OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: Sportsmen Against Hunger, Waterfowl hunters should heed ANS regulations etc.

N.D. encourages deer hunters to donate venison BISMARCK -- North Dakota wildlife officials are encouraging deer hunters to consider donating meat to the Sportsmen Against Hunger program. The Game and Fish Department said the charitable program ra...

Elk near GF
<b>Elk sighted near GF:</b> Ann Flower of Grand Forks shared this photo of a bull elk she and others spotted Wednesday afternoon and evening north of Grand Forks. The elk was in the area near Highway 81 and North Columbia Road, Flower said, between 40th Avenue North and 52nd Avenue North. "Very nice guy," Flower writes, "six points on each side." Marty Egeland, outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Grand Forks, said he believes the bull to be a wild elk because it has no ear...

N.D. encourages deer hunters to donate venison

BISMARCK -- North Dakota wildlife officials are encouraging deer hunters to consider donating meat to the Sportsmen Against Hunger program.

The Game and Fish Department said the charitable program raises money for processing of donated deer and coordinates distribution of ground venison to food pantries across the state. The program is administered by the North Dakota Community Action Partnership, a nonprofit that serves low-income families.

This year's archery season opened Sept. 2, and a special gun season in five southwestern units that opened Friday runs through Oct. 7. Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand said he hopes hunters will support the hunger program not only during the early seasons but also during the regular deer gun and muzzleloader seasons in November.

-- Associated Press


Waterfowl hunters should heed ANS regulations

With waterfowl seasons now underway in North Dakota and Minnesota, officials in the two states are reminding hunters to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance or invasive species.

Rich Sprouse, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Division of Enforcement, said duck boats and trailers can be just as likely to carry invasive species as boats used for fishing or other recreation.

Decoys, their lines and anchors, and camo netting and blind material all can harbor invasive species, Sprouse said, as can bilge water.

Waterfowl hunters in North Dakota must clean boats, decoys, waders and other hunting equipment before leaving a body of water. Hunters also must drain water from all hunting equipment, and they should brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.

In North Dakota, cattails, phragmites, bulrushes and terrestrial plants may be transported as camouflage on boats. All other aquatic vegetation must be cleaned from boats before transporting into or within North Dakota.

For more information on regulations in the two states, check out the Game and Fish Department website at or the Minnesota DNR website at

-- Herald staff report


Survey shows continued strong support for hunting

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- A new study from the National Shooting Sports Foundation shows the majority of Americans continue to support hunting.

The scientific telephone survey of Americans 18 and older was conducted in early September and commissioned by the foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries.

Three-fourths of survey respondents (74 percent) said they approved of hunting, a level of support that has not varied by more than a few percentage points since 1995.

Also, regardless of their opinion about hunting, 94 percent of survey respondents said it is "OK for other people to hunt if they do so legally and in accordance with hunting laws and regulations."

Only 4 percent of respondents wanted to strip citizens of the right to hunt, the foundation said.

Other findings:

- 67 percent indicated they had eaten some type of wild game or fish within the past 12 months.


- 93 percent agreed target shooting is acceptable.

- Of the hunters in the survey -- about 10 percent -- the average age was 41.

Full survey results are available at

-- National Shooting Sports Foundation

Wisconsin governor lays out duties of 'deer czar'

MADISON, Wis. -- Gov. Scott Walker is laying out the duties for his so-called deer czar.

Walker promised during his campaign to appoint someone to oversee deer management, hoping to appeal to hunters who have griped for years about the Department of Natural Resources' herd control policies. Hunters insist the policies have grown so draconian they've devastated the herd, leading to anemic hunts.

Walker issued an executive order Friday telling the Department of Administration to retain an independent expert in deer management.


The order requires the expert to begin a review of the DNR's management practices by Saturday and deliver a preliminary report by March 1. It also directs the DNR to cooperate fully with the expert.

A Walker spokesman said the administration likely will announce DOA's selection this week.

-- Associated Press

Budweiser, RMEF offer hunter ethics reminder

MISSOULA, Mont. -- Two longtime partners in wildlife conservation and responsible outdoor recreation, Budweiser and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, are reminding hunters to consider three general areas of sporting ethics while afield this fall:

- Honor game, other wildlife and the land.

- Respect landowners.

- Extend courtesy to fellow hunters as well as nonhunters


Hunters also should never drink alcohol or use over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or during the hunt.

-- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

DU to Congress: Don't cut NAWCA

WASHINGTON -- The Migratory Bird Conservation Commission recently awarded 21 grants to conservation projects that will help conserve waterfowl habitat across the nation. The grants are being awarded through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), a match-based program that raises an average of 3.2 nonfederal dollars for every federal dollar invested.

Every dollar of federal money allotted to NAWCA must be matched by one or more dollars from nonfederal sources such as Ducks Unlimited or state fish and wildlife agencies.

Despite its track record of success, NAWCA is facing deep budget cuts in Congress for the 2012 fiscal year. The House has proposed to cut NAWCA funding by as much as $17.5 million from its FY 2011 level.

According to Ducks Unlimited officials, funding cuts of that proportion could seriously jeopardize the program's ability to conserve prime waterfowl habitat.

"Reducing the deficit and ensuring that our nation is financially secure are actions that Ducks Unlimited supports," Scott Sutherland, DU director of governmental affairs, said in a statement. "However, especially in a time of tight budgets, Congress should support programs that provide good value and bring significant income to local communities, businesses and state and federal treasuries. NAWCA is one of those programs."


-- Ducks Unlimited

Did you know?

- Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear life jackets while on the water. Nancy Boldt, boat and water safety coordinator for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said eight people have drowned in state waters since 1998 while hunting from a boat, and none were wearing life jackets. Boldt said she wants to make sure a duck hunter doesn't become another statistic.

- North Dakota's two-day youth pheasant season is Saturday and Oct. 2. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt roosters statewide. Info: or the 2011 North Dakota Small Game Hunting Guide.

- Rhea Restemayer of Edinburg, N.D., landed a 22-pound channel catfish to win first place in the whopper category and the grand prize of $1,000 in the annual Rod & Reel Rally catfish tournament Sept. 17 on the Red River near Drayton, N.D. Brandon Patterson of Fargo placed second with a 20.7-pound catfish, and Jeff Kostrzewski of Crookston landed a 19.9-pound catfish to finish third. A total of 78 anglers competed in this year's tournament, bringing 24 catfish to the weigh station during the event.

- The DNR is asking Minnesota turkey hunters to provide input on a proposal to consolidate the state's 77 spring turkey permit areas into nine larger areas. Info:

- Ducks Unlimited is asking duck hunters and other waterfowl enthusiasts to "double up for the ducks" by purchasing two federal duck stamps this year. This effort is part of a larger DU-led campaign to increase the price of the federal duck stamp. The cost of the stamp has not increased since 1991, and $15 is not what it used to be. Based on the Consumer Price Index, the stamp would need to cost $24.26 today to have the same buying power that $15 had in 1991.

- A new Minnesota trapping regulation that went into effect Sept. 1 requires trappers to validate a site coupon for any fisher, pine marten or river otter taken in the state. The free coupons are available at license vendors.

- South Dakotans Travor Diegel and Paul Steffen weighed in 28.64 pounds of walleyes to win the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit's West Division season finale Sept. 16-17 on Cass Lake.

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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