The Minot Rifle and Pistol Club's indoor range is open from 7 to 10 p.m. each Monday and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Friday. The Junior Shooting Program is held on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.
The cost for evening shooting is $5 for club members and $10 for non-members. Targets are provided. Eye and ear protection is required. Range officers monitor and control all shooting sessions. The Indoor Range can be reached at 838-7882.
Kim Fundingsland/MDN - - Prospective shooters at the Minot Rifle and Pistol Club’s Indoor Range receive a briefing from club member Bob Kraus, seated, prior to taking a position on the firing line. Plastic replica firearms are used for instructional purposes.
Park hosts Wheelchair Hunt
Wheelchair-bound hunters will take to the field at Lake Sakakawea State Park Nov. 12-13 for the park's 10th annual Wheelchair Hunt. The majority of the park will be closed for the weekend, including the campgrounds, which will be closed Nov. 11-13. Park staff will be in the office during the weekend to answer any questions.
The hunt, held the second weekend of the deer gun season, is open to people permanently confined to a wheelchair. The park provides blinds specifically designed for wheel chairs. Individual hunters determine the hours they wish to hunt and park staff and volunteers assist them in setting up. Local volunteers and the Mercer County Peace Officers Association help support the program.
Lake Sakakawea State Park is located just north of Pick City. For additional information, call the park manager, John Tunge, at 487-3315.
Mountain lion take nears quota
A mountain lion harvested Oct. 27 near the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Parkwas the seventh cat taken in zone 1. If three more are taken from zone 1 before Nov. 20, the early season quota of 10 will be reached and mountain lion hunting in zone 1 will close immediately.
Deer hunters are encouraged to keep track of the quota's status in zone 1. If the final lion is taken before Nov. 20, the state Game and Fish Department will notify media outlets announcing the close of the early season in zone 1. Hunters can also check the number of lions taken in zone 1 by accessing the Game and Fish Department website at (gf.nd.gov).
The late season in zone 1, with a quota of four, opens Nov. 21. There is no carry-over if the early season quota is not filled.
Zone 1 includes land south of N.D. Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where N.D. Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from N.D. Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along N.D. Highway 8 to N.D. Highway 200, then west on N.D. Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.
The mountain lion season in zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside zone 1, has no quota and is open through March 31.
Mule deer production low
Aerial observations during the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's fall mule deer survey indicated production was the lowest since the demographic survey began in 1954.
Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor in Dickinson, said observers who accompanied pilots in fixed-wing planes counted 1,055 (1,613 in 2010) mule deer in the October survey. While the buck-to-doe ratio of 0.47 (0.45 in 2010) was similar to the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.59 (0.72 in 2010) was the lowest on record, and was well below the long-term average of 0.93 fawns per doe.
"Three straight years of record low production and another severe winter in the forecast makes additional license cuts likely in 2012," Stillings said.
The fall aerial survey covers 24 study areas and 306 square miles in western North Dakota.
Salmon spawn goal surpassed
Fisheries crews have completed their annual salmon spawning operation on Lake Sakakawea after surpassing their goal of 750,000 eggs.
Dave Fryda, North Dakota Game and Fish Department Missouri River System supervisor, said crews collected more than 1 million eggs, the majority from Lake Sakakawea and the remainder from the Missouri River below Garrison Dam. The average size of Lake Sakakawea females was less than 7 pounds, more than a pound lighter than in 2010. The Missouri River females, which are typically larger than the lake fish, were similar in size this year.
"The 2011 salmon spawning run was a success, largely due to the presence of good numbers of salmon throughout the spawning run," Fryda said. "Even though smaller females meant fewer eggs per fish, we were able to capture enough fish to easily obtain our eggs goal."
Plans for 2012 are to increase the Lake Sakakawea stocking to 250,000 salmon, with none scheduled for the river below Garrison Dam, Fryda said.
Chinook salmon begin their spawning run in October. Since salmon cannot naturally reproduce in North Dakota, Game and Fish Department and Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery personnel collect eggs and transport them to the hatchery.