Outdoors briefly

Youth pheasant weekend Oct. 5-6

North Dakota’s two-day youth pheasant season is Oct. 5-6. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents ages 15 and younger may hunt roosters statewide.

Resident youth hunters, regardless of age, must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Youth ages 12 and older need to have passed a certified hunter education course. The daily bag limit and all other regulations for the regular pheasant season apply. An adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the youth hunter in the field. The adult may not carry a firearm.

Hunting allowed in some parks

Limited deer hunting is taking place in three North Dakota state parks in 2013 – Fort Stevenson State Park near Garrison, Grahams Island State Park, southwest of Devils Lake, and Fort Ransom State Park in the Sheyenne River Valley.

Beginning Oct. 1, bow hunting for antlered or antlerless deer will be permitted at Fort Stevenson State Park. Bowhunters wishing to hunt at the park must apply for a special park permit, available at the park office during regular business hours from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Hunters must present a valid North Dakota bow license and unused tag to receive the special park permit. There is no charge for the special permits, which will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis, but hunters must display a current park entrance permit on their vehicles while on park land. For further information, contact Fort Stevenson State Park at 337-5576.

Hunters can harvest deer at Grahams Island State Park during the bow, gun and muzzleloader seasons. Grahams Island will also be open for turkey hunting beginning Oct. 12. Again, hunters must have the appropriate licenses, a park entrance permit on their vehicle, and a special park hunting permit to hunt special interior park units. For further information, contact Grahams Island State Park at 766-4015.

Fort Ransom State Park allows deer hunting during the regular deer gun season beginning Nov. 8 and concluding Nov. 24. Hunters must have tags for Unit 2 G1 along with a special park hunting permit which is issued by Fort Ransom State Park staff. For more information about Fort Ransom State Park contact the park at 973-4331.

Hunting is not permitted in any other state parks.

Conditions good for duck hunting

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates good wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout most of the state. Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird biologist, said the northwest has a record number of wetlands, while the rest of the state has wetland numbers similar to the 2003-12 average.

“Most areas are wetter than last year, with poorest conditions in the southern half of the state,” Szymanski said.

Much of the state has received significant rainfall in the last few weeks, while other areas remain dry. Hunters should be cautious driving off-trail to avoid soft spots, and areas like tall vegetation that could be a fire hazard.

The wetland survey is conducted in mid-September, just prior to the waterfowl hunting season, to provide an assessment of conditions duck hunters can expect.

Check for ANS on structures

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department urges local entities and water recreationists to check for new aquatic nuisance species infestations when pulling and storing fishing piers, boat docks and lifts prior to ice-up.

Fred Ryckman, Game and Fish ANS coordinator, said it is especially important to look for zebra mussels during this winter prep work. Zebra mussels will attach to hard surfaces, such as fishing piers, boat dock and lifts. Inspecting these structures when pulled from the water is important to determine if mussels are present.

If mussels are found, citizens are requested to leave the suspicious mussel attached, take a digital picture, and report findings immediately to a local Game and Fish Department district office. Pictures of zebra mussels are available on the 100th Meridian Initiative website at

(100thmeridian.org). To date, adult zebra mussels have not been found in any North Dakota waters.