Give Wildlife Plenty of Space This Winter

January 25, 2017 by  

Give Wildlife Plenty of Space This Winter

I’ve been getting peppered with questions about winter and wildlife since the snow began to fall and the wind started to blow back in late November and early December. Until just recently, the snow continued to accumulate, and the wind continued to blow it around, while temperatures plunged below zero at night more often than […]

Plenty of Hunting Opportunities Remain in 2016

December 14, 2016 by  

Plenty of Hunting Opportunities Remain in 2016

For many, enjoying North Dakota’s outdoors in December means waiting for the ice to firm up for ice fishing, darkhouse spearfishing, or maybe muskrat trapping. But there’s no shortage of other things to do in the next few weeks while the ice is taking its time. While most of the good duck, pheasant, goose and […]

North Dakota Pheasants – By the Numbers

September 28, 2016 by  

North Dakota Pheasants – By the Numbers

North Dakota’s pheasant season is just around the corner, but before we take a look at the prospects for hunters on opening day, let’s glance in the rear view mirror for a recent historical recap. Last year, about 85,000 resident and nonresident hunters bagged about 590,000 roosters. That was up just slightly from the 587,000 […]

Spring Survey Info Announced for Pheasants and Sharp-Tailed Grouse

July 20, 2016 by  

Spring Survey Info Announced for Pheasants and Sharp-Tailed Grouse

In July most people are still associating the outdoors with fishing, boating or camping, but it’s also a time when talk of hunting starts working its way into conversations. And that seems only logical, considering the early Canada goose season, the first major 2016 “fall” hunting season, opens on Aug. 15 with, officially speaking, still […]

2015 and Beyond – Fishing, Pheasant and Grouse

December 30, 2015 by  

2015 and Beyond – Fishing, Pheasant and Grouse

I’ve always enjoyed my final column of the year and first column of the next year, as a kind of closing one door and then looking ahead to what may or may not be coming for the next year. This year, instead of one review and one preview, I’ll cover the past and future for […]

Pheasant Numbers on the Rise in North Dakota

October 14, 2015 by  

Pheasant Numbers on the Rise in North Dakota

Even with reduced deer gun hunting opportunities the past several years, I’ll still argue that deer hunting is king in North Dakota in terms of popularity. More than 70,000 prospective hunters continue to apply for regular deer gun season licenses, maintaining the popularity of deer hunting even though fewer than half the hunters who applied […]

Fall Hunting Expectations

September 30, 2015 by  

Fall Hunting Expectations

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about our attitudes and perceptions. The back-and-forth went from complaining about the weather to a fear of flying, and it got me to thinking about hunting. A bright sunny day with no wind is usually not very good for duck hunting in October, but such […]

PLOTS Signs a Boon for North Dakota Hunters

September 23, 2015 by  

PLOTS Signs a Boon for North Dakota Hunters

Next to sunflowers, Private Lands Open to Sportsmen signs are probably the most visible yellow objects found across the prairies of North Dakota this autumn. Over the past years, PLOTS signs have become synonymous with quality habitat open for hunting access. The signs mark the boundaries of parcels of private land that landowners have opened […]

Pheasant Population Counts Up Statewide

July 16, 2015 by  

Pheasant Population Counts Up Statewide

Most hunters don’t apologize if their conversations drift to the coming fall hunting season while they are still enjoying summer fishing, camping or one of many other outdoor activities. We’re prone to keeping one eye on the bobber and another on the calendar while our imagination ponders what the fields and skies might hold this […]

Youth Wildlife Programs in North Dakota

April 1, 2015 by  

Youth Wildlife Programs in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   My interest in fishing and hunting began long before specific opportunities we’re designed to encourage young hunters and anglers. The 1980s didn’t have youth deer, waterfowl and pheasant seasons, or special turkey licenses, just to name just a few. I do remember that the local Jaycee’s sponsored some youth BB gun […]

