Doug Leier, North Dakota Outdoors
West Fargo - 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 comment frequently when the topic of my occupation comes up in conversations with hunters and anglers. While I’m no longer a game warden, that’s how I started my career with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, and I had those same thoughts, too. “That’s gotta be a neat job.” And it is. I still think the same now as I did years ago.
West Fargo The 2015 North Dakota legislative session recently wrapped up.
West Fargo - One of my first work details after I became a game warden in 1996 was as part of a detail during the paddlefish snagging season.
West Fargo - My first open-water cast of the 2015 fishing season came before spring turkey season, and even before Easter. While the first fish of the year didn’t happen on the same trip, it was reason to smile. Just getting outdoors in early April without mud boots or a winter jacket was enough to call it a successful outing. While heading into the last half of April, we all realize that the topsoil and even our fishing waters could use a little spring precipitation.
West Fargo - One of the primary benchmarks that North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists use to assess deer populations and hunter satisfaction is the success rate by gun hunters. Over time, a success rate of around 70 percent means hunters are generally satisfied with deer numbers and hunting opportunities. Last year, the Game and Fish Department made available 48,000 deer gun licenses, and all licenses were issued. About 43,500 of those who were issued deer gun licenses actually hunted, taking approximately 26,300 deer, for a success rate of about 60 percent.
West Fargo - My interest in fishing and hunting began long before specific opportunities designed to encourage young hunters and anglers existed.
West Fargo - Signs of spring honestly began weeks ago. For me, the first bald eagle pairs setting up their nests in February is proof that winter is losing its grip, and this year the turn of March brought unseasonably mild and record-breaking temperatures. The annual college basketball championship game and the first pitch of the Major League baseball season are close at hand.
West Fargo - Most of my life, I have been curious and inquisitive about how different factors influence what we do, where we go and how we spend our time and money outdoors. So I will be very interested in the results of an ice fishing survey the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is conducting this winter. While Game and Fish has completed a number of winter fishing creel surveys in the past, this one is a bit different in that it is not lake-specific, and it is looking at not only what anglers are catching and how long they are fishing, but also where they are coming from. As gas
West Fargo - Even with my North Dakota outdoors lineage, I am guilty of sometimes losing sight on how fortunate we are to enjoy such a variety of opportunities.
West Fargo - Every so often I catch myself with a few pieces of news and notes that might not generate a full column, but are worthy of passing along as reminders. For starters, with the 2015 North Dakota legislative session underway, tracking outdoors-related bills is easily accomplished from the State Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov. A brief description of each bill is included on the legislation page, along with the bill sponsor, hearing schedule, and results of any votes that have occurred.