One-Over Limit and Spring Fishing in North Dakota

April 23, 2014 by  

One-Over Limit and Spring Fishing in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   As air temperatures warm up during a North Dakota spring, fishing usually heats up as well. And heading into this spring, most anglers will agree that fishing in North Dakota the past couple of years is as good as it’s ever been. It could get even better this year. But even […]

Twenty Years of Fishing the Midwest

April 21, 2014 by  

Twenty Years of Fishing the Midwest

by Bob Jensen The 2014 thirteen-week run of Fishing the Midwest television concluded recently in most Midwest markets.  There are still some markets where Fishing the Midwest will continue to run through the rest of the year, but in most of our markets, 2014 is over and we’re starting to make new shows for 2015. […]

Paddlefish Snagging Season in North Dakota

April 16, 2014 by  

Paddlefish Snagging Season in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   In my early years with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, I was a district game warden. Prior to assuming responsibility for a district, new wardens learn different required skills from experienced wardens at stations around the state. My primary training warden was Kurt Aufforth, who at the time was […]

Crankin’ Up More Fish

April 15, 2014 by  

Crankin’ Up More Fish

by Bob Jensen   This morning there were two inches of new snow on the ground.  Winter doesn’t want to let go, but like it or not, winter is going away.  When it does, I’m going fishing.   And I’m going to be using a bait that many anglers don’t use early in the year.  I’m […]

Recapping the Deer Management Meetings

April 9, 2014 by  

Recapping the Deer Management Meetings

by Doug Leier   Most of us would already assume that April is a busy month for fisheries biologists, as ice-out brings pike spawning, then walleye spawning and initiation of all the other management work that corresponds to open water. Perhaps not so well known is that April is also a busy month for big […]

Ice-Out Panfish

April 7, 2014 by  

Ice-Out Panfish

by Bob Jensen   Most of the ponds and many of the small lakes across the Midwest are either free of ice or will be soon.  For those of us that are looking forward to getting back to open-water fishing, that means it’s time to get the panfish gear together.  In some places we fish […]

Watchable Wildlife in North Dakota

April 2, 2014 by  

Watchable Wildlife in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   Pheasants, ducks, geese, deer and other game animals get much of the wildlife press in North Dakota, but if publicity was based on numbers alone, the state’s “other” wildlife would capture the headlines more frequently. Biologists categorize more than 80 percent of North Dakota’s wildlife species as nongame, or those that […]

Get Ready for a New Fishing Season

April 1, 2014 by  

Get Ready for a New Fishing Season

by Bob Jensen The ice-fishing season of 2014 is starting to wind down and the open water fishing season of 2014 is getting underway.  There is still plenty of ice in many of the ice-fishing locales across the Midwest, but those of us who like to ice-fish know that our time on the ice is […]

Spring Season Fishing and Hunting

March 26, 2014 by  

Spring Season Fishing and Hunting

by Doug Leier   I’ve always enjoyed the arrival of spring. I’ve lived in a number of towns and areas in just about every corner of North Dakota, and whether it’s Williston, Bottineau, Bismarck or West Fargo, each has its own special draw. While all of us in the Midwest are fortunate to have four […]

Try Different Stuff This Year

March 25, 2014 by  

Try Different Stuff This Year

by Bob Jensen   I was going through one of my ice-fishing lure containers the other day and said to myself “I’ll be putting this stuff away before too long.”  It seems I talk to myself more and more lately.  Anyway, too much of the time we get locked into ideas that some lures are […]

Spring Light Goose Season Regulations

March 19, 2014 by  

Spring Light Goose Season Regulations

by Doug Leier   In case you missed it at the time, when temperatures were sub-zero and the countryside was white, North Dakota’s spring light goose season opened Feb. 15 and continues through May 18. At the same time, while most people probably wouldn’t have anticipated the first sightings of light geese until later in […]

Jig Your Way to More Fish

March 18, 2014 by  

Jig Your Way to More Fish

by Bob Jensen   Early in the open water fishing season, jigs are probably the Number One go-to bait for walleye anglers, and folks who fish for bass and panfish also use jigs early in the season.  There’s a reason for that:  Jigs are, plain and simple, fish-catchers.  In fact, many anglers, if they were […]

Hunting and Fishing License Fee Increases to take effect

March 12, 2014 by  

Hunting and Fishing License Fee Increases to take effect

by Doug Leier   Just about this time last year, the North Dakota legislature was working through a bill that would raise fees for many of the state’s hunting and fishing licenses. Eventually, Senate Bill 2231 passed the state senate overwhelmingly by a 39-6 vote, and the house followed suit with a vote of 77-15. […]

