March 19, 2009

Winter wildlife woes continue in N.D.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists indicate the final 4-6 weeks of winter will be critical to the health of the state’s wildlife. "Depending on how the rest of the winter plays out, the cumulative impact could be significant," said Randy Kreil, wildlife chief. Reports of pheasant losses continue, especially after the statewide rain experienced in early February. "Reports across the state vary from birds doing okay to areas with considerable losses," said Stan Kohn, upland game bird supervisor. "In some instances, landowners are reporting 75 percent fewer birds than they did in the beginning of winter." The Game and Fish Department receives phone calls on a regular basis from hunters inquiring about what this winter will mean in terms of pheasant hunting opportunities next fall. "We’ve even had people ask if we are going to lower the bag limit," Kreil said. "At this point it is far too early to make any such predictions. We will closely monitor the results of the spring pheasant crowing count surveys, and this will give us our first real definitive information on just how difficult the winter was and what sort of losses we incurred."

The Weather Network