Outdoors briefly

2014 waterfowl regulations set

North Dakota’s 2014 waterfowl season has been set, with noteworthy changes including a season daily bag of one canvasback, and an additional two blue-winged teal only during the first 16 days of the season.

Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 27 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Oct. 4. The season for swans opens Oct. 4 for both residents and non-residents.

Hunters may take six ducks per day with the following restrictions: five mallards of which two may be hens, three wood ducks, three scaup, two redheads, two pintails and one canvasback. An additional two blue-winged teal can be taken from Sept. 27 through Oct. 12. The daily limit of five mergansers may include no more than two hooded mergansers. For ducks and mergansers, the possession limit is three times the daily limit.

The hunting season for Canada geese in the Missouri River zone will close Jan. 2, 2015, while the remainder of the state will close Dec. 25. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 7, while the season on light geese is open through Jan. 4, 2015. Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 1. Beginning Nov. 2, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.

Extended shooting hours for all geese are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Wednesdays through Nov. 26, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from Nov. 29 through the end of each season.

The bag limit for Canada geese during the regular season is eight daily and 24 in possession, except in the Missouri River zone where the limit is five daily and 15 in possession. The daily limit on whitefronts is two with six in possession, and light goose is 50 daily, with no possession limit.

The special youth waterfowl hunting season is Sept. 20-21. All migratory bird hunters, including waterfowl, must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters should refer to the 2014 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide for further details on the waterfowl season. Paper copies will be at license vendors in early September.

Swan hunt licenses remain

North Dakota’s swan lottery has been held and more than 300 licenses remain. Only hunters who do not have a swan license for the 2014 season can apply. Regulations limit hunters to one license per year.

Beginning Wednesday, all remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Resident and non-resident hunters will be able to apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the State Game and Fish Department website, (gf.nd.gov). Hunters may also request an application by calling the department’s Bismarck office at 328-6300. The license fee is $10 for residents and $30 for non-residents.

The statewide tundra swan hunting season is Oct. 4 through Jan. 4, 2015.

Sodbuster Days Sept. 6-7

Autumn is time for the semi-annual Sodbuster Days at Fort Ransom State Park on Sept. 6-7. Sodbuster Days give visitors a look at how North Dakota’s early settlers harvested the crops and celebrated a successful growing season. There are various historical demonstrations on both days, running Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The Fort Ransom Sodbuster Association demonstrations include: field work, cooking, small engines, blacksmithing, horse drawn machinery, kids’ crafts, wheelwright, thrashing, haying, kids games and live music – all part of living and working in early North Dakota. A pork supper is available on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. with adults charged $11 and kids $5.50. An old time jam session and Military Ball starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday kicks off with a pancake breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m.; a parade at 10:30 a.m.; and a Turn of the Century Style Show at 2 p.m.

The daily park fee is waived, but a $7 fee will be charged per person, with children ages 12 and under admitted free. There will be plenty of food and refreshments available throughout the event.

Corps sandbar spraying to begin

RIVERDALE – During September, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District will conduct vegetation management activities on sandbars in the Missouri River. Contractors will use a helicopter to spray sandbars with aquatic-approved herbicides to keep them clear of vegetation. This work is being done so that the sandbars can continue to be used by the endangered interior least tern and threatened piping plover for nesting.

The sandbars being treated are on the Missouri River between the Garrison Dam and the Hazelton Boat Ramp on Lake Oahe. The Bismarck-Mandan river reach and river miles 1364 and 1363 north of Washburn will not be sprayed.

Aerial spraying will begin after Labor Day and will be conducted only on vegetated portions of sandbars previously identified for treatment by a team of federal and state agency representatives. Spraying will be done with glyphosate and imazapyr, both approved for aquatic use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Spraying will take place only when environmental conditions allow, such as little to no wind and no rainfall in the immediate forecast. All spraying will be done by certified applicators using a helicopter. While efforts will be made to conduct spraying during the week when public use is lower, spraying may occur on weekends since good spraying days can be limited due to wind or rain.

The Corps began current vegetation control and removal activities on selected sandbars in 2012 and will continue each spring and/or fall, as needed, into the future.

Dove season opens Monday

North Dakota’s dove season opens statewide Monday. Hunters are reminded to register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. The daily limit is 15 and possession limit is 45. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. The season is open through Nov. 9.

All dove hunters must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and a general game and habitat license, regardless of age. In addition, hunters ages 16 and older need a small game license.

Hunters who purchase a hunting license through the State Game and Fish Department’s electronic licensing system (gf.nd.gov) or instant licensing telephone number at 800-406-6409 can easily get HIP certified.