Published January 14, 2022

Game and Fish Briefs

Written by
Kim Fundingsland
| The Dakotan

Remove Gear from Wildlife Management Areas 

Tree stands, blinds, steps, and other personal items such as cameras, must be removed from all wildlife management areas by Jan. 31. Items not removed by Jan. 31 are considered abandoned property and are subject to removal and confiscation by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. 

Participation Needed in Hunter Harvest Surveys 

Even though North Dakota’s 2021 hunting seasons have ended, hunter success still matters. 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has conducted hunter harvest surveys for more than a half-century, using the findings to help manage the state’s wildlife populations. Thousands of surveys are sent annually, and participation is strongly urged because hunter harvest plays a noted role, for example, in setting hunting license numbers for the upcoming season. 

“We survey hunters about their hunting activity because understanding how many animals were removed from the population is a really important ecological piece of information,” said Chad Parent, department survey coordinator. “We use that information that we get back from the hunter harvest surveys to compare against where we're at with our harvest objectives at any point in a given year. And that can mean, in some cases, license increases. It can sometimes mean that we decrease the number of licenses, potentially in the case of a site that was hit hard by EHD, for example. But ultimately these surveys are important because they inform the recommendations that we pass along to the governor during the proclamation setting process.” 

Thousands of big game, small game, waterfowl, swan, turkey and furbearer questionnaires will be emailed to randomly selected hunters. A follow-up survey will be mailed to those who did not respond to the first survey.  Not everyone who receives a hunter harvest survey for the 2021 deer gun season will have harvested a deer, but Parent stressed that those hunters still need to fill out and return their surveys. 

“We design our surveys so that a random sample of hunters get those surveys, and we understand that some hunters weren’t successful, which in a lot of ways is just as important as knowing who did harvest a deer,” he said. 

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