How to Become a North Dakota Game and Fish Warden

June 10, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Valley Outdoors

How to Become a North Dakota Game and Fish Warden

One of the more common questions asked of any Game and Fish employee, whether it’s over the phone, through friends, via email, or at the grocery store, is: “How do you get a job as a game warden?” I get variations of this question frequently when the topic of my occupation comes up in conversations […]

What to Do with an Abandoned or Injured Young Animal

June 3, 2015 by  
Filed under Featured, Valley Outdoors

What to Do with an Abandoned or Injured Young Animal

This is the time of year when North Dakota Game and Fish Department game wardens, biologists and other staff throughout the state handle an influx of calls about young animals. From seemingly abandoned deer fawns, to birds that fell from a nest, to a mother duck trying to lead her brood across a crowded city […]

A Look Ahead to 2015

A Look Ahead to 2015

By Doug Leier Looking ahead to 2015, 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 of […]

Respect Our Outdoors – Don’t Litter!

December 25, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Valley Outdoors

Respect Our Outdoors – Don’t Litter!

By Doug Leier Many of my outdoors destinations tend to attract higher use than a secluded badlands nook, a Turtle Mountains hideout or even a tucked away Missouri Coteau wetland. I spend plenty of time fishing at busy public access points, and hunting public land where sometimes there might be others who have the same […]

2014 PLOTS Guide Now Available Online

2014 PLOTS Guide Now Available Online

By Doug Leier The much anticipated annual North Dakota Private Land Open To Sportsmen or PLOTS Guide is now available. The printed version likely won’t hit the usual outlets such as license vendors, county auditor offices and Game and Fish Department offices until the first week of September, but the online version has already generated a flurry of activity. In just the first day after […]

North Dakota Game & Fish Helps Keep Fish Population Robust

North Dakota Game & Fish Helps Keep Fish Population Robust

By Doug Leier The well documented and discussed wet cycle and expansion of fisheries is not new to most anglers, or even people who don’t fish. Anyone over the age of 25 can attest to the continuing growth and expansion of water and fisheries in North Dakota. While the slow accumulation of new water on […]

2014 Sage Grouse Hunting Season Called Off

2014 Sage Grouse Hunting Season Called Off

By Doug Leier North Dakota won’t have a sage grouse hunting season in 2014. That news probably doesn’t surprise anyone who pays attention to the state’s outdoor world. Sage grouse are North Dakota’s largest native upland game bird, found only in the extreme southwestern part of the state, primarily in Bowman and Slope counties. There […]

Invasive Species Threatening Aquatic Habitats in North Dakota

Invasive Species Threatening Aquatic Habitats in North Dakota

by Doug Leier   You’ve made your list and are checking it twice; anticipation for fishing is growing faster than your lawn this spring. Current license – got it. Life jackets – check. Next stop, open-water fishing 2014. The only thing holding you back from a day on the water is Mother Nature, but that’s spring […]

One-Over Limit and Spring Fishing in North Dakota

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 […]

Watchable Wildlife in North Dakota

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 […]

Spring Season Fishing and Hunting

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 […]

New Fishing Guide Changes in North Dakota

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 […]

Mid-Winter Waterfowl Numbers

February 19, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Uncategorized, Valley Outdoors

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 […]

Winter Wildlife Survival in North Dakota

January 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Uncategorized, Valley Outdoors

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 […]

Wildlife Population in 2013 Review

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

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 […]

Winter Wildlife Management: Artificial Feeding and Habitat

December 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Featured, Valley Outdoors

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 […]

Game and Fish Studies across North Dakota this fall

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 […]

Waterfowl Hunting Rules and Regulations: Aquatic Nuisance Species

September 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Duck Hunting, Featured, Other Hunting, Valley Outdoors

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 […]

Maintaining Public Hunting Lands & Wildlife Management Areas

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 […]

Presque Isle State Park

May 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Our Outdoors

Presque Isle State Park

By Nick Simonson Each morning the arm of tree-covered land cradling the small bay on the south shore of Lake Erie would seem to wave invitingly. While I was busy suiting up for another day at trial, the gulls, ducks, geese and other waterbirds would make their way to and from the 3,100 acre peninsula […]

Backyard Wildlife

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Our Outdoors

Backyard Wildlife

Backyard Wildlife By Nick Simonson So much of my formative years were spent in the backyard at the old brown-trimmed house along the oak-lined street near the college in my hometown of Valley City.  Nestled between the mesotrophic curve of the slow-flowing Sheyenne which forms three of the boundaries of the nearby city park and […]

Silver Carp Facts & Other Aquatic Nuisance Species

Silver Carp Facts & Other Aquatic Nuisance Species

by Doug Leier Last fall, an angler caught a silver carp in North Dakota’s portion of the James River near LaMoure. A couple of weeks later, North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries biologists caught another one in a net, nearly 50 miles farther upstream in the James, near the dam at Jamestown Reservoir. That […]

Facts about Bald Eagles

April 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Valley Outdoors

Facts about Bald Eagles

Facts about Bald Eagles by Doug Leier When the phone rings and the caller on the other end of the line is excitedly relaying an unusual wildlife observation, I do my best to join the adrenaline rush brought on by a possible rare or uncommon sighting. While some may downplay a turkey vulture observation or […]

