Published September 04, 2011, 12:00 AM

OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: Remaining N.D. deer tags to be available Sept. 14, N.D. grouse and partridge numbers decline etc.

North Dakota deer gun licenses in units with remaining tags will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Sept. 14, and there is no limit to the number of licenses hunters can buy. Applications will be available at gf.nd.gov or through license vendors statewide.

By: Compiled by Brad Dokken, Grand Forks Herald

Remaining N.D. deer tags to be available Sept. 14

BISMARCK — More than 8,000 antlerless deer licenses, including almost 1,100 in Unit 2C north and west of Grand Forks, are still available after the third and final lottery drawing, the North Dakota Game and Fish said Friday.

Licenses in units with remaining tags will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Sept. 14, and there is no limit to the number of licenses hunters can buy. Applications will be available at gf.nd.gov or through license vendors statewide.

Unit 2C has 1,098 any antlerless tags remaining, Game and Fish said, while Unit 2D farther north has 764 tags still available.

Here’s a look at other units with tags remaining:

Unit 1: 189 any antlerless.

2F1: 681 any antlerless.

2K2: 666 any antlerless.

2L: 794 any antlerless.

3D1: 31 antlerless whitetail.

3E1: 437 antlerless whitetail.

3E2: 319 antlerless whitetail.

3F1: 336 any antlerless and 1,047 antlerless whitetail.

3F2: 294 any antlerless and 1,036 antlerless whitetail.

4F: 301 antlered whitetail and 28 antlerless mule deer.

Hunters who buy remaining antlerless licenses in units 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2 and 4F can use the tags during a special herd reduction season set for Sept. 23–Oct. 7. Hunters also can use the doe tags during the archery season with a bow; the deer gun season with a bow, rifle or muzzleloader; or during the muzzleloader season with a muzzleloader. Licenses must be used for antlerless deer only, and hunters must stay in the unit to which the license is assigned.

In addition, hunters ages 14 and 15 who have special youth season licenses can purchase additional doe tags for the youth season, and nonresidents can buy remaining tags for $55.

The archery season opened Friday, youth deer Sept. 16, regular deer gun Nov. 4 and muzzleloader Nov. 25.

Info: gf.nd.gov.

— N.D. Game and Fish Dept.

NDGF reports drop in grouse, Huns

BISMARCK — North Dakota hunters can expect to see fewer upland game birds when the season for sharptails, ruffed grouse and Hungarian partridges opens Saturday.

According to Aaron Robinson, upland game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, breeding sharptail numbers were down 30 percent from last year, with numbers falling from west to east. Loss of land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program is a factor, along with three harsh winters and a wet, cold spring that affected nesting.

Hungarian partridge numbers are also down and more localized than last year, and scouting will be critical to success, Robinson said. Ruffed grouse, which are limited to a couple of forested areas in north-central North Dakota, were down 15 percent statewide. The number of drumming males increased nearly 13 percent in the Pembina Hills, Robinson said, but the Turtle Mountains showed a 28 percent decrease from last year.

Sage grouse and prairie chicken seasons will remain closed because of low populations.

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Sharptails, ruffed grouse and Huns each have a daily limit of three and a possession limit of 12.

In related news, Game and Fish is asking grouse hunters to collect some feathers and submit wing envelopes this fall. Biologists use the information to monitor production, populations and the harvest ratio of males to females and juveniles to adults.

Envelopes are available from Game and Fish at (701) 328-6300, by email at ndgf@nd.gov or at district offices across the state.

— N.D. Game and Fish Dept.

Did you know?

- Minnesota deer hunters have until Thursday to apply for an either-sex deer permit for rifle or muzzleloader in the state’s lottery areas. Lottery areas this year are in permit areas 103, 108, 119, 234, 235, 237, 238, 250, 251, 252, 253, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296 and 299. Info: mndnr.gov/deer.

- The Forks Rifle Club has reached the 300-member milestone. “As long as everyone does not try to shoot at the same time we will do fine,” longtime rifle club member Tom Reiten said. The Forks Rifle Club was established in 1933, and the shooting range and clubhouse is located eight miles west of Merrifield, N.D., on Grand Forks County Road 6.

- Raymond Hanson, Twin Valley, Minn., won the gold medal at the recent North Dakota Blackpowder Cartridge Target Rifle Championship, held at the Forks Rifle Club’s W.G. Coulter Range. Richard Jorgenson, Devils Lake, won the silver medal and is the North Dakota state champion. Curt Grorud, Thief River Falls, won the bronze medal.

- The Forks Summer Rifle League has wrapped up its inaugural summer of competition. In the conventional center-fire category, Denny Magnusson finished first, Tom Reiten placed second, and Marcus Moeglein finished third. Top three shooters in the defensive center-fire division were Dick Evers, Ron DePue and Mark Knain. John Nordlie finished first in both the conventional and defensive rim-fire categories.

- A bear that’s been making the rounds at the Agassiz Audubon Center near Warren, Minn., is going to be trapped and fitted with a GPS collar as part of a study the state Department of Natural Resources is conducting of bears on the western fringe of their Minnesota range. With Minnesota’s bear season now underway, the DNR is asking hunters to avoid shooting any radio-collared bears they see.

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