Published November 30, 2012, 07:03 AM

Outdoor enthusiasts discuss concerns

More than 50 hunters, trappers and landowners from the region brought their concerns to North Dakota Game and Fish during the 2012 fall district advisory meeting Thursday night at the Gladstone Inn & Suites.

By: By Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun

More than 50 hunters, trappers and landowners from the region brought their concerns to North Dakota Game and Fish during the 2012 fall district advisory meeting Thursday night at the Gladstone Inn & Suites.

The dry summer and fall this season had more than a few people up in arms about burning sloughs and what it means for wildlife populations.

“If you care about the wildlife, not just deer …. that is crucial for those creatures to have someplace to go,” said Ron Gilmore, Fargo, and it’s just sickening, it’s just sickening to see the massive destruction of habitat I saw down there.”

Tom Sklebar, with the Stutsman County Wildlife Club, compared the amount of sloughs burning — sometimes during burn bans — and the smoke in the air this fall to Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War.

Terry Steinwand, NDGF director, said it’s the sportsman’s responsibility to alert county sheriffs or fire departments when they see a fire during a burn ban.

“I’m thinking that we got to, have to devote some of our resources and sportsmen and the Game and Fish Department to somehow make it economical to prevent me from burning my sloughs,” said Ralph Danuser, Marion, N.D.

Randy Kreil, director of the Wildlife Division of NDGF, said landowners can also enroll Conservation Reserve Program land into the Private Land Open To Sportsmen program to gain more incentive, but the payments for those programs won’t be as much as if the land was planted and harvested.

“When people put stuff in CRP they know up front they’re taking a loss,” Kreil said. “Game and Fish can sweeten the deal by putting a PLOTS contract on top of it.”

Another issue that was brought up was the laws on training hunting dogs.

What sometimes happens is a trainer brings in dogs from out of state, the trainer doesn’t know the property lines and a dog kills waterfowl and private property, said Rodney Zahn, Forbes, N.D.

Zahn said a dog trainer on his land violated three laws.

“I just about shot his horse,” he said of the trainer on his property earlier this year.

Rep. Lyle Hanson, D-Jamestown, said the issue was brought up in the last legislative session but two people said they would be hurt by the loss of economic impact.

“There was very few people in there, but they sold the Legislature on it,” Hanson said of the lack of laws and the failure to pass any new ones.

Larry Knoblich, a wildlife lobbyist for North Dakota Sportsmen and Sportsman Alliance from Jamestown, offered his advice before the comment period of the meeting closed.

“If you people want to get something done, you got to get your butts over to Bismarck, you got to get over there and talk to people,” Knoblich said.

Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at brodgers

@jamestownsun.com

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