G&F summarizes pheasant data
North Dakota's roadside pheasant survey conducted in late July and August indicates total birds, number of broods and average brood size are all down statewide from 2012. Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the survey shows total pheasants are down 30 percent from last year. In addition, brood observations were down 29 percent, and the average brood size was down 10 percent.
"Poor production this spring resulted in fewer young birds added to the population and a lower fall population in all areas of the state," Kohn said.
Noteworthy factors cited for the decrease in brood numbers, according to Kohn, were continued land use changes in the prime pheasant range, including removal of Conservation Reserve Program acres, grasslands converted to croplands and small grain fields converted to row crops; and continuous wet spring weather.
"Earlier this summer we thought it was possible that nesting season was delayed enough to avoid an influence from the cold, wet spring," Kohn said, "but it now appears that wasn't the case."
Statistics from southwestern North Dakota indicate the number of birds observed was down 25 percent from 2012, and the number of broods was down 22 percent. The average brood size was 5.8.
Results from the southeast show birds are down 43 percent from last year, and the number of broods down 42 percent. The average brood size was 5.9.
Statistics from the northwest indicated pheasants are down 39 percent from last year, with broods down 32 percent. Average brood size was 5.5.
The northeast district, generally containing secondary pheasant habitat with much of it lacking good winter cover, showed an average brood size of 4.7 with the number of birds observed down 35 percent.
The 2013 regular pheasant season opens Oct. 12 and continues through Jan. 5, 2014. The two-day youth pheasant hunting weekend, when legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger can hunt statewide, is set for Oct. 5-6.
Deer season for young hunters opens Friday
Friday at noon signals the start of a 9 1/2 day deer hunting season for youth ages 12-15.
Licensed residents ages 12 and 13, and 11-year-olds who turn age 12 in 2013, are allowed to hunt statewide, but only for antlerless white-tailed deer. Resident deer gun hunters age 14 or 15, and 13-year-olds who turn age 14 in 2013, with a "youth season" license, can hunt statewide for any deer, except antlerless mule deer in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. In addition, a special license is required to hunt antlered mule deer in those same units.
After opening day, hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Solid daylight fluorescent orange vests or coats, and hats are required for all young hunters and their adult mentors. Each youth deer hunter must be under direct supervision of an adult while in the field.
In addition to the deer license, hunters must possess a general game and habitat license and hunting certificate. The youth deer season closes Sunday, Sept. 29.
Landowners seek doe hunters
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is currently working with 18 landowners in 16 hunting units across the state who would like to host hunters with antlerless deer licenses in 2013. Participating landowners are located in hunting units 2C,2G2, 2I, 2J2, 2K2, 3A4, 3B3, 3C, 3D1, 3D2,3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2,4B and 4E.
The program is not intended for buck hunters, but designed to direct hunters with antlerless licenses to specific areas to reduce deer populations. Interested hunters can get their name on a list of possible participants by accessing the Game and Fish Department's website at (gf.nd.gov). Hunters who do not have Internet access can call the department's main office in Bismarck at 328-6300.
Hunters will provide their address, hunting unit where they hold valid antlerless licenses, and if using rifle, muzzleloader or bow. From this list the department will select the number of hunters landowners have agreed to host. These hunters will be sent the landowner's name, phone number and any information relating to the landowner's specific situation.
Hunters must have a valid 2013 deer gun license the Game and Fish Department does not provide a hunting license with this program.
Not everyone who signs up will end up with a new place to hunt, because not everyone's schedule will match up with a landowner's, and more people will likely put their name on the list than there are openings. Currently, participating landowners have openings for about 170 doe hunters.
North Dakota's 2013 regular deer gun season runs from Nov. 9-25. In addition, the archery season extends through Jan. 5, 2014; the youth season is Sept. 20-29; and muzzleloader runs from Nov. 29-Dec. 15.