North Dakota Hunting News

North Dakota Nonresident Any-Deer Bow Licenses

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will have 682 any-deer bow licenses available to nonresidents in 2012. However, pending the final proclamation, antlerless mule deer may not be legal to harvest within a large area of western North Dakota.

The deadline for applying is April 1. A lottery will be held if more applications are received than licenses available. If licenses remain after April 1, they will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants can apply together as a party. A separate check is required for each application.

North Dakota Spring Turkey Season Set, Online Apps Available

The state Game and Fish Department is offering 5,795 wild turkey licenses for the spring hunting season, a decrease of 925 from last year. The decrease is a result of additional winter mortality the last three years and poor production during spring 2011.

Ten of the 22 hunting units have fewer spring licenses than in 2011, while 11 remain the same. Unit 21 (most of Hettinger and Adams counties) is again closed in 2012 due to lack of turkeys in the unit.

North Dakota Mid-Winter Bald Eagle Survey Sets Record

The annual mid-winter bald eagle survey conducted Jan. 13 along the Missouri River stretching from Bismarck to the Garrison Dam showed a record number of bald eagles, according to Patrick T. Isakson, conservation biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

A total of 108 bald eagles were counted, breaking the previous best of 85 in 2008. “The mild winter has kept the river open and a lot of waterfowl in the area,” Isakson said, while mentioning the availability of prey is also indicative of the number of eagles wintering in the state.

Information on Lead in the Meat of Wild Game

Recent studies have provided important, new information about lead fragments in venison and other game harvested with lead ammunition. Following are some facts from those studies.

North Dakota's Tentative 2012 Season Opening Dates

To help North Dakota hunters make vacation plans and lodging reservations for hunting seasons in 2012, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department annually provides tentative opening dates for the coming year.

Some popular hunting seasons will have opening day arrive nearly a week later in 2012 due to the calendar change. For example, opening day of pheasant season is always the second Saturday in October, which in 2012 is Oct. 13. Therefore, nonresidents will not be able to hunt on state wildlife management areas or Private Land Open To Sportsmen acres from Oct. 13-20.

North Dakota Missouri River Zone Open for Canada Geese through Dec. 30

North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded that Canada goose hunting in the Missouri River Zone is open through Dec. 30, while the remainder of the state closes Dec. 22.

Mike Szymanski, waterfowl biologist for the State Game and Fish Department, said the Missouri River Zone was created in 2008 to provide additional late season hunting opportunities on migrant Canada geese. “Even in years with mild weather conditions through December, a vast majority of the Canada geese that are in the state remain in the Missouri River Zone,” Szymanski said.

North Dakota Hunter Education Classes in 2012

Individuals interested in taking a hunter education class in 2012 should know that most courses are offered early in the calendar year.

Late Season on Mountain Lions Closes in Zone 1 North Dakota, Quota Filled

Mountain lion hunting during the late season in zone 1 is closed immediately. The fourth cat was taken Dec. 6, filling the zone’s late-season quota.

Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.

Late-Season Hunting Opportunities End Soon in North Dakota

Late-season hunters still have time to get out in the field and enjoy North Dakota’s deer, waterfowl, upland game, turkey, small game and furbearer opportunities.

North Dakota Statewide Duck, White-fronted Goose Seasons Close Dec. 4

North Dakota waterfowl hunters are reminded the statewide duck and white-fronted goose seasons close Dec. 4. However, duck hunting in the high plains unit reopens Dec. 10 and continues through Jan. 1, 2012.