Outdoors briefly

Candlelight event at Fort Stevenson

Fort Stevenson State Park is doing its part to battle January’s cabin fever by offering a special outdoor event on Jan. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. Visitors can hike, cross-country ski or snowshoe by candlelight and then enjoy some hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows at journey’s end.

The event is held on the park’s North Campground Loop, which is about a half-mile in length. Participants can use cross-country skis and snowshoes, but the loop can also be done on foot. Park staff will provide candle luminaries to light the way.

To determine availability of snowshoe and ski rentals, contact the park prior to participating in the event.

The park charges a $5 vehicle entrance fee. Fort Stevenson State Park is located south of Garrison. If you have questions, please call the park office at 337-5576 or email fssp@nd.gov.

Nonresident any-deer bow licenses

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will have 172 any-deer bow licenses available to nonresidents in 2014. The deadline for applying is March 1. A lottery will be held if more applications are received than licenses available. Any remaining licenses after March 1 will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

The nonresident any-deer bow application is available at the Game and Fish website, (gf.nd.gov). The application must be printed and sent in to the department.

The number of nonresident any-deer bow licenses available is 15 percent of the previous year’s mule deer gun license allocation. The Game and Fish Department issued 1,150 antlered mule deer licenses in the 2013 deer gun lottery.

Watchable Wildlife Checkoff on tax form

North Dakota citizens with an interest in supporting wildlife conservation programs are reminded to look for the Watchable Wildlife checkoff on the state tax form. The 2013 state income tax form gives wildlife enthusiasts an opportunity to support non-game wildlife like songbirds and birds of prey, while at the same time contributing to programs that help everyone enjoy all wildlife.

To learn more about Watchable Wildlife program activities, visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at (gf.nd.gov).

3F2 white-tailed deer tests positive for CWD

A second deer taken from unit 3F2 during the 2013 deer gun season has tested positive for chronic wasting disease. A hunter shot the adult whitetail buck in western Grant County. Testing was performed at Michigan State University, and verification of initial tests results are pending from a national lab in Ames, Iowa. Results from the remaining 3F2 samples, as well as all samples from the eastern third of the state, should be known in another month.

This is the fifth deer to test positive for CWD since 2009, and all were from the same general area within unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota. The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state.

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.