The Official Newspaper for Foster County

Recreation


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  • North Dakota Outdoors: Taking a closer look at N.D. game wardens

    Doug Leier, Biologist, N.D. Game and Fish Department|Apr 15, 2024

    The work of North Dakota game wardens is so much more than checking hunting and fishing licenses. The men and women wearing a badge and working the frontlines of game and fish law enforcement are the first called when a hunter has a question or a landowner is dealing with deer depredation. They're the individuals keeping personal watercraft operators safe while making sure poachers aren't taking more fish and wildlife than legally allowed. Each year Scott Winkelman, chief game warden, provides...

  • Deer gratis application online

    Apr 8, 2024

    Landowners interested in a 2024 deer gratis license must apply online by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline for applying is June 5. General deer and muzzleloader lottery applications will be available online in early May, also with a deadline of June 5. Gratis applicants who have previously applied online will automatically have their land description forwarded to this year’s application. However, any changes with land descriptions from last year’s application must be made prior to sub...

  • North Dakota Outdoors: Helping wildlife is a long term commitment

    Doug Leier, Biologist, North Dakota Game and Fish Department|Apr 8, 2024

    We live in a world of point, click, instant access and information. Patience is a rare commodity, but when it comes to hunting and fishing, it's not an option. Waiting for the right deer or the hot bite is as important as finding the right lure or spot. In the same way, maintaining, enhancing and growing wildlife populations like deer and pheasants is a long-term investment. It's not practical to think simply stocking fish or dumping food for wildlife is much more than a short-term feel good at...

  • North Dakota Outdoors: Electronic posting for 2024 is open

    Doug Leier, Biologist, N.D. Game and Fish Department|Apr 1, 2024

    The spring snow goose conservation season opened up back in February and the spring turkey season is just a couple of weeks away. If you are a hunter, you need to make sure land your hunting is not physically or electronically posted. Landowners who missed the deadline last year or did not electronically post their land last year can still physically post their land at any time. It's an important and sometimes overlooked aspect of the electronic posting of land in North Dakota. Electronic...

  • Game & Fish volunteers recognized for service

    Apr 1, 2024

    Volunteer instructors for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department were recently recognized at the annual banquet in Bismarck. Richard Bahm, Mandan, was recognized as Hunter Education Instructor of the Year. Local volunteers recognized included the following: • Fifteen-year service awards were given to Christopher Krenzel, Harvey and Michael Ness, Carrington. • Recognized for five years of service was Jason Lura, Carrington. • A two-year active instructor recognized was Cody Krause, Carrington....

  • NDG&F grant supports high school trap league

    Mar 25, 2024

    Local clubs or communities interested in receiving a grant to support a high school trap shooting team must have the application in before April 1. Existing teams that have received a grant in the past are not eligible. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department offers a grant of up to $1,000, with funds designed to purchase gear such as eye and hearing protection, vests, shell bags and magnetic barrel rests. Interested applicants can print out the high school trap league grant application online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. For...

  • Elk, moose, bighorn sheep application online

    Mar 25, 2024

    Elk, moose and bighorn sheep applications are available online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline for applying is March 27. A total of 833 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, an increase of 230 from last year. Licenses in units E1E, E1W and E3 increased due to a stable to increasing elk population. Licenses in elk units E2, E4 and E6 remain the same as in 2023. A total of 242 moose licenses are available, a decrease of 15 from last year. Licenses in units M5, M6, M8 and M10 remain the s...

  • Nonresident any-deer bow applications after April 15

    Mar 18, 2024

    The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will have 337 any-deer bow licenses available to nonresidents in 2024. Applicants can apply online after April 15 on the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline to apply is May 15. Up to five hunters can apply together as a party. A lottery will be held if more applications are received than licenses available. A total of 2,124 people applied in 2023. The number of nonresident any-deer bow licenses available is 15% of the previous year’s mule deer gun license allocation....

  • Grant application to assist with hunter program

    Mar 18, 2024

    Wildlife, shooting, fraternal and nonprofit civic organizations can submit an application for the Encouraging Tomorrow's Hunters program, a North Dakota Game and Fish Department grant program developed to assist in the recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters. The program supports projects and events that provide a positive environment to develop the skills and confidence needed to create lifelong, conservation-minded hunting and shooting sports participants. Application deadline is...

