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NDGFD News

NDGFD


 

Aug. 31, 2020 

Game and Fish Allocates Six Bighorn Sheep Licenses

Huntes Reminded of Big Game Transport Rules

Fire Danger Index for Fall Outdoor Activity

Grouse and Partridge Seasons Open Sept. 12

 

Game and Fish Allocates Six Bighorn Sheep Licenses

The Game and Fish Department allocated six bighorn sheep licenses for the 2020 hunting season, one more than last year.

 

Two licenses were issued in units B1 and B4, and one license in B3. In addition, one license, as authorized under North Dakota Century Code, was auctioned in March by the Midwest Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation, from which all proceeds are used to enhance bighorn sheep management in North Dakota.

 

The number of once-in-a-lifetime licenses allotted to hunters is based on data collected from the Game and Fish Department’s summer population survey. Brett Wiedmann, big game management biologist in Dickinson, said results showed a 22% increase in ram numbers from 2019 due primarily to high lamb survival last year.

 

“Our objective this hunting season is to maximize hunter opportunity in the northern badlands where ram numbers are strong while continuing to reduce the number of rams in the southern badlands, to lessen the risk of transmitting disease to the northern population,” Wiedmann said, while mentioning the concern is the ongoing effects of the bacterial pneumonia outbreak that was first detected in 2014 that resulted in a loss of 15-20% of the adult population.

 

Wiedmann noted there are more than 300 bighorn sheep north of Interstate 94, but fewer than 20 south of the interstate.

 

Game and Fish announced in February the status of the bighorn sheep hunting season would be determined after completion of the summer population survey. Prospective hunters were required to apply for a bighorn license earlier this year on the bighorn sheep, moose and elk application. A record 16,935 applicants applied for bighorn sheep. Successful applicants have been notified.

 

 

Hunters Reminded of Big Game Transport Rules

 

Big game hunters are reminded of requirements for transporting deer, elk and moose carcasses and carcass parts into and within North Dakota, as a precaution against the possible spread of chronic wasting disease.

 

Hunters are prohibited from transporting into or within North Dakota the whole carcass of deer, elk, moose or other members of the cervid family from states and provinces with documented occurrences of CWD in wild populations, or in captive cervids. 

 

In addition, hunters harvesting a white-tailed deer or mule deer from deer hunting units 3A1, 3B1, 3F2, 4B and 4C, a moose from moose hunting units M10 and M11, or an elk from elk hunting units E2 and E6, cannot transport the whole carcass outside the unit. However, hunters can transport the whole carcass between adjoining CWD carcass restricted units.

 

North Dakota Game and Fish Department district game wardens will be enforcing all CWD transportation laws.

 

Hunters are encouraged to plan accordingly and be prepared to quarter a carcass, cape out an animal, or clean a skull in the field, or find a taxidermist or meat locker within the unit or state who can assist.

 

Game and Fish maintains several freezers throughout the region for submitting heads for CWD testing, beginning Sept. 1.

 

For questions about how to comply with this regulation, hunters should contact a district game warden or other department staff ahead of the planned hunt.

 

The following lower-risk portions of the carcass can be transported:

 

Meat that has been boned out.

Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.

Meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately.

Hides with no heads attached.

Skull plates with antlers attached with no hide or brain tissue present.

Intact skulls with the hide, eyes, lower jaw and associated soft tissue removed, and no visible brain or spinal cord tissue present

Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.

Upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories.

Finished taxidermy heads.

 

 

Fire Danger Index for Fall Outdoor Activity

 

As hunting seasons and other fall outdoor activities get underway, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds hunters, anglers and other enthusiasts to be aware of the daily fire danger index.

 

Recent high daytime temperatures, combined with typical dry, late-summer ground conditions, has caused an elevated fire danger index in some counties that will influence outdoor activities.

 

Hunters are urged to keep up with the daily rural fire danger index, issued by the National Weather Service, to alert the public to conditions that may be conducive to accidental starting or spread of fires.

 

In addition, county governments have the authority to adopt penalties for violations of county restrictions related to burning bans. These restrictions apply regardless of the daily fire danger index and remain in place until each county’s commission rescinds the ban.

 

The fire danger index can change daily depending on temperature, wind and precipitation forecasts. If the index reaches the extreme category, open burning is prohibited; off-road travel with a motorized vehicle is prohibited, except for people engaged in a trade, business or occupation where it is required; and smoking is restricted to inside of vehicles, hard surface areas, homes or in approved buildings.

 

Information on current fire danger indexes is available at NDResponse.gov.

 

 

Grouse and Partridge Seasons Open Sept. 12

 

North Dakota’s hunting seasons for grouse and partridge will open Saturday, Sept. 12.

 

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

 

All hunters, regardless of age, must have a general game and habitat license. In addition, hunters age 16 and older need a small game license.

 

Hunters are urged to keep up with the daily rural fire danger index, issued by the National Weather Service, to alert the public to conditions that may be conducive to accidental starting or spread of fires. County governments also have the authority to adopt penalties for violations of county restrictions related to burning bans. These restrictions apply regardless of the daily fire danger index and remain in place until each county’s commission rescinds the ban. Information on current fire danger indexes is available through ndresponse.gov.

 

For other season information and regulations, hunters should consult the North Dakota 2020-21 Hunting and Trapping Guide.