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Fireworks not allowed on wildlife management areas

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds citizens that possession or use of fireworks on state wildlife management areas is prohibited.

In addition, the Game and Fish Department will lift the Tuesday-Wednesday no-camping restriction for the upcoming Fourth of July holiday on WMAs that have the restriction in place. This waiver will allow overnight camping July 3-4.

Other WMA regulations include:

• An equipment registration number, or the individual’s name, address and telephone number, must be displayed on all equipment requiring identification, such as ground blinds, tree stands, cameras and traps.

• Use of drones, or any unmanned radio-controlled aircraft, is prohibited unless authorized by the Game and Fish director.

• Construction or use of a permanent tree stand or permanent ground blind is prohibited. Portable tree stands are allowed.

• Placing of bait for any purpose is prohibited.

• Paintballing and geocaching are prohibited.

• Camping for longer than 10 consecutive days is prohibited. However, some WMAs are closed to camping, while others have further restrictions.

• Group activities involving more than 25 people require a permit.

N. Dakota spring pheasant population down from last year

North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is down 30 percent from the same time last year, according to the state Game and Fish Department’s 2018 spring crowing count survey.

R.J. Gross, upland game management biologist, said the number of roosters heard crowing this spring was down statewide, with decreases ranging from 15 percent to 38 percent in the primary regions holding pheasants.

“We entered spring with a lower-than-average number of adult birds,” Gross said. “Last year’s production was far below average due to the statewide drought conditions.”

However, Gross said the past winter was good for bird survival, so hens should be in good physical shape for the nesting season.

“In addition, this spring’s weather has been good so far, as most of the state has received adequate rainfall,” he asaid. “If the trend continues, a good hatch should be expected, but it will take a few years of good reproduction to get the population back to where it was before the drought.”

While the spring number is an indicator, Gross said it does not predict what the fall population will look like. Brood surveys, which begin in late July and are completed by September, provide a much better estimate of summer pheasant production and what hunters might expect for a fall pheasant population.

-- Compiled from press releases and staff reports

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