Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Colorado Big Game Hunting Brochure

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is rolling out its 2011 big game hunting brochure with some major enhancements to help hunters apply for licenses and find information about big game hunting in the state. Applications for the 2011 fall big game season are due to the Division of Wildlife by Tuesday, April 5.

The fully re-designed brochure includes easy-to-read tables, a detailed list of new hunt opportunities in the state and a reference page with important information about Colorado hunting regulations. Copies of the brochure are available anywhere licenses are sold.

Also new this year is an interactive, on-line companion version of the brochure that has video clips offering hunt pointers and tips on how to apply for licenses through the draw process.

Beyond enhancements to the brochure, the Division has also continued to improve its customer service efforts.

Another change this year is the requirement that all license applicants purchase a $10 Habitat Stamp before they apply for their first hunting or fishing license of the year.

Hunters who use paper applications and apply for multiple licenses must include the $10 stamp fee for each application if they have not previously purchased a stamp for the current year. All but one of these fees will be refunded. By purchasing a Habitat Stamp in advance or using the on-line application process, applicants can avoid extra paperwork and expense.

"About 64 percent of our customers apply on-line so they'll get the stamp automatically if they need it, but for hunters who prefer the traditional paper application, we want to make sure they understand the requirements," Turner said. "Another benefit of applying on-line is that the system prevents you from making some of the more common mistakes." Turner added that on average, 10 percent of paper applications each year contain errors or illegible writing that can result in delays or disqualification from the draw process.

A lifetime Habitat Stamp is available for $200 prior to March 31. Beginning April 1 the lifetime Habitat Stamp will increase in cost to $300.

The Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp program was initiated by sportsmen and established by the Colorado legislature in 2005. Proceeds from the Habitat Stamp have helped the Division conserve 103,074 acres of wildlife habitat and secure 40,635 acres of new public hunting and fishing access.

Hunters born after Jan. 1, 1949 are also reminded that they must have completed a hunter education course prior to applying for a hunting license in Colorado. Since the hunter education requirement was imposed in 1970, hunting accidents have significantly declined in the state.

A .pdf version of the 2011 Colorado Big Game brochure can be viewed here:

The interactive version of the brochure can be accessed at

A complete list of upcoming hunter education classes can be found at

source: Colorado Division of Wildlife

Spring Light Goose Hunts in North Dakota

For hunters in search of spring hunting opportunities, North Dakota is one option . Light goose hunters planning to hunt during the state's spring season can even purchase a license online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website.

Residents can hunt during the spring season by having last fall’s 2010-11 bird licenses. Otherwise, hunters will need to purchase either a 2011-12 combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license.

Nonresidents, regardless of age, need a 2011 spring light goose season license. The cost is $50 and the license is good statewide. Nonresidents who hunt the spring season remain eligible to buy a fall season license. The spring season does not count against the 14-day fall hunting season regulation.

A federal duck stamp is not required of either residents or nonresidents.

Licenses are available from the Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office, the department’s website at, or by calling (800) 406-6409.

North Dakota’s spring light goose season officially opens Feb. 19, but hunters shouldn’t expect to see geese migrate through anytime soon.

North Dakota’s annual spring season opens in February in case weather conditions allow for an early arrival. Availability of food and open water dictate when snow geese arrive in the state. Early migrants generally start showing up in the southeast part of the state in mid-to-late March, but huntable numbers usually aren’t around until the end of March or early April. Movements through the state largely depend on available roosting areas and the extent of the snow line.

Hunters must obtain a new Harvest Information Program registration number before venturing out into the field. Those purchasing a license are able to register with the HIP at that time. Otherwise, hunters should call (888) 634-4798. The HIP number is good for the fall season as well, so spring hunters should save it to record on their fall license.

The Game and Fish Department will provide hunters with migration updates once geese have entered the state. Hunters can access the department’s website, or call (701) 328-3697, to receive generalized locations of bird sightings in North Dakota until the season ends or geese have left the state. Migration reports will be updated periodically during the week.

The spring season is only open to light geese – snows, blues, and Ross’s. Species identification is important because white-fronted and Canada geese travel with light geese. The season is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.

The statewide season is open through May 8. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit. Electronic and recorded calls, as well as shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, may be used to take light geese during this season.

There are no waterfowl rest areas designated for the spring season. Hunters should note that private land within waterfowl rest areas closed last fall may be posted closed to hunting.

Nontoxic shot is required for hunting all light geese statewide. Driving off established roads and trails is strongly discouraged during this hunt because of the likelihood of soft, muddy conditions, and winter wheat that is planted across the state.

To maintain good landowner relations, hunters are advised to seek permission before hunting on private lands or attempting any off-road travel during this season. Sprouted winter wheat is considered an unharvested crop. Therefore, hunting or off-road travel in winter wheat is not legal without landowner permission.

