Dry conditions could pose a challenge for huntersFinding sloughs and other wetlands for waterfowl hunting may be a challenge this fall. According to a recent report by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, there are approximately 23 percent fewer wetlands this year than last year.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Finding sloughs and other wetlands for waterfowl hunting may be a challenge this fall.
According to a recent report by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, there are approximately 23 percent fewer wetlands this year than last year.
However, local hunting experts say that there are still places with enough water to make for good duck hunting.
“The dry weather has eliminated the smaller sloughs,” said Anne Ongstad, owner of Hunt Dakota at Robinson. “But there are still some spring-fed sloughs with good water.”
Ongstad said they are waiting for rain to fill the smaller sloughs and for the big flocks of waterfowl to move south out of Canada.
“The weather has been so nice so not much of the migration is under way,” she said. “We’re waiting for the big flocks.”
The Game and Fish Department report said the worst of the dry conditions includes all of North Dakota further than 20 miles west of U.S. Highway 281.
“Few wetlands remain in the western two-thirds of the state,” said Mike Szymanski, migratory game biologist. “Even though conditions have declined statewide the eastern third of North Dakota certainly has huntable water.”
Ongstad said reports from Game and Fish about pheasant numbers and wetland conditions have impacted the numbers of hunters they are seeing.
“We have fewer reservations this year than last,” she said. “The Game and Fish reports scared them off but we really do have good pheasant numbers and should see some nice flocks of ducks and geese coming through.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by e-mail at email@example.com