Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest
The deadline for submitting entries in the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual Watchable Wildlife Photo Contest is Oct. 1.
The contest has categories for nongame and game species, as well as plants/insects. An overall winning photograph will be chosen, with the number of place winners in each category determined by the number of qualified entries.
The contest guidelines are the same as in previous years, but the process for submitting photos has changed. This year, photographers will provide information and upload images through the Game and Fish Department website only, at gf.nd.gov/photo-contest.
Contestants are limited to no more than five entries. Photos must have been taken in North Dakota.
By submitting an entry, photographers grant permission to Game and Fish to publish winning photographs in North Dakota OUTDOORS magazine, and on the department’s website.
For more information or questions, contact Patrick Isakson, conservation biologist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hunting from Duck Boats Requires Safety
Waterfowlers hunting from boats are encouraged to wear properly-fitted life jackets while on the water.
Hunting jackets with life jackets already built in are light and comfortable to wear. In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slows the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.
Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters.
Waterfowl Hunters Reminded of ANS Regulations
Waterfowl hunters are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species into or within North Dakota.
Waterfowl hunters must remove plants and plant fragments from decoys, strings and anchors; remove plants seeds and plant fragments from waders and other equipment before leaving hunting areas; remove all water from decoys, boats, motors, trailers and other watercraft; and remove all aquatic plants from boats and trailers before leaving a marsh or lake. In addition, hunters are encouraged to brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.
Cattails and bulrushes may be transported as camouflage on boats. All other aquatic vegetation must be cleaned from boats prior to transportation into or within North Dakota.
In addition, drain plugs on boats must remain pulled when a boat is in transit away from a water body.
More ANS information, including regulations, is available by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
Whooping Crane Migration
Whooping cranes are in the midst of their fall migration and sightings will increase as they make their way into and through North Dakota over the next several weeks. Anyone seeing these endangered birds as they move through the state is asked to report sightings so the birds can be tracked.
The whooping cranes that do make their way through North Dakota each fall are part of a population of about 500 birds that are on their way from their nesting grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada to wintering grounds at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, a distance of about 2,500 miles.
Whoopers stand about five feet tall and have a wingspan of about seven feet from tip to tip. They are bright white with black wing tips, which are visible only when the wings are outspread. In flight they extend their long necks straight forward, while their long, slender legs extend out behind the tail. Whooping cranes typically migrate singly, or in groups of 2-3 birds, and may be associated with sandhill cranes.
Other white birds such as snow geese, swans and egrets are often mistaken for whooping cranes. The most common misidentification is pelicans, because their wingspan is similar and they tuck their pouch in flight, leaving a silhouette similar to a crane when viewed from below.
Anyone sighting whoopers should not disturb them, but record the date, time, location, and the birds’ activity. Observers should also look closely for and report colored bands which may occur on one or both legs. Whooping cranes have been marked with colored leg bands to help determine their identity.
Whooping crane sightings should be reported to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offices at Lostwood, 701-848-2466, or Audubon, 701-442-5474, national wildlife refuges; the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck, 701-328-6300, or to local game wardens across the state. Reports help biologists locate important whooping crane habitat areas, monitor marked birds, determine survival and population numbers, and identify times and migration routes.
Teddy Roosevelt Family Day Scheduled Sept. 22
Families looking for a fun afternoon filled with outdoor activities are invited to attend Teddy Roosevelt Family Day on Sunday, Sept. 22 at McDowell Dam just east of Bismarck.
The free event runs from 1-4 p.m. and families can come and go at any time. It features many hands-on activities including archery, BB gun shooting, fishing, animal identification, prizes and more.
The first 900 kids who attend also receive a free Teddy Roosevelt patch.
Organized by area Boy Scout, Girl Scout and 4-H organizations, Teddy Roosevelt Family Day is sponsored by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, North Dakota Chapter of the Wildlife Society, Mule Deer Foundation, Scheels All Sports, Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl, Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and AMVETS.
McDowell Dam is 3.5 miles east of Bismarck on ND Highway 10, then one mile north.