Watchable Wildlife Program Projects

February 12, 2015 by  

Watchable Wildlife Program Projects

by Doug Leier   When you stop and focus as you are driving or walking across North Dakota, you’ll realize the majority of wild animals don’t fall into the “game” or “hunted” category. And yet, the few species for which hunting or fishing is allowed attract the lion’s share of concerns from people who enjoy […]

Don’t Forget to Participate in the 2014 Upland Game Wing Survey

September 10, 2014 by  

Don’t Forget to Participate in the 2014 Upland Game Wing Survey

By Doug Leier As a life-long resident of North Dakota, I take pride in knowing that hunters contribute more to our outdoor heritage than just license dollars. Something as simple as voluntarily reporting violations goes a long way to assist game wardens in doing their jobs, and many poachers are caught each year because hunters […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Lessons from Shane Mahoney

February 20, 2013 by  

Lessons from Shane Mahoney

Mahoney’s three-part message was resounding and clear: we need wildlife and wild places to remind us of our past and our humanity, the hunting, fishing and outdoors opportunities we have now must be guarded or they will be taken away

Getting Involved

February 6, 2013 by  

Getting Involved

Many conservation issues have a degree of politics attached to them, and within a group, differing views can foster a better understanding of the issues, and lead to more effective input.

Re-purposing Pheasant Feathers for Fishing

January 20, 2013 by  

Re-purposing Pheasant Feathers for Fishing

I am constantly exploring new ways to use the feathers from my favorite upland bird – the ringneck pheasant

Wildlife Winter Survival

January 10, 2013 by  

Wildlife Winter Survival

By Doug Leier Many animals have adaptations that help them get through winter, but in some years even those natural defenses are not a sure hedge against death. Some have thick winter coats, and their metabolism slows down. Bears hibernate. Sharp-tailed grouse have feathers out to their toes and other feathers that protect their nostrils from […]

CRP Loss

August 20, 2012 by  

CRP Loss

Doug Leier Throughout the years I’ve been writing, I’ve continued to highlight the Conservation Reserve Program, and for good reason. It’s not by sheer accident that North Dakota’s wildlife populations have experienced a contemporary revival that rivals most hunters’ recollections of “the good old days.” Many factors influence wildlife populations, and weather and habitat are […]

Prepare for the Pheasant Hunting Season

August 20, 2012 by  

Prepare for the Pheasant Hunting Season

By Dennis Foster Thoughts of Pheasant Hunting may not be your highest priority until the leaves are falling.  But, if you are serious about the sport and want to get the most out of your hunting experience…you should be doing something about it right now. I know many of you feel all you need to […]

Where to Hunt?

August 9, 2012 by  

Where to Hunt?

By Doug Leier Even though I couldn’t squeak more than a “C” out of college calculus, I’ve always enjoyed thinking through complex questions. It’s the easy ones that sometimes seem to trip me up. And in my position as a State Game and Fish Department outreach biologist, and as a district game warden before that, […]

Preparing for Fall

June 26, 2012 by  

Preparing for Fall

By Nick Simonson Why does it seem like summer is busier than any other season of the year? Is it because the warm weather makes it much more enjoyable to be outside, so that the days feel so fleeting? Is it because the rush of trout, pike, walleyes and smallmouth has faded and now I’m […]

Conservation Message – Bits & Pieces

March 21, 2012 by  

Conservation Message – Bits & Pieces

By Nick Simonson Normally, I’d being talking about getting ready for spring by now.  But in case you missed it, spring is over.  Welcome to June.  All kidding and weather-banter aside, spring is here and everyone’s timetable has been moved up, but there are some important dates, activities and here-and-now conservation message actions that are […]

Retrieving Upland Game

November 7, 2011 by  

Retrieving Upland Game

By Nick Simonson While finishing up a walk for ruffed grouse along the Saint Louis River in northeastern Minnesota this weekend, I decided to skirt the edge of a stand of young aspen trees which came right up to a stretch of sixty-year-old red pines. I weaved in and out of the last row of […]

