Outdoors briefly

Hunters should note Canada goose limits

Canada goose hunters are reminded the daily and possession limits in the Missouri River Zone differ from the rest of the state.

The daily bag limit for Canada geese in the Missouri River Zone is five, with 15 in possession. The remainder of the state has a daily bag of eight Canada geese, with 24 in possession. A hunter may take up to eight Canada geese in a day, provided no more than five come from the Missouri River Zone. Subsequently, a hunter may possess up to 24 Canada geese, provided not more than 15 come from the Missouri River Zone.

All migratory bird hunters are reminded to register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters who purchase a license through the state Game and Fish Department website (gf.nd.gov) or instant licensing telephone number (800-406-6409) can easily get HIP certified.

Otherwise, hunters must call (888) 634-4798, or access the department’s website, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose season or the early Canada goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required only once per year in each state hunted.

Hunters should refer to the waterfowl hunting guide for season regulations including licensing requirements, dates, bag limits, season zones and nonresident hunting zones.

Waterfowl hunters reminded of ANS regulations

Waterfowl hunters are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species into or within North Dakota.

Waterfowl hunters must remove plants and plant fragments from decoys, strings and anchors; remove plants seeds and plant fragments from waders and other equipment before leaving hunting areas; remove all water from decoys, boats, motors, trailers and other watercraft; and remove all aquatic plants from boats and trailers before leaving a marsh or lake. In addition, hunters are encouraged to brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.

Cattails and bulrushes may be transported as camouflage on boats. All other aquatic vegetation must be cleaned from boats prior to transportation into or within North Dakota.

Watchable Wildlife picture deadline coming

The deadline for submitting photos to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest is Sept. 30.

The contest has categories for non-game and game species, as well as plants/insects. An overall winning photograph will be chosen, with the number of place winners in each category determined by the number of qualified entries. Contest entries are limited to digital files submitted on disk or via email. Contestants are limited to no more than five entries. Photos must have been taken in North Dakota.

By submitting an entry, photographers grant permission to Game and Fish to publish winning photographs in North Dakota OUTDOORS magazine, and on the Department’s website, (gf.nd.gov). Photo disks should be sent to Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest, c/o Patrick T. Isakson, North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 N. Bismarck Expy., Bismarck, ND 58501-5095.

Send emailed digital photos to photocontest@nd.gov. Digital submissions can be either original digital photographs, or scans made from prints or slides/transparencies. Photographers will need to supply the original image if needed for publication.

Photo disks will not be returned. All entries must be accompanied by the photographer’s name, address, phone number and email address if available. Other information such as photo site location and month taken are also useful.

Whooping crane migration sighting info sought

Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.

Whoopers stand about 5 feet tall and have a wingspan of about 7 feet from tip to tip. They are bright white with black wing tips, which are visible only when the wings are outspread. In flight they extend their long necks straight forward, while their long, slender legs extend out behind the tail. Whooping cranes typically migrate singly, or in groups of two to three birds, and may be associated with sandhill cranes.

Other white birds such as snow geese, swans and egrets are often mistaken for whooping cranes. The most common misidentification is pelicans, because their wingspan is similar and they tuck their pouch in flight, leaving a silhouette similar to a crane when viewed from below.

Anyone sighting whoopers should not disturb them, but record the date, time, location and the birds’ activity. Observers should also look closely for and report colored bands which may occur on one or both legs. Whooping cranes have been marked with colored leg bands to help determine their identity.

Whooping crane sightings should be reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office at Lostwood, 848-2466, or Long Lake, 387-4397, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s main office in Bismarck at 328-6300, or to local game wardens across the state. Reports help biologists locate important whooping crane habitat areas, monitor marked birds, determine survival and population numbers and identify times and migration routes.