A reminder for boat owners
Boat owners are reminded that properly fitted life jackets should be worn and not used as a comfortable seat cushion. North Dakota Game and Fish Department boat and water safety coordinator Nancy Boldt said water temperatures in spring are extremely cold, and sudden immersion can cause serious problems.
"Spring weather is unpredictable, and a pleasant outing can turn quickly when windy conditions arise," Boldt said. "Wearing a life jacket will not only keep the individual afloat, but also insulates the body which in turn slows the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water."
In addition, Boldt said wearing a life jacket reduces the panic and allows a person time to evaluate the situation. "If you go into the water without one, you're struggling to do what a life jacket is designed to do," she said.
Summer BOW set for Aug. 8-10
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program is accepting registrations for the annual summer workshop Aug. 8-10 at Lake Metigoshe State Park, Bottineau.
Enrollment is limited to participants age 18 or older. Workshop fees of $150 cover instruction, program materials, use of equipment, all meals and lodging.
Participants can choose from more than 30 programs, including archery, canoeing, firearms, fly-fishing, kayaking, plant identification and trapping.
BOW workshops are designed primarily for women with an interest in learning skills associated with hunting, fishing and outdoor endeavors. Although open to anyone age 18 or older, the workshops are tailored primarily to women who have never tried these activities or who are beginners hoping to improve their skills.
Women interested in attending the summer workshop can register online, or print and mail an information brochure and enrollment form at the Game and Fish website, (gf.nd.gov). More information is available by contacting Nancy Boldt at 328-6312, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring mule deer survey complete
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department conducted its annual spring mule deer survey in April. Results indicate western North Dakota's mule deer population has increased 19 percent from last year.
Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor, said the increase is a result of less severe winters the past couple of years, no harvest of antlerless deer in 2012 and 2013, and improved fawn production.
"Mule deer numbers are headed in the right direction, but in order to maintain further population growth, we need to maintain a conservative management approach, with no antlerless mule deer harvest again in 2014," Stillings said.
Sage grouse counts still low
Results from North Dakota's spring sage grouse survey indicate the number of strutting males observed remains well below management objectives. Therefore, the sage grouse hunting season will remain closed in 2014.
Aaron Robinson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department upland game bird biologist, said biologists counted a record-low 31 males on six active strutting grounds. Last year, 50 males were counted on 11 active leks in the southwest.
Sage grouse are a long-lived species with low reproductive output, which makes population recovery slow. Currently, Robinson said, natural reproduction cannot keep up with natural mortality.
Sage grouse are found in extreme southwestern North Dakota, primarily in Bowman and Slope counties.
NDG&F Earth Day project
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is once again celebrating Earth Day by sponsoring clean-up days on public-owned or managed lands.
While Earth Day was recognized April 22, each member of a school, Girl Scout, Boy Scout, 4-H club or youth organization who participates in cleaning up public lands through May will receive a specifically designed conservation patch.
Groups participating in the Earth Day project are encouraged to take the following precautions to ensure safety: Keep young people away from highways, lakes and rivers; and only allow older participants to pick up broken glass. Interested participants are asked to contact Pat Lothspeich at 328-6332 to receive a reporting form for their project.