« Continue Browsing

e-mail article Print     e-mail article E-mail

Published July 13 2008

Pheasant harvest highest in 60 years

North Dakota’s pheasant harvest in 2007 was the highest in more than 60 years, according to statistics released by the North Dakota State Game and Fish Department.

“We predicted a good number of broods and chicks last summer, and they were there,” said Stan Kohn, upland game management supervisor for Game and Fish. “And good fall weather brought out the hunters.”

In 2007, North Dakota had 107,574 pheasant hunters – the first time the state surpassed the 100,000 mark. The number of resident hunters increased from 68,216 in 2006 to 71,870 while the number of nonresident hunters jumped from 31,633 to 35,704.

The total harvest was 907,434 roosters comparted to 750,787 in 2006. The record harvest was 2.4 million in both 1944 and 1945.

Counties with the highest percentage of pheasant harvest by resident hunters were: McLean (9.7 percent), Burleigh (9.3 percent), Dickey (5.1 percent), Ransom (4.9 percent) and Sargent (4.6 percent).

Top counties for nonresident hunters were Hettinger (18.4 percent), Dickey (7.8 percent), McIntosh (5.7 percent), LaMoure (5.5 percent) and Bowman (5.4 percent).

2008 spring counts indicated a 36 percent increase statewide in the number of pheasants crowing compared to last year.

Buffalo River will host youth deer hunt

Buffalo River State Park near Glyndon, Minn., will be one of 10 sites that will hold a youth deer hunt this fall.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering 11 special youth deer hunts in October – four archery and seven firearms. They will be held at locations with high deer populations that need to be managed.

Eligible youth may apply for one archery hunt and one firearms hunt. Youth ages 12 to 15 are eligible for the firearms hunt. Youth ages 12 to 17 are eligible for the archery hunts.

There is a mandatory orientation session for each hunt. Hunters must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or an adult authorized by the parent.

The hunt in Buffalo River State Park will be held Oct. 25-26.

Applications due for prairie chicken, turkey

Hunters who wish to apply for one of 186 permits for the 2008 Minnesota prairie chicken season or for one of the 7,660 permits for the fall turkey hunt must do so by July 25.

Applications are available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold.

The five-day prairie chicken season beings Oct. 18 and is open to Minnesota residents only. Fall turkey hunters may apply for a permit to hunt in one of 65 open permit areas from Oct. 15-19 or from Oct. 22-26.

High flows flush Missouri River

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – This year’s high runoff scoured the bottom of the Missouri River of silt, pebbles and other debris, providing good spawning areas for trout and healthy habitat for insects.

“It scoured the bottom from bank to bank and the river is just shining again,” said longtime fishing guide Pete Cardinal. “The insect bite reflects this – we have bigger numbers of pale morning duns and caddis.”

A clean river bottom provides good spawning areas for trout and healthy habitat for insects, which the trout eat when the bugs hatch.

The Missouri River below Holter Dam is flowing at about 11,200 cfs, more than double the typical flow.

Canyon Ferry Reservoir, the main storage reservoir above Fort Peck Dam, remains 100 percent full and the reservoir’s flood control pool is more than 20 percent full. Managers are releasing more water from the reservoir than is coming in.

The Bureau of Reclamation says it should be able to maintain flows on the Missouri of at least 4,000 to 4,500 cfs through the rest of the summer.

“The fish are very strong and energetic and they get very upset when they get hooked,” said Brian Neilsen at The Trout Shop in Craig.

About the only people who aren’t thrilled with fishing on the Missouri below Holter Dam are those without a boat.

“You need a boat. Wade fishing is almost nonexistent and what wade fishing there is probably already has a wade fisherman in that spot,” Neilsen said.

The high water also gives fish more places to hide, but Great Falls angler Sam Wike says the fishing is still good.

“The hatches are good,” he said. “Caddis is coming off real well. The water is clear and the fish are up and we have been hooking them. In the mornings, there is a good pale morning dun hatch and even some yellow sallies.”