department officials attribute to loss of land in the Conservation Reserve Progra...

N.D. pheasant kill drops in 2012

BISMARCK -- Despite more hunters going afield, North Dakota's pheasant harvest declined 10 percent last year, a trend Game and Fish Department officials attribute to loss of land in the Conservation Reserve Program.

"There is a direct correlation between habitat and wildlife populations, and this is apparent when analyzing pheasant numbers," said Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for Game and Fish in Bismarck. "For instance, in 2007, habitat was at a premium, the pheasant population was strong and total number of hunters surpassed more than 100,000 for the first time."

Last year, nearly 86,000 hunters went afield, a 4 percent increase from 2011, and they bagged 616,000 roosters. In 2007, more than 107,000 hunters took nearly 908,000 roosters.

Hunters in 2012 bagged an average of 7.2 birds each, down from 8.2 the previous year, and spent an average of 5.4 days afield.


Game and Fish compiles the pheasant statistics by a mail survey of resident and nonresident hunters.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week that it will accept 1.7 million acres into CRP as part of the 45th general sign-up that ended June 14. That will lower CRP acreage to 26.9 million acres nationwide, a 26-year low.

-- Herald staff reports

Thief River Falls man wins truck through Pheasants Forever raffle

THIEF RIVER FALLS -- A $10 Pheasants Forever raffle ticket Bruce Thygeson bought last fall at the Goose Festival in Middle River, Minn., recently won him a new Ford F-150 pickup.

According to the Thief River Falls Times, Thygeson, of Thief River Falls, bought the ticket as part of a promotion Pheasants Forever and Northland Ford dealerships in seven states were sponsoring. Brian Nelson, president of the Red River Valley Chapter of Pheasants Forever in Grand Forks, said nearly 50,000 raffle tickets were sold in the seven states, and the Grand Forks chapter sold 900 tickets -- including the ticket Thygeson bought -- which netted the chapter about $120,000.

Nelson said the truck and raffle tickets are donated, and chapters get to keep the money they raise from ticket sales. He said the chapter uses its funds for a variety of youth hunting, shooting and conservation programs and scholarships.

-- Thief River Falls Times


Youth deer hunt deadline approaches

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota youths have until Aug. 16 to apply for 18 mentored deer hunts being offered this fall in several locations across northwest Minnesota and elsewhere in the state.

Mentored youth firearms hunts in northwest Minnesota are as follows:

• Oct. 12-13: Itasca State Park, Clearwater County, 75 permits.

• Oct. 12-13: Zippel Bay State Park, Lake of the Woods County, 20 permits.

• Oct. 19-20: Lake Bemidji State Park, Beltrami County, 20 permits.

• Oct. 19-20: Rydell National Wildlife Refuge, Polk County, 20 permits.

• Nov. 9-10: Buffalo River State Park, Clay County, 14 permits.


Youth firearms hunts also are scheduled for Afton State Park, Washington County; Banning State Park, Pine County; Blue Mounds State Park, Rock County; Camden State Park, Lyon County; Great River State Park, Winona County; Lake Shetek State Park, Murray County; St. Croix State Park, Pine County; Savanna Portage State Park, Aitkin County; Sibley State Park, Kandiyohi County; and Tettegouche State Park, Lake County.

Youth archery hunts are scheduled for Oct. 11-13 at Camp Ripley in Morrison County (175 permits), Oct. 11-13 at Lake Alexander Preserve in Morrison County (20 permits) and Oct. 19-20 at Twin Lakes SNA (three permits).

For more information on the hunts and how to apply, check out the website at

-- Minnesota DNR

Did you know?

• Online applications for North Dakota's 2013 tundra swan license lottery now are available at and the deadline for applying is Aug. 14. The statewide season begins Sept. 28 and continues through Dec. 29, and 2,200 licenses are available. Paper applications will be available the end of July from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors.

• The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking applicants for this year's mentored youth waterfowl hunt set for Sept. 7 in several locations across the state. The application deadline is Aug. 12, and the hunts will be conducted at Hamden Slough near Detroit Lakes, the Morris Wildlife Production Area near Morris and on private lands in the Prior Lake, Windom and the Fergus Falls areas. Youths must be 12 to 15 years old and completed firearms safety training. Info/applications:

-- 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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