Be at the Right Level for More Fish

March 10, 2014 by  

Be at the Right Level for More Fish

by Bob Jensen When it comes to fishing success, in open water or through the ice, there are a few basic things you need to do.  Probably the most important thing is finding the fish.  You can’t catch ’em if you don’t find ’em. Once you’ve found the fish, you need to present a bait […]

New Fishing Guide Changes in North Dakota

March 5, 2014 by  

New Fishing Guide Changes in North Dakota

  by Doug Leier North Dakota’s fishing regulations are different than any other set of regulations the State Game and Fish Department produces. While they all cover laws, limits and season lengths, the fishing regulations cover a two-year period, while the others are developed annually. Fortunately, for pretty much all of the regulations guides that […]

Three Ideas for Open Water Fishing Success

March 4, 2014 by  

Three Ideas for Open Water Fishing Success

by Bob Jensen   It’s fifteen below zero outside, the wind is gusty, and the sidewalk needs to be shoveled.  What am I thinking about?  Open water fishing.  You know, that thing we do from a boat while wearing a tee-shirt and shorts and maybe sweating a little bit.  I am convinced that we will […]

Hunt is on for Private Land Open to Sportsmen program

February 26, 2014 by  

Hunt is on for Private Land Open to Sportsmen program

by Doug Leier   Most North Dakota hunters probably aren’t thinking much about the Private Land Open to Sportsmen (PLOTS) program right now, but late winter is a busy time for the people who are responsible for the annual PLOTS guide printed in late August each year. As a little refresher, PLOTS is a North […]

Selecting a Line for Open Water Fishing

February 24, 2014 by  

Selecting a Line for Open Water Fishing

by Bob Jensen Another open water fishing season is closing in. It’s still a ways off, but it’s getting closer every day. Maybe the most important thing you can do to enhance your fishing is to use fresh line. Fresh line will help you enjoy your fishing and catch more fish. Here’s why. Line that […]

Mid-Winter Waterfowl Numbers

February 19, 2014 by  

Mid-Winter Waterfowl Numbers

by Doug Leier   One of the most interesting facets of being an outreach biologist is the variety of work involved. A few weeks back I assisted with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s mid-winter waterfowl survey, as I’ve done in the past, and which biologists across the nation do each year. While the […]

Late Season Ice Fishing

February 17, 2014 by  

Late Season Ice Fishing

by Bob Jensen   The days are getting longer, and, although you might not believe it, it’s going to get warmer.  History would indicate that it’s going to get warmer.  March is almost always warmer than February, even in years that include a Polar Vortex.  Longer days and warmer temps this time of year mean […]

Deer Management Meetings in North Dakota

February 12, 2014 by  

Deer Management Meetings in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   For the last decade or so, North Dakota has had around 100,000 active deer hunters, plus or minus a few thousand in any given year. All of us should be interested in the upcoming series of deer management meetings the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has scheduled around the state […]

Rod Selections for Open Water Fishing

February 10, 2014 by  

Rod Selections for Open Water Fishing

by Bob Jensen This is the time of year when many of us start thinking about new equipment for open water fishing.  A lot of anglers are visiting sporting goods stores to look at the options in fishing rods.  It’s good to go to a store that has a wide selection of rods so you […]

Winter Fishing: Contour Maps & Fishing Waters Access

February 5, 2014 by  

Winter Fishing: Contour Maps & Fishing Waters Access

by Doug Leier   Like a lot of people, I’m often guilty of following a routine. That’s particularly true when it comes to choosing fishing spots. Year after year I can fish the same lakes, recall past visits, and assess the current state – whether the water is up or down, or whether there are […]

Getting Hooked – Tips on How to Handle Hook Extractions

February 4, 2014 by  

Getting Hooked – Tips on How to Handle Hook Extractions

by Bob Jensen   Fishing is a fun thing to do: That’s why so many people do it.  Did you know that that are more anglers than golfers and tennis players combined?  That’s a lot.  With that many people going fishing, every now and then something bad or unpleasant is going to happen.  It might […]

Pike and Perch Fishing in North Dakota

January 29, 2014 by  

Pike and Perch Fishing in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   I’ve always enjoyed my own little internal debates, like would I rather have a 12-ounce hamburger steak for a little less price than an 8-ounce ribeye? And the same concept applies to the outdoors. Would you rather catch 15 decent perch, or three big pike during a few hours of ice […]

