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Game and Fish News

Report Bald Eagle Nest Sightings

The state Game and Fish Department is asking for help in locating active bald eagle nests in North Dakota.

Game and Fish conservation biologist Sandra Johnson said the department is looking for locations of nests with eagles present, not individual eagle sightings.

Eagles lay eggs in early-to-mid March, and hatch about a month later. Johnson said it’s easy to distinguish an eagle nest because of its enormous size.

“And you don’t have to travel far to find one, as we have around 270 active bald eagle nests, and possibly more, in the state,” Johnson said, while noting that in 2008 North Dakota had only 50 active nests.

Eagle nests are observed in more than three-quarters of the counties in the state, mostly near streams and mid- to large-sized lakes. However, they are also found in unique areas such as shelterbelts surrounded by cropland or pasture.

Nest observations should be reported online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. Observers are asked to not disturb the nest, and to stay a safe distance away. Johnson said foot traffic may disturb the bird, likely causing the eagle to leave her eggs or young unattended.

Deer Gratis Applications Online

Landowners who are interested in applying for a 2019 deer gratis license can fill out their application online by visiting the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. The general deer lottery and muzzleloader applications will be available online in early May. The deadline for applying is June 5.

Chief of administrative services Kim Kary said similar to last year, the Game and Fish Department is opening deer gratis applications a month earlier than prior years to allow additional time for landowners to apply online who are busy with spring farm and ranch activities.

“Gratis applicants who have previously applied online will automatically have their land description carried forward to this year’s application,” Kary said. “However, any changes with the land description from last year’s application must be made prior to submitting the 2019 application.”

Applications must be submitted online using a computer or smartphone. Kary suggests applicants without access to online services can submit the online application at any Game and Fish Department office or public service location, such as a library, or request help from a friend, relative or neighbor. License vendor systems are unable to process deer gratis applications.

Kary said moving to an all-electronic licensing system was initiated by the state legislature in 2015. “It has worked well for both the agency and customer by providing a user-friendly experience for the hunter and has improved the department’s time to deliver lottery results and mail tags,” she said.