I don’t necessarily consider myself old, but I do know I’m old enough to remember the drought of the late 1980s and early 1990s when Devils Lake was hardly visible from Minnewaukan, and one day I walked across the parched bottom of Hobart Lake in Barnes County.RELATED CONTENT
I have 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 remember the biggest deer or a limit of fish, the best stories come from the one that got away, or getting stuck, lost or a having a late-night windstorm blow through camp.RELATED CONTENT
Because of a long-term population decline throughout their native range, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considered in 2010 listing sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.
While many hunters and anglers associate spring and summer with fishing season and fall with hunting season, truth be told, in North Dakota fishing is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days each year.
After a couple of cups of coffee and the usual bantering about weather at my favorite corner convenience store, a recent discussion turned to North Dakota Game and Fish Department surveys.
The older I get, the faster time seems to pass. My neighbor and friend Mick explained a few years ago it’s a function of the percentage of life.RELATED CONTENT
I’ve never been much of a numbers guy, which is evidenced by my grades in calculus, statistics and about any college math course I took.
Each year, it seems I somehow wind up as part of a large number of hunters who receive a recycled email joke about making beef taste like venison. Most who read it find themselves nodding their head and chuckling, as the masses who’ve hunted deer can relate to the uneasy truthfulness of many of the “steps.”
For more than a decade I’ve searched for column topics, but each year as deer season approaches the same questions arise, and the answers bear repeating:
North Dakota hunters have it pretty good. While a lot of conversations this fall relate to somewhat lower deer and pheasant populations, our wildlife numbers are still high compared to a few decades ago, when hunters applied for a first-drawing doe license just to have a chance to hunt in November, and a single morning rooster was something to crow about.
Fargo - In the spring of 1999, I was working as a game warden in the Cass County area when the first-ever spring light goose conservation season arrived.
As February begins you’ve noticed the days, both in front and in back, are adding sunlight and the balance of winter begins to shift toward spring.RELATED CONTENT
FARGO - If I tried to list all the organizations and clubs just in North Dakota that are working to advance the cause of fishing, hunting, trapping, conservation, education and training, I’d likely fill most of this column.RELATED CONTENT
Fargo - For the next month or so, winter predator hunting and the Feb. 16 calendar opening of the spring light goose conservation season are about the only games in town for most hunters.RELATED CONTENT
Fargo - Any frequent reader of this column will realize that I’m fairly open-minded about any outdoors discussion and savor a passionate conversation on outdoors topics. One topic that seems to come up fairly frequently is regulations, and whether we need more or less of them.RELATED CONTENT
Fargo - When we talk about winter wildlife mortality in North Dakota, most people think of pheasants or deer, as these species are often visible in the countryside along ditches, shelterbelts or harvested agricultural fields.RELATED CONTENT
Fargo - It’s been a long time since I began my career with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department as a district game warden in January 1996. I’ll say it feels like yesterday and 17 years ago in the same assessment.RELATED CONTENT
Fargo - When it comes to looking ahead at how 2013 will shake out for hunting and angling, I can’t help but see a mixed bag of prospects.RELATED CONTENT
Fargo - As the inevitable change of calendars from 2012 to 2013 is upon us, I will end the year in traditional fashion with a look back at the past 12 months from an outdoors perspective.RELATED CONTENT