It’s a Party of One in North Dakota

By Doug Leier From deer to ducks and pike to perch, hunters and anglers must take only their own daily limit or fill their own deer tag. For as long as I can remember, party hunting, group fishing or any other way to describe it has never been legal in the state. In North Dakota…

The Peluso Report: Prep for Early Ice

By Mike Peluso I really don’t want to be talking about ice fishing yet, but Mother Nature definitely had other plans for us here in North Dakota. It is hard for me to believe we were open water fishing a week ago in 70 degree weather and now we have 2 feet of snow on…

SEND Set for Strong Ice Season

By Nick Simonson Southeastern North Dakota finds itself in a familiar spot heading into an ice fishing season which may have been jumpstarted by cold conditions descending on the region in this second week of November. As hardwater sets up, ice anglers will likely find good fishing on the area’s major destinations and plenty of…

Our Outdoors: Tell Tale Signs

By Nick Simonson From across a golden field of fall CRP grasses, or bounding through the leafless November brush on a steep hillside, it’s easy to see the arching back-and-forth following a whitetail deer in full flight.  Their name says it all and that white flag on their rear end typically does too.  From the…

Armstrong Weak for ND Sportsmen

By Nick Simonson When your biggest brag to your constituents to lead off campaign season is an advertisement about driving 80,000 miles in four years – while not mentioning you get a $250,000 annual budget in taxpayer dollars for staff and travel – there’s something wrong with your priorities.  In the case of North Dakota’s…

Keep Safety Front of Mind this Deer Season

By Doug Leier In any given year about 100,000 individuals put in for the regular deer gun lottery. Safe to say, even if you don’t deer hunt there’s someone in your house, at work or next door that either will be deer hunting or wishes they were. When it comes to deer hunting safety (or…

The Video

By Nick Simonson The video represents not only landowner-sportsman relations at its lowest point, it also comes when communication among people in general has seemingly reached its nadir.  In the now infamous clip that runs longer than it takes me to walk my dogs around the block, the landowner lobs more cursewords in that span…

Our Outdoors: Catch & Release Hunting

By Nick Simonson If I could find a way to zap a pheasant in the air without killing it, to have a second or two to hold it and look over its feathers and admire their sheen and the length of the tail growing late into the season before it wakes up and takes flight…

The Peluso Report: Fall Switch on Sak

By Mike Peluso I can’t believe the open water guide season may be coming to a close. The long-range weather forecast isn’t looking good. However, I’m holding out hope to possibly get some nice days toward the end of November yet. I was fortunate enough to fish Sakakawea the last few days and also the…

Draw a Bead on Fly Tying

By Nick Simonson When it comes to fast moving water, or big fish lurking below the school, nothing gets an angler down to business like the addition of a heavy, flashy bead at the front of a fly.  Whether it is a rapidly flowing stream harboring trout in deeper pockets or tucked into the slow…

Reminders for Rifle Season

By Doug Leier Going back to my beginning with the Game and Fish Department as a game warden, the common questions surrounding deer season haven’t changed that much. Neither have the answers. Which say’s a lot about North Dakota’s deer hunting heritage. The 60,000-plus hunters are passionate about the time-honored tradition and want to know…

Deer Hunting at its Best

By Nick Simonson With firearms deer seasons opening up across the United States, rolling down from the north in the next couple of weeks as the cool weather of mid-fall settles in and sparks rutting behavior across the map on into the southern states later this season, Chief Conservation Officer Kip Adams of the National…

The Peluso Report: Fast Fall on Devils Lake

By Mike Peluso The first half of this week we couldn’t have asked for better fall fishing weather. For me, the week was spent both on the Missouri River and on Devils Lake. Unfortunately, I was going to fish Lake Sakakawea later in the week, but Mother Nature said otherwise. I’ll start with Devils Lake…

Our Outdoors: Scope It Out

By Nick Simonson There’s nothing so clear and so adrenaline inducing as seeing a deer through the reticle of a scope.  The movements of the animal are magnified, and if from the right position of concealment at a distance, natural and without knowledge, until the last moment, that the hunt is on. In those seconds…

What Story Are You Telling?