Color Under the Ice

January 28, 2014 by  

Color Under the Ice

by Bob Jensen   It might not seem like it, but the late ice season is not that far off.  With Polar Vortex’s and such displaying their power, warmer weather seems like a long way off.  However, as the days continue to get longer and the sun moves farther north, we can be assured that […]

Winter Wildlife Survival in North Dakota

January 22, 2014 by  

Winter Wildlife Survival in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   It’s that time of year again when lots of people start wondering about how North Dakota’s wildlife is surviving the winter. Not that wild animals don’t have struggles the rest of the year, too. Finding enough to eat, or not getting eaten, are daily challenges year-round, but mix in a countryside […]

Fishing in 2014—Thirty-Five Years of Changes

January 21, 2014 by  

Fishing in 2014—Thirty-Five Years of Changes

by Bob Jensen Recently I shared some memories of a couple of fishing trips with Al and Ron Lindner.  At that time I mentioned that I had been in the fishing business for thirty-five years.  In those thirty-five years a lot of changes have taken place in regards to the equipment we use.  Let’s take […]

Coyote Catalog Seeks Landowner Participation

January 15, 2014 by  

Coyote Catalog Seeks Landowner Participation

by Doug Leier   For as often as I hear people lament the electronic age we live in, there’s always a flip side. While I’ll never spend more time looking at my phone than at a bobber, I’ll also never intentionally leave the phone at home either, because it provides nearly instant emergency access and […]

First Ice Fishing Trip of 2014

January 13, 2014 by  

First Ice Fishing Trip of 2014

by Bob Jensen The year 2014 started off with cold temperatures and reports of a hot perch bite on Big Stone Lake at Ortonville Minnesota, right on the Minnesota/South Dakota border.  Some friends and I planned a trip to Big Stone with an eye on the weather.  We decided that as soon as there was […]

Hunter Education and Certification in North Dakota

January 8, 2014 by  

Hunter Education and Certification in North Dakota

by Doug Leier Since pheasant, grouse and archery deer seasons just ended a couple of weeks ago, don’t blame hunters if they aren’t already planning for next fall. But if you have a child, friend or relative who will need a hunter education certificate in order to purchase a hunting license in 2014, now is […]

Mid-Season Ice Fishing Ideas

January 7, 2014 by  

Mid-Season Ice Fishing Ideas

by Bob Jensen In many areas where anglers fish through the ice this time of year, we are at about the midway part of the season.  Most lakes have a good cover of ice as well as some snow.  We also have cold weather, lots of it.  There are a number of things we can […]

Thirty-Five Years in the Fishing Game

December 30, 2013 by  

Thirty-Five Years in the Fishing Game

by Bob Jensen   It’s at this time of year every year that I reflect on years passed:  I don’t mean to do this, I just can’t help it.  And, for the most part, my trips down Memory Lane are usually pretty pleasant.  As I tripped down Memory Lane from the comfort of my couch […]

Fishing & Hunting North Dakota in 2014

December 30, 2013 by  

Fishing & Hunting North Dakota in 2014

by Doug Leier   Looking ahead to 2014, it’s hard not to get excited, or stay excited, about the excellent fishing prospects that lie ahead for North Dakota. None of us who are anglers today have ever lived through a time when the state has had more fishing waters than it does right now. Many […]

Fishing 2013 – A Look Back

December 23, 2013 by  

Fishing 2013 – A Look Back

by Bob Jensen As the 2014 fishing season gets closer, now is a good time to look back at the 2013 fishing season.  I get to travel quite a bit in my fishing and I always enjoy reliving those travels and fishing trips.  This past year was a busy one, and many of my trips […]

Wildlife Population in 2013 Review

December 23, 2013 by  

Wildlife Population in 2013 Review

by Doug Leier My short-term memory is sharp enough to recall that the 2013 winter lasted a little too long for my liking, and unless April cross-country skiing or snowmobiling are a draw, I’d suggest ice anglers had plenty of time from last December through March to give way to spring. But in 2013, spring […]

Habitat Maintenance and Effects on Wildlife Populations

December 18, 2013 by  

Habitat Maintenance and Effects on Wildlife Populations

by Doug Leier For years, North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists have stressed the importance of habitat in maintaining healthy wildlife populations in the long term. At the recent round of Game and Fish advisory board meetings, that topic got a lot of emphasis, and brought to light many discussions on the “good old […]

