This time of year, it seems every week there is new information coming out about hunting seasons, regulations or license applications. Here’s a recap of some recent topics from North Dakota Game and Fish news.
Small game and furbearer regulations
North Dakota’s 2016 small game and furbearer regulations are set, and most season structures are similar to last year.
One notable change involves the mountain lion season harvest limit, which is reduced from 21 last year to 15 this year. The early season limit is reduced from 14 to eight. However, if the early season limit is not reached before Nov. 20 when the season ends, it could reopen after the late season closes.
For instance, if the early season harvest is four lions when the season closes, hunters could take four more lions if the early season reopens later. The early season can reopen if the late season harvest limit is reached before March 25.
The late season limit stays the same as last year at seven, but a new provision this year has the late season closing if hunters take three female mountain lions.
Another change in the small game and furbearer regulations is that trappers no longer are required to register in order to use cable devices. The primary purpose for the registration system the past two seasons was to formulate a mailing list of cable device users in North Dakota, and Game and Fish has accomplished that with more than 1,100 registered cable device users.
Also pertaining to furbearers, night vision, electronically enhanced light gathering optics and thermal imaging equipment is now legal during the portion of the red fox, gray fox and coyote seasons that is open to night hunting (Nov. 21-March 15). Spotlights or any other artificial lights still are prohibited.
Grouse wings wanted
The Game and Fish Department again is asking grouse hunters for help with future bird management by collecting wing and other feathers from harvested birds and returning them in special envelopes.
Feather characteristics allow biologists to differentiate male grouse from females and juveniles from adults, which helps managers monitor production, reconcile bird counts and get a better understanding of the harvest composition.
Hunters interested in receiving wing envelopes should visit the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov to order a supply, or contact the department’s main office in Bismarck by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, Game and Fish district offices have a supply of wing envelopes for distribution.
With the early Canada goose and dove seasons now open, it’s a good time to remind hunters to check harvested migratory birds for bands this fall.
Information from birds with a federal band should be reported online at www.reportband.gov. In addition, the bird banding lab has a new, mobile-friendly reporting site that will help hunters to report bands via mobile devices. Those without access to the Internet can report bands by calling (800) 327-2263.
The band number, date and location of each recovery are needed. Hunters can keep all bands they recover.
Information received from hunters is critical for managing migratory game birds.
Fall turkey season set
North Dakota’s fall turkey season is set, with about 3,500 licenses available to hunters, 145 fewer than last year.
Prospective hunters, including gratis applicants, can apply online or print out an application to mail from the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov. Paper applications also are available at vendors.
The deadline for applying is Wednesday.