Swan hunt lottery held
North Dakota's swan lottery has been held and more than 300 licenses remain. Only hunters who do not have a swan license for the 2012 season can apply, as regulations limit hunters to one license per year.
Beginning Sept. 5, all remaining licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Resident and nonresident hunters will be able to apply online at (gf.nd.gov). Hunters may also request an application by calling the department's Bismarck office at 328-6300. The statewide tundra swan hunting season is Sept. 29-Dec. 30.
SAH accepting goose meat
On a trial basis, North Dakota's Sportsmen Against Hunger Program is accepting donations of goose meat taken during the early Canada goose season. Much like the popular SAH deer donation program, hunters can bring in their goose meat to participating processors. However, hunters must remove the breast meat from the birds before processors can accept them.
Hunters can clean their geese at home prior to delivery to a processor, but breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat, must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunter's name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken, and species and number taken.
Hunters may also deliver geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor.
The list of participating processors is available on the NDCAP website at (capnd.org).
Sharptails, huns show increase
North Dakota hunters should expect to see a slight increase in sharp-tailed grouse and Hungarian partridge numbers this hunting season, based on spring survey numbers. However, the ruffed grouse population continues on a downward trend. The season for sharp-tailed grouse, ruffed grouse and Hungarian partridge opens Sept. 8.
Aaron Robinson, State Game and Fish Department upland game management biologist, Dickinson, said the spring sharptail breeding population was up from last year. However, he said the continued losses of native prairie and acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program are negatively affecting the sharp-tailed grouse population in North Dakota.
Hungarian partridge numbers show a moderate increase from 2011.
"Similar to recent years, scouting areas will be critical to success," Robinson said. "Pockets of decent hunting may be found in areas where multiple pairs reproduced successfully."
This spring's statewide ruffed grouse drumming counts took a dip of 37 percent from 2011. The number of drumming males decreased almost 42 percent in the Pembina Hills and 24 percent in the Turtle Mountains.
Biologists are in the process of compiling summer brood data, which provides a more complete assessment of the fall season. Results will be available the first week in September. The sage grouse and prairie chicken seasons will remain closed in 2012 due to low populations.
Youth festival Sept. 6 in Minot
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department, local wildlife clubs and other sponsors will usher youngsters into fall during the sixth annual Youth Outdoor Festival in Minot. The event is Thursday, Sept. 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds Game and Fish Pond area.
Department outreach biologist Greg Gullickson, Minot, said the event illustrates the importance of wildlife clubs introducing youth to all the different outdoor activities North Dakota has to offer.
"The Minot area clubs are a showcase of different groups getting together with one common goal - providing today's youth with fishing and hunting opportunities in the outdoors," Gullickson said.
Kids will have an opportunity to experience a number of activities, including archery, fishing, waterfowl and upland game. Prizes will be awarded and food provided for young outdoor enthusiasts. For more information, contact Gullickson at 720-1640.
Youth Waterfowl Clinic Sept. 7-8
The State Game and Fish Department's Encouraging Tomorrow's Hunters program is a primary sponsor for a youth waterfowl hunting clinic Sept. 7-8 in Bismarck. Ducks Unlimited is hosting the event.
The clinic is for youth ages 16 and under and their parents, and is held at the DU Great Plains Regional Office. Sessions include duck identification, decoy spreads, hunting gear, duck calling and retriever training. The first 20 kids age 9 and older to register can participate in a training event at Capital City Sporting Clays.
Activities run from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7. The shooting event is Saturday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m.-noon and from 1 to 3 p.m. Pre-registration is required by calling DU at 202-8896.