  • Game and Fish offers wildlife food plot seed

    Mar 11, 2024

    The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering free seed for the 2024 growing season to landowners interested in planting wildlife food plots for pheasants. Rather than a traditional corn or sunflower food plot, this seed mix increases plant diversity, including flowering plants from spring through fall, which will attract insects, the major diet component of pheasant chicks. Additionally, the mix will provide needed cover during spring and summer, as well as a winter food source. Other wildlife species will also benefit from this mix....

  • Guide and outfitter exam scheduled

    Mar 4, 2024

    The next guide and outfitter written examination is March 30 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. Preregistration is required no later than March 22 by calling the Department’s enforcement office at 701-328-6604. In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations, certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid, and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter. Hunting o...

  • North Dakota Outdoors: Game and Fish Director Looking at 2024

    Doug Leier, Biologist, N.D. Game and Fish Department|Mar 4, 2024

    Every hunter, angler and trapper can assess their own past seasons and look forward to the challenges and opportunities of 2024. The director of North Dakota Game and Fish and division chiefs are tasked with understanding and guiding the vested interests of all from Cavalier to Carson, from Crosby to Cayuga. It's a challenge to say the least, but here's a look at some of the issues from Jeb Williams, Department director. Looking back on the past year We had a full six months of winter (2022-23)...

  • N.D. Game & Fish advises removing fish houses early

    Feb 26, 2024

    While the deadline for removing permanent fish houses from North Dakota lakes is March 15, the state Game and Fish Department is urging anglers to consider removing their houses early in areas of the state where ice conditions are deteriorating. Given the current long-range weather forecast predicting temperatures well above normal, coupled with a marginal icepack in areas of the state, removing a fish house can be difficult or dangerous. It’s important to check ice thickness, especially this time of year. Ice conditions can vary from region t...

  • Guide and outfitter exam scheduled

    Feb 26, 2024

    The next guide and outfitter written examination is March 30 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. Preregistration is required no later than March 22 by calling the Department’s enforcement office at 701-328-6604. In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations, certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid, and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter. Hunting o...

  • North Dakota Outdoors: Training the next generation of hunters

    Doug Leier, North Dakota Game and Fish Biologist|Jan 29, 2024

    January 7 was the official end date for archery deer, pheasant, grouse, partridge and turkey seasons in North Dakota. While squirrel season is open through Feb 29, most of the hunting seasons are over. With spring snow goose officially opening in February and the spring turkey season opening April 13, I need to remind you the next round of hunter education classes begins when the last hunting seasons wrap up. State law requires anyone born after December 31, 1961, to pass a certified hunter...

  • Tips for staying safe on early ice in North Dakota

    Jan 29, 2024

    Outdoor enthusiasts need to be aware of early ice conditions before traveling onto and across North Dakota waters. A few reminders include: • Edges firm up faster than farther out from shore. • Snow insulates ice, which in turn inhibits solid ice formation, hiding cracks, weak and open water areas. • Ice can form overnight, causing unstable conditions. Ice thickness is not consistent, as it can vary significantly within a few inches. • Avoid cracks, pressure ridges, slushy or darker areas that signal thinner ice. The same goes for ice that fo...

  • Hunter Ed classes in 2024

    Jan 15, 2024

    If you were born after 1961, are 12 years or older, you must take an in-person or home study certified hunter education course before you can get a firearm or bowhunting license in North Dakota. Individuals interested in taking a hunter education class in 2024 must click on the education link at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. To register for a class, click on “enroll” next to the specific class, and follow the simple instructions. Personal information is required. Classes are listed by city and can also be sor...

  • Earth Day Patch Contest

    Jan 15, 2024

    The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual Earth Day Patch Contest is, in part, an effort to heighten the awareness about the environment in North Dakota and beyond. Students who participate will develop a patch design using five colors incorporating an aspect of Earth Day such as environmental awareness, respect Earth, water quality, wildlife, or habitat conservation in North Dakota. The contest is open to students in grades K-12. Winners are chosen from three grade categories (K-4, 5-8 and 9-12). Each winner will receive an outdoor ki...

