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Garrison angler wins RCL tour title

Dennis Jeffrey of Garrison, N.D., in only his second full year on the WalMart RCL Walleye Tour, won the tour's angler of the year title. "Those are a tough bunch of guys," Jeffrey said, referring to the other top contenders.

Dennis Jeffrey of Garrison, N.D., in only his second full year on the WalMart RCL Walleye Tour, won the tour's angler of the year title.

"Those are a tough bunch of guys," Jeffrey said, referring to the other top contenders. "It never crossed my mind when I was starting out that I could compete at that level."

After placing 44th at the season-opening tournament on the Illinois River last April, Jeffrey placed third one month later at Lake Erie, winning $20,000 and vaulting into fifth place in the tour standings.

After placing 72nd at Devils Lake, Jeffrey finished 16th in the season's final event at South Dakota's Lake Oahe. It was a finish good enough to edge past Jeff Taege of Rhinelander, Wis., in the angler of the year standings.

Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark this time of year to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways, according to Bill Jensen, big game biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

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October, November and December are peak months for deer-vehicle accidents because of increased deer activity during breeding season and movements from fall cover to wintering cover. Plus, young-of-the-year deer are dispersing from their home ranges, making them targets for motor vehicles.

"Drivers are reminded that vigilance is the best defense," Jensen said. "Most deer-vehicle collisions occur during the dawn and dusk hours when deer are most active."

Many collisions in late fall happen during morning and evening hours when motorists are driving to and from work. Twenty-two percent of deer-vehicle accidents occur between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m., while 13 percent fall between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m. An estimated 88 percent occur when it's dark or light is limited.

Deer-vehicle collisions have increased gradually over the past decade. Approximately 42 percent of annual deer-vehicle collisions occur during October, November and December, with 20 percent occurring from Oct. 25-Nov. 25.

Hunters who do not have a swan license for the 2004 hunting season still have an opportunity to purchase one, reports Carrie Whitney, licensing supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

More than 200 swan licenses are available to hunters as a first license only. Hunters who do not have a license can download and print an application for mailing at the department's website, discovernd.com/gnf. Otherwise, interested hunters can request an application by calling the department's Bismarck office at (701) 328-6300.

The statewide tundra swan hunting season opened Oct. 2 and continues through Dec. 12. North Dakota residents and nonresidents are eligible to purchase a license. The fee is $5 for residents and $25 for nonresidents.

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