PLOTS Guide

September 21, 2011 by  

PLOTS Guide

Doug Leier Over the past two decades the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has emphasized wildlife habitat enhancement and hunting access on private land through its Private Land Initiative. Most North Dakota hunters are familiar with the Private Land Open to Sportsmen program, which provides walking hunting access to more than a million acres […]

The Plight of the Partridge

February 22, 2011 by  

The Plight of the Partridge

By Doug Leier When it comes to winter and wildlife, we give much time and attention to pheasants and deer. While I won’t begrudge the attention for arguably the two most popular hunted species in North Dakota, there’s a host of other critters working their way through winter with us as well. Some, like the […]

Late Season Compromise

December 10, 2010 by  

Late Season Compromise

By Nick Simonson When temperatures drop below freezing, my thoughts generally turn to ice fishing. My wife’s thoughts on the other hand, turn to ways to keep me from testing the newly-formed surface of local waters. And as we usually do in our marriage, we have reached a nice compromise on this issue. In the […]

Late Season Pheasant Hunting

December 10, 2010 by  

Late Season Pheasant Hunting

By Doug Leier For those of us who like to spend as much time as possible on the outside of the window, October is a sort of early Christmas present. Hunting seasons for just about everything are open, and fall fishing can be just as hot as summer, but without humidity and mosquitoes. While crunching […]

ND Trax for your PC

November 4, 2010 by  

ND Trax for your PC

TRAX PC – The Adventure Continues! Kirsch’s Outdoor Products is announcing the immediate release of TRAX PC. This product takes the power of TRAX GPS maps and overlays the GPS sportsman map details on the satellite imagery of Google Earth. “The feedback of the TRAX maps has been amazing,” said Korey Kirschenmann, Owner of Kirsch’s […]

CRP – Make the Call

September 29, 2010 by  

CRP – Make the Call

By Nick Simonson Last winter was one of the harshest I can recall since my senior year of high school. That winter of 1996-97 kicked off with a cold and snowy November and weekly storm events occurred straight on through the “Flizzard” in April, which flooded both Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D., ending the most […]

CRP Signup Time

August 18, 2010 by  

CRP Signup Time

By Doug Leier Whether we like it or not, it’s part of human nature to take for granted things that become part of our lives or benefit us over the long term. The only way we can truly appreciate the value of what we have, is to have less of it. In the outdoor world, […]

Looking to Fall in ND

August 3, 2010 by  

Looking to Fall in ND

By Doug Leier With the Vikings into training camp, regardless of who plays quarterback for the Purple this fall, most experts agree it should be a good season. The same goes for North Dakota’s primary gamebird species this fall. That said, there’s no guarantee and we really won’t know until hunters or football players take […]

Hunting Sage Grouse

July 20, 2010 by  

Hunting Sage Grouse

By Doug Leier While it won’t become official until the annual small game hunting proclamation is finalized later this month, it’s a certainty that North Dakota will not have a sage grouse season again this fall. This will mark the third year in a row that the state has not had an open season on […]

Buck Knives Father’s Day Sale

June 10, 2010 by  

Buck Knives Father’s Day Sale

BUCK KNIVES 40% OFF Father’s Day Sale! 40% OFF Any Knife!* www.buckknives.com Get dad a new knife this Father’s Day at an unbeatable price. Buck has a knife for every occasion. Be sure to check out our Father’s Day Special! It’s a limited edition 110 Folding Hunter with Nickel Silver Bolsters, instead of the standard […]

All in the Stats

March 17, 2010 by  

All in the Stats

By Doug Leier I’ve always been intrigued by numbers and the dynamics of statistics. While the numbers themselves, if they are accurate, are more or less facts, the factors contributing to those final statistics are where the real fun comes in. Consider, for instance, last fall’s deer and pheasant harvest numbers. When the North Dakota […]

