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Bird numbers down as seasons open

North Dakota’s hunting seasons for grouse and partridge will open Saturday.

State Game and Fish Department upland game supervisor Jesse Kolar said last year’s drought is still having an impact on bird numbers.

“Numbers were already low going into 2017, and then we didn’t have good production largely due to the drought, so this spring our numbers were down once again,” Kolar said. “Therefore, assuming typical production this summer, but from fewer birds, hunters should be able to expect similar conditions to last year.”

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. Sharptails, ruffed grouse and Huns each have a daily limit of three and a possession limit of 12.

Hunters, regardless of age, must have a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and general game and habitat license. In addition, hunters age 16 and older need a small game license.

Hunters are urged to keep up with the daily rural fire danger index, issued by the National Weather Service, to alert the public to conditions that may be conducive to accidental starting or spread of fires.

Information on current fire danger indexes is available through ndresponse.gov, or from a county sheriff’s office.

For further season information and regulations, hunters should consult the North Dakota 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide.

Hunters asked to submit wing envelopes 

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is once again asking upland game hunters for help with future bird management, by collecting some feathers from killed birds and sending in wing envelopes this fall.

Wing data allows biologists to assess production, determine the timing of hatches and get a better understanding of the ratio of males to females and juveniles to adults.

Instructions for submitting wing data are printed on the envelope.

Hunters interested in receiving wing envelopes should visit the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov to order a supply of wing envelopes or contact the department’s main office in Bismarck by phone at 701-328-6300 or email at ndgf@nd.gov.

Youth hunt puts the focus on safety

A youth hunt will be held beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday at Capital City Sporting Clays, 12951 71st Ave. N.E. in north Bismarck.

The free event, hosted by the Central Dakota Chapter of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, features a hunter safety refresher held by a hunter safety instructor.

Open to youth hunters who have gone through a hunter safety program, the morning begins with a short session on the association, followed by an hour of field hunting with groups of two to three youth hunters who will be accompanied with a mentor and a steady gun dog.

"This is a way that we give back to the community and get youth excited about hunting, hunting dogs, North Dakota outdoor recreation and conservation efforts, said Dan Dorfscmidt, president of Central Dakota NAVHDA. "We had been involved with Pheasants Forever's similar event in the past and wanted to start a hunt up again to continue to reach out to youth interested in hunting."

Parents, friends and other family members are welcome to attend. Youth participants must be accompanied by an adult.

To register, visit www.centraldakotanavhda.org/youth-hunt. Space is limited. The first 16 registered will be served.

-- Compiled from press releases and staff reports

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