OUTDOOR NOTEBOOK: N.D. sets deer lottery for late July

N.D. sets deer lottery for late July BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will conduct the lottery for this fall's firearms deer season the last week in July. According to Randy Meissner, licensing manager for Game and Fish, seve...

N.D. sets deer lottery for late July

BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will conduct the lottery for this fall's firearms deer season the last week in July.

According to Randy Meissner, licensing manager for Game and Fish, several thousand paper applications need to be entered into the system before the lottery is held.

The state Legislature this year passed a law that requires gratis license applicants interested in receiving a tag for any legal deer to submit the application before the regular lottery application deadline.

"In the past, we were able to run the lottery once all regular gun applications were entered, but with the new law it looks like the end of July will now become the normal time period for holding the deer lottery," Meissner said.


"Both regular gun and gratis applications submitted by paper have to be entered manually before the lottery can be run."

Applicants who applied online and submitted an email address will receive notification once the drawing has been held. Others can access the Game and Fish Department's website at to find individual results or to sign up for email or text alerts.

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

DNR urges caution during high water

ST. PAUL -- Water levels in lakes and rivers remain high in many parts of the region, and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is urging boaters to slow down and use caution.

"People should always wear their lifejackets every time they step on a boat and especially during high water," said Kara Owens, DNR boating safety specialist. "High water levels mean a fast and strong-moving current, which many boat operators are not used to. That can create dangerous situations."

The increase in floating debris during high water adds another element of danger.

"Debris will often float just at or below the surface," Owens said. "Hitting a log at high speed could result in anything from a broken propeller to a ruined lower unit -- or worse, serious injuries to those who wanted to enjoy a day on the water."


Boaters also need to slow down and make sure their wakes are small when water levels are high. A large wake could not only disrupt other boaters and swimmers, but also cause erosion along the shoreline.


-- Minnesota DNR

DNR: Learn and heed AIS laws

ST. PAUL -- Despite extensive education and publicity efforts, there's still a fair bit of confusion concerning Minnesota's laws to reduce the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) or aquatic nuisance species (ANS), as they're called in North Dakota.

That's especially true for nonresidents visiting the state, the DNR said in a news release outlining the laws.

The big one, of course, is the requirement that drain plugs be pulled from bilges and live wells while transporting watercraft. The boat plug law is now three years old, but it remains one of the most common AIS-related violations, the DNR said.

It's also a law that could sting North Dakota residents transporting their boats in Minnesota because North Dakota law doesn't require that drain plugs be removed during transport.


"Minnesota's lakes, rivers and forests are a big draw for visitors," John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism, said in a news release. "It's important that everyone who enjoys our woods and waters helps protect these natural treasures."

"It's important for everyone to take the time to read and understand the laws -- they may be different than your home state's AIS laws," said Ann Pierce, DNR invasive species unit supervisor. "Not only do the laws help protect Minnesota waters from new infestations, they are a sound practice to reduce the chance of taking home an unwanted aquatic hitchhiker to your own community."

More info:

-- Minnesota DNR

Did you know?

• Sept. 30 is the deadline for submitting photos to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's annual Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest. The contest has categories for nongame and game species, as well as plants and insects. An overall winning photograph will be chosen, with the number of winners in each category determined by the number of qualified entries. Contestants are limited to no more than five entries submitted on disk or by email. Photos must have been taken in North Dakota. Info:

n Results from a newly released study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicate 55 percent of the thousands of stream and river miles across the country are in poor condition for aquatic life. The study includes data from about 2,000 sites across the United States. Info:

-- 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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