Birding in North Dakota

March 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Other Hunting, Valley Outdoors

Birding in North Dakota

by Doug Leier I’ve had the opportunity to hunt many different places and species across North Dakota, much of it a result of having lived in more than 10 different zip codes across the state. It’s those places, and the people who go with them, that often account for the best memories. While we always […]

Purple Loostrife & SaltCedar – Noxious Weeds in the Outdoors

March 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Duck Hunting

Purple Loostrife & SaltCedar – Noxious Weeds in the Outdoors

Jim McAllister Sportsman, are you aware of noxious weeds that can limit habitat in wetlands for wildlife. In the last 10 years, the state of North Dakota has had two noxious weeds move into our wetlands. They both can have devastating effects if not properly controlled. They are purple loosestrife and saltcedar. Purple loosestrife has […]

Wildlife and Habitat Management: The Joint Venture Concept of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

March 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Duck Hunting

Wildlife and Habitat Management: The Joint Venture Concept of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

By Robert A. Langager Introduction Migratory waterfowl have traveled the North American continent for thousands of years. They have awed many who have seen their great winged migrations. Waterfowl inspire many to watch them, hunt them, and study them intensely. As a resource, waterfowl and other birds generate nearly $20 billion in economic activity and […]

The Value of Temporary Wetlands

March 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Duck Hunting, Valley Outdoors

The Value of Temporary Wetlands

By Doug Leier A recent rainy spell has rekindled somewhat the time-worn debate over the value of wetlands, small ones in particular. North Dakota has hunreds of thousands of these small, shallow wetlands. They’re often called temporary wetlands because they typically only hold water for a few weeks after spring snow melt, or after heavy […]

Alternative Land Use Services Moving Forward

March 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Duck Hunting

Alternative Land Use Services Moving Forward

Federal, provincial and territorial Agriculture Ministers meeting in Kananaskis Alberta approved a four point policy agenda which would include testing of an ecological services plan called Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS). Often referred to as the “Farmers Conservation Plan”, ALUS was designed by the farm community across Canada. ALUS has been widely recognized as the […]

PLOTS

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

CRP Loss Equals Less Wildlife

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Duck Hunting, Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

Prairie Habitat

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

Praise for the PLOTS Program

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

The Truth Behind Feeding Wildlife

February 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Deer Hunting, Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

The Importance of the North Dakota PLOTS Land

February 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

The Importance of the CRP Program

February 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

The Importance of CRP

February 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Deer Hunting, Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

Pheasants Forever

February 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

How To Educate Hunters About Predators – Predator Management

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Predator Hunting

How To Educate Hunters About Predators – Predator Management

By Bruce Hemming Researching how predators effect game population can be difficult and time consuming. These days, it appears that everyone has an agenda and the Sportsman is the loser. This is not apparent at first. It seems like the first excuse is always the cycle of the prey species. While it’s true that all […]

Battling Aquatic Nuisance Species

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Duck Hunting, Other Fishing

Battling Aquatic Nuisance Species

By Doug Leier A few months ago I wrote about the expanding concern regarding aquatic nuisance species and their current and potential impact in North Dakota waters. While North Dakota doesn’t yet have ANS as significant as, say, zebra mussels in the Great Lakes, unwanted plants and animals continue to steal time and money away […]

Aquatic Nuisance Species

January 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Fishing

Aquatic Nuisance Species

By Doug Leier You’ve made your list and are checking it twice, anticipation for fishing is growing faster than your lawn this spring. Current license – got it. Life jackets – check. Next stop, open-water fishing 2004. The only thing holding you back from a day on the water is Mother Nature, but that’s spring […]

The Realities of Winterkill

January 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Fishing

The Realities of Winterkill

By Doug Leier When it comes to violence and death, nature is not G rated by any stretch of the imagination. If you’ve spent time outdoors, you understand that red fox will efficiently kill plenty of hen ducks keeping watch over a nest. Cormorants will eat many fish. There is no doctor to prevent disease, […]

Undue Burden – Interesting Facts About Wolves

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Hunting

Undue Burden – Interesting Facts About Wolves

A review by Chris Hustad about a new DVD  I have to admit on the surface, I knew very little about the wild wolf situations taking place across many states in the United States. I knew there was a conflict, but I was completely unaware of what was the real issue. I can say after […]

PLOTS Map – Opening Access

January 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Deer Hunting, Other Hunting, Pheasant Hunting

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 […]

The Importance of PLOTS

January 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Hunting

The Importance of PLOTS

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

“A Career Outdoors? Keep your options open”

January 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Fishing, Other Hunting

“A Career Outdoors? Keep your options open”

By Doug Leier As spring gradually thaws the frozen tundra and ice on area lakes becomes mush, I can count on a couple of things. First, I’ll be itching to hear the first song of a western meadowlark. No matter in which part of North Dakota I live, the meadowlark is my quintessential sign that […]

The Lewis & Clark Expedition in North Dakota

January 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Other Hunting

The Lewis & Clark Expedition in North Dakota

There is a great piece of history located right here in North Dakota that until recently, I really knew nothing about. A year ago, outdoor writer Curt Wells called to ask me some questions about goose hunting along the Missouri River. He was tasked to write a segment on ND and the Lewis & Clark […]