Outdoors briefly

PLOTS Guide available online

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide for 2014 is now available online at the Department’s website, (gf.nd.gov). In addition, PLOTS Guides will be available at most license vendors throughout the state in early September.

The guide will feature about 735,000 PLOTS acres. Because the guide is printed in mid-August, some PLOTS tracts highlighted in the guide may have been removed from the program since the time of printing. There will also be some PLOTS tracts where the habitat and condition of the tract will have changed significantly. Conversely, Game and Fish may have added new tracts to the program after the guide went to press.

To minimize possible confusion, Game and Fish will update PLOTS map sheets weekly on its website. The guides are free.

HIP certification required

All migratory game bird hunters, regardless of age, are reminded that Harvest Information Program registration is required Sept. 1. However, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department recommends that early Canada goose season hunters get HIP certified before the Aug. 15 opener.

HIP certification is required for hunting ducks, geese, swans, mergansers, coots, cranes, snipe, doves or woodcock. Registration provides the Game and Fish Department with a database of names and addresses of migratory bird hunters, and a sample of these hunters will receive a questionnaire regarding hunting activity and number of birds harvested. Hunter compliance is essential in order to obtain reliable estimates of the annual harvest of all migratory game bird species.

Hunters who purchase a license through the department’s electronic licensing system (gf.nd.gov) or instant licensing telephone number at 800-406-6409 can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters can access the Game and Fish website, or call 888-634-4798 and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again.

Record fishing license sales

The number of anglers buying fishing licenses in North Dakota continues to increase. 2013-14 is the second consecutive year a new record for license sales has been established.

Statistics compiled by the Game and Fish Department revealed more than 219,000 fishing licenses were sold last year, an increase of 1,000 from 2012-13. A record total of 160,100 resident and 59,300 nonresident fishing licenses were sold last year.

Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake and Lake Oahe/Missouri River remained the top three fisheries in the state.

Youth Outdoor Festival in Minot

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department, local wildlife clubs and other sponsors will usher youngsters into fall during the eighth annual Youth Outdoor Festival in Minot. The event is Thursday, Sept. 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Conservation and Outdoors Skills Center on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds.

Department outreach biologist Greg Gullickson, Minot, said this event illustrates the importance of wildlife clubs introducing youth to all the different outdoor activities North Dakota has to offer. “The Minot area clubs are a showcase of different groups getting together with one common goal – providing today’s youth with fishing and hunting opportunities in the outdoors,” Gullickson said.

Kids will have an opportunity to experience a number of activities, including archery, fishing, waterfowl and upland game. “It doesn’t matter if your passion is ducks, deer, fish or pheasants,” Gullickson said. “The Conservation and Outdoor Skills Center at the fair provides the perfect setting.”

Prizes will be awarded and food provided for young outdoor enthusiasts. For more information, contact Gullickson at 720-1640.