Cold Weather Pheasants

December 14, 2009 by  

Cold Weather Pheasants

By Nick Simonson It’s a cold day with clear blue skies following the winter’s first blizzard, which left six inches of snow as an early Christmas present. A group of buntings flits from the shoulder to the field edge as I turn my hard-starting pickup off of the highway. We rumble down the gravel road […]

Late Season Pheasant Hunting

December 9, 2009 by  

Late Season Pheasant Hunting

By Doug Leier Growing up as a kid in the 1980s, across the prairie from Williston to LaMoure and Valley City, December was a time of transition in our house. After the close of regular deer rifle season, the collection of my Dad’s gear in the “ready” position shifted from primarily hunting, to a mix […]

Double Down on Pheasants

October 20, 2009 by  

Double Down on Pheasants

By Nick Simonson This year’s pheasant opener was unique in a number of ways. It was the first time I had opened the season somewhere other than North Dakota, with kickoff usually held at my grandmother’s farm near Watford City, N.D. in the company of my dad, brother, uncle and cousins. The hunting report from […]

A Look Back at ND in 2006

February 18, 2009 by  

A Look Back at ND in 2006

By Doug Leier  This week we’ll take a look back at the outdoor issues and topics that shaped North Dakota in 2006, through interviews with fisheries and wildlife division leaders for the State Game and Fish Department. It’s been an interesting year, with many positive stories to report. At the same time there are concerns […]

How to Pheasant Hunt Late Season Roosters in SD

February 18, 2009 by  

How to Pheasant Hunt Late Season Roosters in SD

By PJ Maguire I  have said it before, and I will say it again. When there is snow on the ground and the sloughs are frozen, that is the best time of the year to hunt pheasants. This year we have had snow and freezing temps across the Midwest during a good part of pheasant […]

PLOTS

February 18, 2009 by  

PLOTS

By Doug Leier We’re building on a generation of hunters who grew up with the Conservation Reserve Program. Just about half of that generation has never known a North Dakota landscape that did not have at least a few fields marked with a triangular yellow Private Land Open to Sportsmen or PLOTS sign encouraging walk-in […]

The History of Hunting Dogs in North Dakota

February 18, 2009 by  

The History of Hunting Dogs in North Dakota

By Doug Leier Looking back over the history of hunting and conservation in North Dakota, there’s never a shortage of topics warranting a double-take. Even the contemporary populations of Canada geese, and realizing we’re allotting 100,000 more deer tags than in the 1970s fit that category. Here’s another tidbit from the annals of North Dakota […]

Surviving the Winter

February 18, 2009 by  

Surviving the Winter

By Doug Leier Humans cope with winter in a number of ways, and looking out at the wildlife world it’s interesting to compare our mechanisms with those of other creatures and critters. Take for instance what we commonly call snow birds, or those folks who spend spring, summer and fall in our midst, but choose […]

CRP Loss Equals Less Wildlife

February 18, 2009 by  

CRP Loss Equals Less Wildlife

By Doug Leier It’s no secret that Conservation Reserve Program acreage continues to decline in North Dakota. This is not a surprising development, as for many years agencies and conservation organizations have been pointing toward economic factors that could potentially influence landowner interest in CRP. The reality of the situation in 2008 is that accelerated CRP […]

Late Season Roosters

February 18, 2009 by  

Late Season Roosters

By Doug Leier For those of us who like to spend as much time as possible on the outside of the window, October is a sort of early Christmas present. Hunting seasons for just about everything are open, and fall fishing can be just as hot as summer, but without humidity and mosquitoes. While crunching […]

Hunting Retriever Basics

February 18, 2009 by  

Hunting Retriever Basics

By PJ Maguire Dogs are companions, first and foremost. As hunters with retrievers, we should always keep that in mind when training, hunting or playing with our dogs. The vast majority of your retriever’s life will be spent going for walks and chasing butterflies, not hunting. However, it is easy for us to forget that […]