Mid-Season Ice Fishing

December 16, 2013 by  

Mid-Season Ice Fishing

by Bob Jensen The middle part of the ice-fishing season will soon be here.  There are things we do in the middle of the season that we don’t do earlier in the year.  For more fishing success in the next few weeks, keep these ideas in mind. I was fishing for perch through the ice […]

Winter Wildlife Management: Artificial Feeding and Habitat

December 11, 2013 by  

Winter Wildlife Management: Artificial Feeding and Habitat

by Doug Leier Wildlife management has changed over time. One prime example is the historical practice of feeding wildlife – deer, birds and just about everything in between, especially during winter when people perceive a shortage of food. This practice was once embraced by most wildlife professionals, and the traditional thought process made sense to […]

Finding Hunting and Fishing Hot Spots: Technology vs. Traditional

December 4, 2013 by  

Finding Hunting and Fishing Hot Spots: Technology vs. Traditional

by Doug Leier I’m pretty certain my wife and kids tire of my stories from “back in the day” or “how things used to be.” More often than not, it’s a discussion about how technology and electronic advances keep people from getting outside, or the capability to visit with new “friends” while waiting in checkout […]

Ideas for Dressing for Winter Fishing

November 29, 2013 by  

Ideas for Dressing for Winter Fishing

by Bob Jensen Winter has definitely arrived in the Midwest. The Midwest provides lots of fishing opportunities throughout the winter months for both open water and ice anglers.  Many anglers like to go ice-fishing; many others enjoy fishing in the open water in rivers below dams.  Regardless of where you go fishing, you need to […]

Late Season Hunting & Fishing Opportunities

November 27, 2013 by  

Late Season Hunting & Fishing Opportunities

by Doug Leier For many hunters, November is a peak and valley, the best of times and the worst of times. As North Dakota’s popular deer gun hunting season opens and closes, thousands of hunters begin and end their hunting activities within the 16 ½ days the regular season takes place. While most of the […]

Line up for Ice Fishing

November 21, 2013 by  

Line up for Ice Fishing

by Bob Jensen   Ice-fishing and open water fishing are very similar in some ways and very different in others.  The differences are obvious; the similarities are much more subtle.  One of the things that open water fishing and ice-fishing have in common is the importance of the line you’re using.  At any time of […]

Weather Pattern Effects on Fall Fish Reproduction in North Dakota

November 20, 2013 by  

Weather Pattern Effects on Fall Fish Reproduction in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   The long winter and tardy spring of 2013 disrupted a lot of outdoor activities, including farm and construction work and baseball games and track meets. The weather also influenced North Dakota wildlife, particularly upland game birds, which experienced a relatively poor reproduction year that State Game and Fish Department biologists partly […]

Sportsmen Against Hunger programme helps communities

November 14, 2013 by  

Sportsmen Against Hunger programme helps communities

by Doug Leier   In 2013, North Dakota has fewer deer licenses than in any year since 1983, and anyone who was lucky enough to receive a license can only have one for the deer gun season. That’s a big change from even five years ago when the state allocated more than twice as many […]

Favorite Fishing Spots of 2013

November 7, 2013 by  

Favorite Fishing Spots of 2013

  by Bob Jensen During the course of a fishing season, I get to fish a lot of different lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.  Some lakes go through changes, some good, some not so good.  This past year I had the opportunity to fish several bodies of water that have changed some since the last time […]

Safety First this Deer Hunting Season

November 6, 2013 by  

Safety First this Deer Hunting Season

by Doug Leier   It’s a safe assumption that few hunters ever leave home thinking, “I just might end up in a hunting accident today.” That’s no different than a farmer doing field work or a family just going for a Sunday drive. We seldom assume the worst, but we also buckle up our seat […]

Deer Hunting Q&A – Rules and Regulations

October 30, 2013 by  

Deer Hunting Q&A – Rules and Regulations

by Doug Leier Every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common questions are listed below. I can’t find my deer license. What should I do? You must obtain an application for a duplicate license from the Game and Fish Department […]

Bighorn Sheep Population & Gun Season in North Dakota

October 23, 2013 by  

Bighorn Sheep Population & Gun Season in North Dakota

by Doug Leier Most everyone who hunts in North Dakota, whether they actually hunt deer or not, knows the opening day for deer gun season is Friday, Nov. 8. I’d also venture to guess that unless you were one of the four hunters who have a North Dakota bighorn sheep license for this fall, or […]

