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NDGFD News March 8, 2021

March 8, 2021


• Zebra Mussels Found in Moss Balls at Pet Stores

• Landowners Interested in Wildlife Food Plot Seed

• Nonresident Any-Deer Bow Licenses


Zebra Mussels Found in Moss Balls at Pet Stores

Zebra mussels were recently found in moss balls at some pet stores in North Dakota and several other states. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is urging customers who recently purchased moss balls to properly dispose of them by placing in a bag, freezing solid and discarding into the trash. It’s important to not put moss balls down the toilet or drain.

North Dakota pet stores that received the contaminated shipment have been notified and have removed the moss balls from shelves.

For additional aquarium decontamination instructions, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website at


Game and Fish Offers Wildlife Food Plot Seed

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering free seed for the 2021 growing season to landowners interested in planting wildlife food plots for pheasants.

Rather than traditional corn or sunflower food plots, Game and Fish is offering a diverse species, multi-season seed mix that 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.

Private lands biologist Ryan Huber, Riverdale, said the Game and Fish Department is offering the seed as an outreach to landowners to help with habitat, as well as provide food for pheasants, deer, turkeys and a variety of other animals.

“Landowners have been very receptive,” Huber said. “We had several landowners contacting us throughout the summer wanting to show us. They are so proud of it.”

Wildlife food plot seed cooperator DJ Randolph from Velva is one such landowner. “I think it’s a great program,” Randolph said. “I like a variety of seed in a food plot blend. One, you’re providing different food at different stages of the year for a variety of wildlife. So whether it’s too hot, wet, dry, something in that food plot blend is going to come up and grow and provide what your wildlife need.”

Most Game and Fish food plots are part of the department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen program, but this food plot campaign does not require a PLOTS contract.

Game and Fish does ask participating landowners to allow reasonable public access, such as opening land to youth hunters. Another option simply could be putting up Ask Before You Enter signs. Landowners participating in the promotion cannot charge a fee for hunting.

Randolph provided youth hunters access to his food plots. “Youth hunters were able to harvest both deer and turkey last fall,” he said.

The Game and Fish Department will provide enough seed to cover up to a maximum 5-acre planting at no cost to the landowner.

“Any time you can get something that’s going to benefit wildlife at no charge to you, why wouldn’t you try to put that in?” Randolph said. “You can go on the website and sign up for it, contact the Game and Fish and they’ll arrange a distribution point for you to pick up the seed.”

Landowners interested in receiving the food plot seed must sign up online by March 31. Seed will be available in April at Game and Fish offices in Bismarck, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Harvey, Dickinson, Williston and Riverdale.

Game and Fish private land biologists can provide technical assistance on food plot location and site preparation.

Landowners who are interested in additional financial incentives may be considered for the PLOTS program as well. More information is available by contacting a private land biologist at any Game and Fish office in the state, or email  


Nonresident Any-Deer Bow Licenses

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will have 780 any-deer bow licenses available to nonresidents in 2021.

Applicants can apply online beginning March 15 on the Game and Fish website, The deadline for applying is April 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 1,486 people applied in 2020. 

The number of nonresident any-deer bow licenses available is 15% of the previous year’s mule deer gun license allocation.