The Next Generation

February 18, 2009 by  

The Next Generation

By Doug Leier A few weeks back a reader sent the following comment to me. Youth hunting is one of my best memories growing up … certainly not the hunting part of it, just being out there with my dad, learning how to hunt. I remember the first deer I “shot” at. I was walking […]

South Dakota Pheasant Hunting

February 18, 2009 by  

South Dakota Pheasant Hunting

By PJ Maguire My dad said that last weekend was probably the coldest weather he had ever experienced in the field. Even with all the advancements in cold weather clothing, the Midwest winter chill can get you.. These days my dad owns warmer clothing and knows how to dress for the elements. The Friday was […]

Hunting Pheasants – Fried Pheasant Recipe

February 18, 2009 by  

Hunting Pheasants – Fried Pheasant Recipe

By Doug Leier When I look back over pictures of may dad and I hunting pheasants in the 1980s, it’s not hard to see from the old prints how special these birds were. In this age of taking thousands of digital photos, even 25 years ago a couple of snap shots were usually reserved only […]

Sense of the Pheasant Season

February 18, 2009 by  

Sense of the Pheasant Season

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson The day is finally here – pheasant opener. Many sportsmen have been counting down since about mid-July. And with good reason, it is a time in the field unlike any other. It is a circus of the senses and the experience is remembered not only by birds put in the bag, […]

Prairie Habitat

February 18, 2009 by  

Prairie Habitat

By Doug Leier It’s July but I’m thinking of fall. And with good reason. Last year’s pheasant harvest was likely higher than in any year since the mid-1940s. The past winter was relatively mild which should have meant fairly good carryover of birds. While abundant rains over much of the state could inhibit nest success […]

Fall Hunting Predictions

February 18, 2009 by  

Fall Hunting Predictions

By Doug Leier Football previews with prognostications and predictions for the upcoming season are starting in earnest. Based on drafts and off-season transactions, “experts” are predicting which teams will flourish or fail. While most hunting seasons are at least six weeks away, biologists and wildlife managers can also make calculated estimations as to how well […]

Hunting Accidents are No Joke

February 18, 2009 by  

Hunting Accidents are No Joke

By PJ Maguire   Honestly I have wanted to write this column since the Cheney quail-hunting incident. Several things have made me delay it. One, I needed to collect my thoughts about exactly what I wanted to say. Two, I wanted the media coverage of the event to blow over. Accidents happen. I do not […]

Classic Pheasant Recipes

February 18, 2009 by  

Classic Pheasant Recipes

By Nick Simonson If pheasant opener left you with anything, it was most likely, birds in the freezer. The question is how one goes about eating them. No longer are hunters bound by the code of Cream of Mushroom soup and a crock pot. There are many exciting ways to prepare pheasant recipes and what […]

Youth Pheasant Hunting

February 18, 2009 by  

Youth Pheasant Hunting

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson   “I love it when a plan comes together,” is a cult classic phrase said countless times by actor George Peppard in his role as John “Hannibal” Smith on the 1980s action-adventure series, The A-Team. And who doesn’t? When the pieces fall into place for that perfect hunting or fishing trip, […]

Praise for the PLOTS Program

February 18, 2009 by  

Praise for the PLOTS Program

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson   900,000; that’s a big number. In terms of acreage its 5,625 quarter sections of land or about 1,406 full sections of land. 900,000 is also the total number of acres enrolled in the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s (NDG&F) Private Land Open to Sportsmen Program (PLOTS). For the past […]

Pheasant Facts to Fight the Fever

February 18, 2009 by  

Pheasant Facts to Fight the Fever

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson The countdown on my computer’s screen saver says it all: Nine Days, 18 Hours, 32 Minutes, 14 Seconds. To help time lapse for you, that’s about sunrise on October 14, 2006 – The opening moment of pheasant season. I expect to find myself walking the five-row shelterbelt west of the Simonson […]