By John Bradley Only five percent of the U.S. population hunts. That leaves 95 percent of the population as non-hunters. They are our neighbors, family, friends, or friends of friends, and so on. That population will ultimately decide if hunting is allowed to continue. If someone who hasn’t been closely exposed to hunting from a…

The Peluso Report: Access, Wind Make Fall Tough

By Mike Peluso I was all ready to spend the week up at Devils Lake for three guide trips last week, but after watching the news and seeing winds anywhere from 25 to 45 mph, I decided it wasn’t worth it. As I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize I don’t hate walleyes that…

Our Outdoors: Bucking the Trend

By Nick Simonson A rather startling headline made its way around the internet last week regarding a staggering drop of almost 70 percent of all wildlife species worldwide over the past 50 years.  Far beyond clickbait, the story detailed results of the Living Planet Report, an annual survey conducted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)…

Pheasant Marabou Magic

By Nick Simonson It’s safe to venture with its technicolor dreamcoat of feathers that a rooster pheasant provides more useful plumes for fly tying than any other bird. Where specialized chickens are bred for the sole purpose of producing their long, dangly feathers ideal for tying dry flies, the canvas found on the body of…

Be Aware of CWD Restrictions This Year

By Doug Leier I played a part on the Game and Fish Department’s chronic wasting disease task force and out of everything I learned, what stuck with me most, is how much I’d forgotten. Which is why review of rules, regulations and restrictions is so important for all of us. North Dakota’s archery deer season…

Power Your Hunting

By Nick Simonson Until I became an active hunter, leg day was the worst day in a workout routine.  Usually falling on a Friday morning early in the weight room, it was the easiest one to skip and opt for sleeping in and starting the weekend a bit early.  However, as I’ve gotten older and…

Our Outdoors: Thick Thoughts

By Nick Simonson In the dry, crackling brown of a cattail slough is one of my favorite places to be in the fall.  When the stand of dense vegetation is about chest high – tall enough to provide a good screen and cover for pheasants, but short enough to allow for a clear shot when…

Singling Out Pheasants

By Nick Simonson If you’re a fan of the Netflix show Stranger Things (and even if you aren’t) it was tough to get away from the reissuance of Kate Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill” this summer.  Even now as we get into autumn, the tune which saved Max from the grip of Vecna (spoiler…

Our Outdoors: At the End

By Nick Simonson I’m a fan of end-of-the-world movies, particularly those incorporating the zombie genre into their plot.  There’s something that piques my interest in those scenarios where nothing is left but a handful of hardy survivors taking on what remains of a hardened and structureless society of scavengers scraping by amidst the hordes of…

Pointers for PLOTS

By Doug Leier North Dakota Game and Fish Department Hunters born 35 years ago or more have long enjoyed the opportunity the North Dakota Game and Fish Department Private Land Open To Sportsmen has provided. Hard to believe this program began back in 1997, and hunters who were around 10 years old may remember paging…

Brad’s Bites: End of the Line

By Brad Durick We ended the guiding season right at what we thought was the end of the bite. A string of warm days has brought the temperature back up and kept the catfish going. The past few days they have been feeding on the flats and in the faster water. Sit on them 20-25…

The Peluso Report: Sinking South?

By Mike Peluso This week’s walleye fishing on the Missouri River near Bismarck is the same story as in previous weeks. A few small fish are being caught around that 12-to-13-inch size range. I’m hoping we will see some more walleyes show up in the next couple of weeks. Sakakawea continues to be good. I…

Our Outdoors: On the Upswing

By Nick Simonson Grass equals birds.  Habitat equals deer. Clean water equals fish.  These are the things I along with many other hunters and anglers have come to know in the outdoors. I can recall once cutting from corner to corner on a dirt field to grab the pickup truck and collect my dog and…

Public Land Regulation Reminders

By Doug Leier Last week I wrote about the Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen program, which provides walk-in access to hunters on thousands of acres across the state. The PLOTS Guide, which features these walk-in tracts, also includes public land hunting access information, including more than 200 wildlife management areas totaling…

The Peluso Report: Not Ready for Beet Juice!

By Mike Peluso If you follow me on my Snapchat you know there are two things I absolutely hate. One is the beet juice they use on our streets in Bismarck in the winter, the other is wind. As you can guess by the time of year, I haven’t been complaining about the beet juice…

Brad’s Bites: Dropping Degrees

By Brad Durick The nights have been cold over the past week, and we are losing just about a degree per night in water temperature on the Red River. Right now, we are just under 60 degrees, meaning there really isn’t much time left for the good catfish bite of 2022. Not much has changed…