  • North Dakota Outdoors: January 15, 2024

    Doug Leier, North Dakota Game and Fish Biologist|Jan 15, 2024

    The first time I felt safe enough to check the ice thickness was Thanksgiving weekend. It wasn't safe yet at 1.5 inches. A week later and it still wasn't. In early December we had 50-plus degree temperatures, making late season pheasant hunters and archery deer hunters smile. The ice anglers pumped their brakes and were frustrated having to wait even longer. The open water fishing in North Dakota in 2023 was record breaking according to Greg Power, fisheries division chief, and hard water...

  • North Dakota Outdoors: January 8, 2024

    Doug Leier, North Dakota Game & Fish Department Biologist|Jan 8, 2024

    The Endangered Species Act turned 50 in 2023 I can easily recall in the late 1980s seeing an endangered bald eagle feeding on a deer carcass off the road west of Napoleon in Logan County. Back in those days, if you saw a bald eagle and you could take a picture, you did. At the least you mentally marked the date, time and place and you made sure to phone it in. It was a big deal. While I'm still partial to the site of a bald eagle, it's become rather routine thanks to the amazing recovery of the...

  • Dakota Recreation Report: January 1, 2024

    Patricia Stockdill|Jan 1, 2024

    Time seems to move so quickly nowadays and after more than three decades of freelance writing, it’s time to move on to different adventures. This week’s report signals an end of my work with as the creator of the Independent’s Dakota Recreation Report, although I will still continue doing some writing. Thank you, readers, for taking time to check out what’s happening each week, sponsors for supporting it, the Stocks and Amy for understanding that outdoor recreation is important to many North Dakotans, and the people I checked in with on a re...

  • Dakota Recreation Report: December 18, 2023

    Patricia Stockdill|Dec 18, 2023

    Outdoor notes: *Ice is never completely safe. Avoid areas with vegetation, moving water, pressure ridges, and springs. Check conditions as you go along on the ice and don’t move around at night. *Dec. 21: West Canada Goose Zone closes. *Dec. 25: Have a wonderful Christmas. *Dec. 29: Missouri River Canada Goose Zone and light goose seasons closes. Fishing: *Devils Lake elevation, Dec. 12: 1,449.23 feet above mean sea level (MSL). *Stump Lake elevation: 1,449.16 MSL. *Lake Sakakawea elevation: 1,839.55 MSL; 17,200 cubic feet per second average (...

  • Snowmobile ND celebrates 50 years; state awaits adequate snowfall for trail openings

    Dec 18, 2023

    Bismarck, N.D. – North Dakota’s snowmobile season opened on Dec. 1, but several conditions must be met before the state’s 2,800 miles of snowmobile trails are open, groomed and ready for travel. Adequate snow cover of four inches must be on the ground to allow for trail packing and grooming. Signs must be put in place, and to travel across wetland areas the ice must be thick enough to support the weight of trail groomers. The public is encouraged to download the free Snowmobile North Dakota interactive trail map mobile app to view updat...

  • Tentative 2024 opening dates

    Dec 18, 2023

    The North Dakota Game and Fish Department annually provides its best estimate for opening dates to help hunters prepare for hunting seasons. Dates become official when approved by governor's proclamation. Tentative opening dates for 2024 include: • Spring Turkey: April 13 • Deer and Pronghorn Bow, Mountain Lion: Aug. 30 • Dove: Sept. 1 • Youth Deer: Sept. 13 • Sharptail, Hun, Ruffed Grouse, Squirrel, Youth Waterfowl: Sept. 14 • Early Resident Waterfowl: Sept. 21 • Regular Waterfowl: Sept. 28 • Pronghorn Gun: Oct. 4 • Youth Pheasant: Oct. 5...

  • Lottery app deadline

    Dec 11, 2023

    Nonprofit organizations eligible to receive big game hunting licenses in 2024 must have the application submitted to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department no later than Jan. 1. North Dakota state law provides direction for the Game and Fish director to allocate big game hunting licenses to eligible organizations. Under this directive, up to two elk, moose and pronghorn licenses, and 10 white-tailed deer licenses, can be issued to organizations for fundraising. Eligible organizations must be exempt from federal income taxation under section...

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