The Value of a Safe Hunt

February 18, 2009 by  

The Value of a Safe Hunt

By Doug Leier Pheasants are plentiful this fall across the prairie. Deer numbers, too, provide plenty of incentive to get out and enjoy what we may someday refer to as “the good old days.” I’m not going to apologize for appreciating the hunting opportunities that should be available this fall of 2006. While game populations […]

Kicking Off the Partridge & Grouse Hunting Season

February 18, 2009 by  

Kicking Off the Partridge & Grouse Hunting Season

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson “I can’t wait for pheasant season,” my buddy commented as he boated his twelfth 10-inch walleye of the evening. “I can,” I replied as I swept the hook into another of the lake’s small denizens. “What I used to consider the preseason is now the regular season,” I stated as I […]

Pheasant Numbers Looking Up

February 18, 2009 by  

Pheasant Numbers Looking Up

By Doug Leier August brings with it an array of predictions and prognostications for the upcoming hunting seasons. It’s not much different than gauging the outlook for your local high school or college football team, or trying to guess how well the Vikings will play. It’s a process of reviewing last year’s results, mixing in […]

Get Fit for Upland Hunting

February 18, 2009 by  

Get Fit for Upland Hunting

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson   Safety in the field goes beyond hunter’s education, being aware of your surroundings and knowing your target and what lies beyond it. Personal physical well-being in the field is usually an afterthought, and when it is addressed, it is usually too late. The early upland seasons are a walking hunter’s […]

Wiley Winter Roosters

February 15, 2009 by  

Wiley Winter Roosters

By Nick Simonson I’ve never seen such wild roosters in my life. Between the games of family poker, the opening of stockings, and Christmas dinner there was holiday hunting, although it was more like a track meet with shotguns. Closing the door on the pickup truck caused the end of the tree row, nearly one […]

The Future of Hunting & Fishing in North Dakota

February 15, 2009 by  

The Future of Hunting & Fishing in North Dakota

By Doug Leier We will guarantee you a more successful pheasant hunt, and at the same time, help improve your fishing. All you have to do is read this column. I’d venture to say that introduction would generate more interest than if I simply described how to maintain healthy grasslands and protect clean water. However, […]

The Truth Behind Feeding Wildlife

February 15, 2009 by  

The Truth Behind Feeding Wildlife

By Doug Leier Wildlife management is pretty good science, but it is not always an exact science. We do the best we can with the knowledge and research we have, but sometimes, we don’t have all the answers. And sometimes, the answers change based on new research and knowledge. Such is the case with the […]

Silver Dollar Slough Pheasants

February 15, 2009 by  

Silver Dollar Slough Pheasants

By PJ Maguire With the majority of the waterfowl south of North Dakota, all signs pointed towards a late season pheasant hunt in early winter. The corn was harvested and the sloughs were frozen, providing ideal conditions for late season birds. My good friends Lars and Jason Dyrdahl, had invited me to south eastern North […]

Pheasant Hunting Thourgh CRP

February 15, 2009 by  

Pheasant Hunting Thourgh CRP

By Doug Leier By now I hope most hunters understand the connection between North Dakota’s continued strong pheasant population and the state’s 3.4 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program lands. But if not, here’s a short refresher on what can happen when you take marginal cropland out of production and plant it to grass. In […]

Late Season Pheasant Hunting

February 15, 2009 by  

Late Season Pheasant Hunting

By Doug Leier Hunting season doesn’t end with the close of deer gun season. In fact, for some hunters the fun is just beginning. While traditional pheasant hunting images resonate strongly with a warm October sun and a crisp morning walk with dew-soaked boots, don’t think for a minute that December pheasant hunting is reserved […]