All regular hunting season regulations not addressed above apply to the spring season. For more information on regulations refer to the 2011 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations and the 2010 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Signs of Spring

In the USA Mid Atlantic region, signs of Spring are everywhere. All along the Atlantic Flyway, snow geese are visibly restless. As each day grows longer, snow geese gather in ever-larger flocks to feed, becoming more and more restless throughout the day. Although they feed heavily, geese spend considerable time flying back and forth between feeding spots. As the days of February pass, their time in the region grows shorter.

Wild turkeys are also becoming much m ore visible. Large flocks are on the move and sightings in open fields are more common. Food supplies have been lean for some time, but even now turkeys are beginning to find a much wider selection of foods.

Deer behavior is also changing fast as March grows near. With the rut, hunting season and most of the harsh weather behind, deer are able to feed more consistently. During morning and evening, whitetails are often seen eating tree buds, early grasses and other vegetation.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2010-11 Maryland Deer Season Harvest

According to MD DNR, Maryland deer hunters harvested a total of 98,663 deer during the 2010-2011 bow, muzzleloader and firearm seasons combined. This figure is down just 2 percent from last year’s record harvest of 100,663 deer. The antlered harvest declined 1 percent to 33,341 deer this year, while the antlerless harvest decreased 2 percent to 65,322 deer. The harvest totals include 2,780 sika deer; a 17 percent increase over last year’s total for this species.

A regulation change enacted in 2010 moved the western half of Washington County into Deer Management Region A, which includes Allegany and Garrett counties. The regulation change was instituted to reduce the deer harvest in that portion of Washington County. As a result of the boundary change, deer harvest numbers for the region are not directly comparable to previous years. A total of 9,324 deer (5,412 antlered, 3,912 antlerless) were harvested in Region A during the 2010-2011 season. The Garrett County harvest remained stable while the harvest in Allegany and Washington counties dropped approximately 30 percent. The decline in Washington County was an expected outcome of the change in the Region A boundary. While the decline in Allegany County was partly due to a decrease in the overall deer herd, the boundary change further reduced harvest by putting several popular public hunting areas in the same Management Region, removing the option to take deer under two separate bag limits.

The reported deer harvest in the remainder of the state (Deer Management Region B) was similar to the previous year. Hunters in Region B reported taking 89,339 deer for the year; down 2 percent from last year. The antlered harvest of 27,929 deer was 3 percent lower than last year, while the antlerless total decreased 2 percent to 61,410 deer. Frederick County led the state this year with 7,942 deer, followed by Baltimore County with 6,919 and Washington County with 6,035 deer.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chronic Wasting Disease Found In Maryland White-Tailed Deer

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) received laboratory confirmation on February 10, 2011 that a white-tailed deer harvested in Maryland tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

This is the first confirmed case of CWD in Maryland. A hunter in Allegany County reported taking the deer on November 27, 2010 in Green Ridge State Forest. Maryland is now one of 20 other states and Canadian provinces with CWD documented in deer, elk or moose.

For more information on CWD in Maryland and the DNR Response Plan, please visit the DNR Website at

source: MD DNR

Fish and Wildlife Service Report On Hunting and Fishing Trends

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a new report, Trends in Fishing and Hunting 1991-2006: A focus on Fishing and Hunting by Species,that provides a detailed look at fishing and hunting by species and offers a wealth of information on national and state fishing and hunting expenditures, participation rates, and demographic trends. 

The new report, an addendum to the 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation, represents a comprehensive survey conducted by the Service’s Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program (WSFR). Data used to support the study were obtained from eleven fishing and hunting surveys sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA).

Several hunting facts are contained in the report:

 - The number of turkey hunters has increased at more than twice the rate of the growth of the U.S. population since 1991.

 - The number of duck and deer hunters has been stable since 1991.

 - Turkey hunters in 2006 went out twice as many days as they did in 1991.  The rates for duck and deer hunters going out more days have also increased - by 20 to 40 percent.

 - While the overall number of hunters has declined, most of this drop can be attributed to a large decrease in small game and dove hunting. Rabbit and squirrel hunting have lost half their participants since 1991, which may indicate that recruitment of new hunters is declining.

To download a complete copy of the report please visit:

source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Florida Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service established Feb. 5-6, 2011 as Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days.

These select days are a great opportunity to get young people outdoors and to introduce them to the excitement of waterfowl hunting.

The statewide, two-day season allows children younger than 16 years old – with adult supervision – to hunt waterfowl, coots and common moorhens.  Supervisors (18 years or older) must be present and may assist young hunters, but state regulations prohibit the supervisors from hunting. Hunters younger than 16 years of age do not need licenses, permits or federal duck stamps.

All regulations and bag limits for hunting waterfowl apply to this two-day season. Hunting regulations are available online at or in the FWC's waterfowl and coot seasons brochure, available at county tax collectors' offices.

source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission