Waterfowlers take note, and make hunting plans, based on this possible great news:
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s mid-summer waterfowl surveys indicated hunters can expect another large fall flight. The brood index from the Game and Fish Department’s annual mid-July survey was up 110 percent from 2011 and exceeded the long-term average by 155 percent. The average brood size reported was 6.9 ducklings. The good news is that as fall progresses into winter, those ducks will be on the move and migrating south.
Mike Johnson, North Dakota game management section leader, said the state’s fall flight – breeding ducks and the young they produce in the state – is based on data from the May breeding duck survey and the July brood survey. “This year’s production was up from last year, and there are strong indications for a good fall flight this year,” Johnson said. “However, late summer has been dry and hunters should scout their favorite areas to check water conditions prior to the opener.” Those drought conditions will possibly affect many hunters along the Mississippi River and across the Midwest.
Opening day for North Dakota residents is September 22 for ducks, coots, mergansers and geese. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota on Sept. 29. All migratory bird hunters are reminded to register with the federal Harvest Information Program (HIP) prior to hunting. Details are at: http://www.fws.gov/hip .
Waterfowlers should refer to their state’s—or the state where they plan to hunt—hunting guide for season regulations, licensing requirements, dates, bag limits, season zones and nonresident hunting zones. These vary widely by state.
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