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Youth waterfowl clinic set for Friday

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Encouraging Tomorrow’s Hunters program is sponsoring a free youth waterfowl hunting clinic Friday in Bismarck.

The clinic is for ages 16 and younger, and is held at the Ducks Unlimited Great Plains Regional Office.

Sessions include duck identification, retriever training, decoy spreads, hunting gear and duck calling. In addition, the first 20 to register age 9 and older can participate in a shooting training event at Capital City Sporting Clays.

The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon, with the shooting event scheduled for the afternoon.

Preregistration is required by contacting Jennifer Kross at 701-202-8896, or jkross@ducks.org. For more information, contact outreach biologist Pat Lothspeich at 701-328-6332.

Duck brood index numbers up 37 percent

Anticipated fall duck flight from North Dakota is up 12 percent from last year, based on observations from the annual mid-July waterfowl production survey.

This year’s duck brood index was up 37 percent from last year, with 5.11 broods per square mile and an average of 6.76 ducklings per brood.

"Most of the state received abundant rainfall from late May through early July, which was encouraging for the summer survey,” said North Dakota Game and Fish Department migratory game bird management supervisor Mike Szymanski.

The July survey showed duck production in the northern tier of the state was very good and Szymanski said even areas farther south were still quite favorable. Mallards, gadwall and blue-winged teal accounted for about 75 percent of the broods observed.

Observers also count water areas during the summer survey, and this year’s water index was up 11 percent from last year.

“Wetland conditions are still on the dry side, as the early summer rains slowed down quite a bit,” Szymanski said. "he small, shallow basins are beginning to show the effects and have the potential to dry up before the hunting season begins.”

Game and Fish biologists will conduct a separate survey in September to assess wetland conditions heading into the waterfowl hunting seasons.

Dates scheduled for fur harvester classes

The North Dakota Cooperative Fur Harvester Education Program is hosting education classes for anyone interested in trapping or hunting furbearers.

Courses will be held in Bismarck Aug. 21, 23 and 25, and in Dickinson on Friday and Aug. 25. 

Courses are free and take 16 hours to complete. Students will learn the history of the fur trade in the Dakotas, furbearer identification, tools and techniques for harvesting furbearers in North Dakota, as well as proper handling (skinning, fleshing and boarding) of furbearers.

Upon completion, graduates are issued a certification card that is recognized by any state requiring trapper education prior to purchasing a license.

Anyone interested in signing up can go online to gf.nd.gov and click on the education link and fur harvester education.

Registration required for migratory bird hunters

Migratory bird hunters of all ages are reminded to register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting ducks, geese, swans, mergansers, coots, cranes, snipe, doves and woodcock. Hunters must register in each state for which they are licensed to hunt.

Hunters can HIP certify when purchasing a license or by clicking the Migratory Bird HIP link at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, hunters can call 888-634-4798 and record the HIP number on their printed license.

Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again.

HIP registration helps measure the harvest of migratory birds for management purposes.

-- Compiled from press releases

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