FLUSH!!! – A Pheasant Hunting Story

February 15, 2009 by  

FLUSH!!! – A Pheasant Hunting Story

By Chris Hustad “Chrissss…it’s time to wake up” were my mother’s calm words that awoke me from my casual slumber. After a couple long stretches and a few scratches on my head, I was rolling out of bed and onto my feet. It was around 5 in the morning on an early October morning, but […]

Early Season Lesson Learned

February 15, 2009 by  

Early Season Lesson Learned

By Mike Taddy Every dog owner’s worst nightmare is losing his or her canine friend, especially when you could have prevented an untimely death. As my 2 ½ year-old male black lab, Harley, lay at my side panting deeply and whimpering, I questioned my judgment to take him a field on this warm second day […]

Fast & Easy Pheasant Cleaning Tips

February 15, 2009 by  

Fast & Easy Pheasant Cleaning Tips

By Gary Simonson This is a pheasant cleaning tip for anyone out there looking to get the most out of the birds they harvest. Give it a try and post up the results in the recipe forum! Completely skin the bird leaving on the head. Do not gut. Please note these photos were taken at […]

Tina’s Refuge – Tension Between Hunters and Land Owners

February 15, 2009 by  

Tina’s Refuge – Tension Between Hunters and Land Owners

By Perry Thorvig Ike and Tina Marsh took a rare break to sit in their rural North Dakota farmyard on a warm August evening. The sky was blue, but turning to a dust filtered orange as the sun dropped toward the wide western horizon beyond the Missouri River. There was just a whisper of wind. […]

Snow Birds

February 15, 2009 by  

Snow Birds

By Perry Thorvig What a difference – early season pheasant hunting versus late season! We know that late season pheasants are smart compared to the early season birds. We have experienced the change in pheasant behavior between the early and late season in past years. But, we got our butts kicked by those gaudy flyers […]

Public Land Roosters

February 15, 2009 by  

Public Land Roosters

By PJ McQuire “I could have shot that one.” said UND student Nick Anderson, as a Mallard flew over us at the break of dawn, the skyline pink in the East. At that moment there were nine of us sitting on a gravel road just south of Bismarck moments away from the 2004 pheasant season. […]

The Prairie Dancers

February 15, 2009 by  

The Prairie Dancers

By Doug Leier I  like the emergence of spring on the prairie to an annual visit to Yellowstone National Park – spread over the span of a month. It starts with the arrival of giant Canada geese, already paired off and ready to start nesting when ice and snow are nearly gone. Canada geese are […]

The Importance of the North Dakota PLOTS Land

February 15, 2009 by  

The Importance of the North Dakota PLOTS Land

By Doug Leier North Dakota does not have much public land, compared to our neighbors to the east and west. While Minnesota is about 30 percent public ownership and Montana about 40 percent public, more than 90 percent of North Dakota is privately owned. So it makes sense that much of our resident wildlife, such […]

Pheasant Recipes

February 15, 2009 by  

Pheasant Recipes

Here’s some favorite pheasant recipes of ours. Baked Pheasant Recipe : 1 can (10.75-oz) cream of chicken soup 1/2 cup Apple cider 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 3/4 tsp. Salt 1/3 cup Chopped onion 1 Clove (small) garlic, minced 1 can (4-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained 2 Pheasants Paprika Blend all ingredients except pheasants and paprika. Pour […]

The Importance of the CRP Program

February 15, 2009 by  

The Importance of the CRP Program

By Robert A. Langager    I grew up in Fargo, ND and Marshall, in southwestern MN. I have spent many autumns chasing waterfowl in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of MN, ND, and SD. I currently reside in Durham, NC and attend North Carolina State University and am pursuing degrees in Watershed Hydrology and Wetlands […]

Wildlife and Winterkill

February 15, 2009 by  

Wildlife and Winterkill

By Doug Leier For many people this seems like clash of two different worlds, of poor little critters struggling to find food and stay warm during long stretches of frigid temperatures and blanket on top of blanket of snow. It just so happens that those blankets of snow might actually help some native prairie wildlife […]

Pheasant Hunting Tips – Pheasant Hunting in a Hurricane?