Game and Fish Studies across North Dakota this fall

October 16, 2013 by  

Game and Fish Studies across North Dakota this fall

  by Doug Leier State Game and Fish Department biologists conduct a variety of studies every year. The familiar ones are those that provide counts or indexes that factor into season setting and limits, and also set hunter and angler expectations. Sometimes, it’s fairly obvious why fish or game populations are up or down. In […]

License Reminder before Deer Gun Season Opens

October 9, 2013 by  

License Reminder before Deer Gun Season Opens

by Doug Leier Seasonal periodic reminders urging thousands of deer hunters to take a few minutes to locate their 2013 deer license are being made by the State Game and Fish Department. The primary reason for the reminders is that it’s not uncommon for hunters to misplace or accidentally toss a license between the time […]

Small Details, Bigger Catches

October 7, 2013 by  

Small Details, Bigger Catches

by Bob Jensen Fishing in the fall can be good. Really good.  Really, really good.  If you pay attention to detail, you can be even more successful at this time of year.  As I think back on some of my fall fishing trips, I remember how we caught a lot more fish because we tweaked […]

Pheasant numbers down leading up to season opening in North Dakota

October 2, 2013 by  

Pheasant numbers down leading up to season opening in North Dakota

by Doug Leier Parallels are often drawn between sports and the outdoors because it sometimes helps to look at situations from different perspectives. Each season it seems, begins with promise, hope and optimism, along with predictions and prognostications. It’s a scenario that applies to your local high school or college football team, birds, deer or […]

Big Game Transport Regulations to Prevent Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

September 25, 2013 by  

Big Game Transport Regulations to Prevent Spread of Chronic Wasting Disease

by Doug Leier With all the archery deer hunting activity and the coming spike with deer gun season, it’s a good time to remind hunters of specific regulations on transporting deer and other big game. Keep in mind, these are specific to North Dakota and with the mobility of hunters taking the fields in other states, […]

Waterfowl Hunting Season Opening in North Dakota

September 18, 2013 by  

Waterfowl Hunting Season Opening in North Dakota

by Doug Leier Many hunters these days are bemoaning a downward population trend for deer and pheasants in North Dakota. On the other hand, for 2013 at least, duck and goose populations are in good shape and can provide opportunities that hunters may not want to overlook. Opening day for North Dakota residents is September […]

Waterfowl Hunting Rules and Regulations: Aquatic Nuisance Species

September 11, 2013 by  

Waterfowl Hunting Rules and Regulations: Aquatic Nuisance Species

Doug Leier For good reason, the State Game and Fish Department makes every effort to explain waterfowl hunting rules and regulations that hunters will need to know as they take the field this fall. This includes daily bag limits, species restrictions, season lengths, special zones and hunting hours. Most of these areas of interest are […]

Crappies Down Deep

September 9, 2013 by  

Crappies Down Deep

by Bob Jensen Almost anyone who enjoys freshwater fishing enjoys catching crappies.  Crappies are great on the table, they’re abundant in many waters, they are very appealing visually, and best of all, when you get on them they can be willing biters.  In the fall months, if you can find the crappies they will provide […]

Maintaining Public Hunting Lands & Wildlife Management Areas

September 9, 2013 by  

Maintaining Public Hunting Lands & Wildlife Management Areas

Doug Leier For most of us, the road traveled matters little once we’ve arrived at our destination. Seldom do we realize – or appreciate – when beginning a pheasant hunt across the prairie, the time and energy it takes to provide access to a public hunting spot. When you get to spend a few hours […]

Survey Estimates – Hunting Seasons Management

September 4, 2013 by  

Survey Estimates – Hunting Seasons Management

Doug Leier If you catch a conversation between hunters and hear a reference to HIP, chances are they are discussing the Harvest Information Program and not what their kids or teenage neighbors are into. HIP is a survey method developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a means to collect more reliable estimates […]

Wildlife Surveys & Fall Flight Forecasting

August 29, 2013 by  

Wildlife Surveys & Fall Flight Forecasting

By Doug Leier Hunters are not much different than sports fans when it comes to looking forward to upcoming seasons and learning about expert analysis and predictions. Fall flight forecasts for waterfowl and results from upland game brood surveys will pique the interest of hunters and wildlife managers alike. Along the way, from crow and […]

Early Canada Goose Season Licensing

August 22, 2013 by  

Early Canada Goose Season Licensing

Doug Leier North Dakota’s early Canada goose season has been around for more than a decade and has gone through many evolution’s since it started in 1999. The big change this year is that hunters of all ages, both resident and nonresident, will for the first time need a special license. It’s a specific effort […]