Outdoors briefly

Fur harvester classes scheduled

The North Dakota Cooperative Fur Harvester Education Program is sponsoring a fur harvester education classes in Bismarck, Jamestown and Dickinson for anyone interested in trapping or hunting furbearers.

The free 16-hour course in Bismarck and Jamestown is Aug. 13 (5:30 to 9:30 p.m.), Aug. 15 (5:30 to 9:30 p.m.) and Aug. 17 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). The course in Dickinson is Sept. 7 and Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Graduates are issued a certification card that is recognized by any state requiring trapper education prior to purchasing a license.

Anyone interested in signing up for the class should access the Game and Fish Department website at (

State nixes 2013 pronghorn season

North Dakota’s pronghorn population is finally growing after five years of steady decline. However, Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor for the State Game and Fish Department, said numbers are still below population objectives and not high enough to warrant a hunting season. Therefore, the Game and Fish Department is recommending the pronghorn hunting season remain closed in 2013.

Recent survey results indicate the statewide population is 5,400 pronghorn, 49 percent higher than last year, but still 62 percent below 2008, the last year a hunting season was held.

This year, Stillings mentioned, fawn production was average to below average in all management regions. He said another mild to average winter in 2013 should encourage future population growth, but challenges remain with pronghorn habitat in the west.

“Fragmentation of habitat due to energy development and loss of Conservation Reserve Program acres in the secondary range are challenges facing future pronghorn recovery in the state,” Stillings said.

Record fishing license sales

Years of rising water, a record number of fishing lakes and aggressive fish management in North Dakota have helped produce record fishing license sales.

State Game and Fish Department fisheries chief Greg Power said in 2012-13 virtually every license category established a record high, or at the least had a substantial increase. “Even more impressive is (that) this was spread throughout the state, and not just in the rapidly growing counties of western North Dakota,” Power said.

Statistics compiled by the Game and Fish Department revealed more than 218,000 fishing licenses were sold last year, 20 percent higher than the previous record set in 1982. A total of 159,500 resident fishing licenses were sold last year, also breaking the record set 30 years ago. In addition, nearly 59,000 nonresident fishing licenses were purchased last year, easily surpassing the previous high set two years ago.

Boat North Dakota course

North Dakota boaters are reminded that children ages 12-15 who want to operate a boat or personal watercraft must take the state’s boating basics course.

State law requires youngsters ages 12-15 to pass the course before they operate a boat or personal watercraft with at least a 10 horsepower motor. In addition, major insurance companies give adult boat owners who pass the course a premium discount on boat insurance.

The course is available for home-study from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office. Two commercial providers also offer the course online, and links to those sites are found on the department’s website at (

While the home-study course is free, students will be charged a fee to take it online. The online provider charges for the course, not the Game and Fish Department. The fee stays with the online provider.

For more information, contact Nancy Boldt, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, by email at; or call 328-6300.

Halloween in July at Metigoshe

Lake Metigoshe State Park is hosting the eighth annual “Halloween in July” July 26-28. Everyone is invited and encouraged to bring Halloween costumes, candy, decorate campsites and participate in all of the spooky park events.

Activities start on Friday, with a haunted trail open from 9:30 to 11 p.m. Parking is available near the entrance of the trail; the overflow parking area is located near the entrance of Washegum Campground. For safety reasons, please do not bring baby strollers, bikes or pets on the trail during the haunted trail.

On Saturday, there are morning and evening activities. From 10 to 11:30 a.m., there will be trick-or-treating in the modern campgrounds. Kids not having a costume to wear can meet at the amphitheater to get their faces painted. Campers are encouraged to bring candy for the trick-or-treaters. At 9:30 p.m., there will be another frightful event taking place at the amphitheater.

Wrapping up the weekend’s programs, Halloween crafts will be made at the amphitheater on Sunday at 10 a.m. There will be prizes for the scariest campsites and best trick-or-treat host. For more information, call 263-4651.