February 15, 2009 by  

Pheasant Hunting Tips – Pheasant Hunting in a Hurricane?

By Perry Thorvig If you know me, you probably think this article is going to be about hunting around Hurricane Lake in Pierce County. Or, it has something to do with chasing Hurricanes in Florida, Well, it’s not about either of those topics. But, it is about a hurricane. Do you believe in hurricanes in […]

Late Season Pheasant Hunting

February 15, 2009 by  

Late Season Pheasant Hunting

By Jason Phillips Although the days of tight holding roosters may be behind us, there are still some opportunities for avid upland game hunters. The young of the year birds are now well educated on how to elude hunters and the wily “old” roosters continue to demonstrate how they became old. To this point it […]

One Too Many

February 15, 2009 by  

One Too Many

By Perry Thorvig Man, I was bushed!! I slid onto a bar stool at Bismarck’s Comfort Inn north of I-94 and ordered a tall brew. The frothy suds went down smoothly and began to quench a mighty thirst. I was well into my second brew when a rather odd looking old character hopped on the […]

Old Farm Creek

February 15, 2009 by  

Old Farm Creek

By Jason Phillips As the heat of summer is in our midst, crisp fall mornings seem only a distant memory. Now is a great time to reflect on great autumn outdoor memories of years past and look forward to the upcoming season. My mind often drifts to my first hunt. It was a crisp autumn […]

The Importance of CRP

February 15, 2009 by  

The Importance of CRP

By Doug Leier In 2002, for the first time since the 1950s, North Dakota hunters bagged more than 500,000 pheasants. While 2003 statistics are not yet complete, based on anecdotal reports, it is possible the pheasant harvest for last fall will again top a half-million birds. If that happens, it will be the only time […]

The Grouse Grand Slam

February 15, 2009 by  

The Grouse Grand Slam

By Doug Leier Recent talk of a possible prairie chicken hunting season in eastern North Dakota has, not surprisingly, given rise to the concept of a “grouse grand slam,” or the opportunity to hunt four different grouse species this fall. The last time this was possible was more than 60 years ago, at the tail-end […]

Pheasants Forever

February 15, 2009 by  

Pheasants Forever

St. Paul, Minn. – March 15, 2005 – Today, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) announced a long range plan for Minnesota’s ring-necked pheasant population. The plan, which Pheasants Forever (PF) wildlife biologists helped develop, focuses on the addition of 1.56 million acres of habitat. Those additional habitat acres are projected to translate […]

Watch What You’re Shooting At

February 15, 2009 by  

Watch What You’re Shooting At

By Perry Thorvig It sure was nice of the State of North Dakota to close PLOTS lands to non-resident hunters on the opening of the North Dakota pheasant season last year. It kept a lot of NRs out of the state. We, however, had private land to hunt thanks to North Dakotan Chuck Gosen and […]

What is Hunting?

January 28, 2009 by  

What is Hunting?

By Doug Leier State Century Code has defined hunting in North Dakota. Albeit for legal purposes, the definition is rather cumbersome, but NDCC20.1-01 and section 21 defines hunting as: “shooting, shooting at, pursuing, taking, attempting to take, or killing any game animals and game birds; searching for or attempting to locate or flush any game […]

Late Season Hunting Is Upon Us

January 28, 2009 by  

Late Season Hunting Is Upon Us

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 […]

PLOTS Map – Opening Access

January 28, 2009 by  

PLOTS Map – Opening Access

By Doug Leier The State Game and Fish Department has had programs that cooperatively involve private landowners since the 1950s. But it’s been less than 10 years since the first inverted yellow triangular sign went up on tracts called Private Land Open to Sportsmen. The PLOTS has its roots in legislation passed in 1997. The […]