Pelt Perfection

By Nick Simonson Autumn is often a brief part of the circle of seasons in the upper Midwest, but for those that piggyback their ice fishing or angling success on the hunting adventures that come with it, it may be the most important portion of the year. The wide and varied game bag afforded hunters…

Our Outdoors: Hope In Habitat

By Nick Simonson When it comes to hunting, where you find habitat, you find your quarry.  While fields of corn and soybeans will draw pheasants, deer and waterfowl to their edges to feed, the other 95 percent of their lives are spent loafing, staying warm, remaining hidden and raising their young in places kept away…

The Peluso Report: Waiting for Fall Bite

By Mike Peluso So the calendar is saying fall. The temperatures lately are saying otherwise. Unfortunately, this is slowing the start of the fall river bite somewhat. The fish are biting at times and other times they are not. The one thing I’ve noticed is the fish are feeding in short spurts with right before…

Bird Surveys Aren’t Censuses

By Doug Leier One of the key points in explaining many North Dakota Game and Fish Department numbers is understanding the index is not a census. Not every pheasant, deer or grouse in the entire state is counted. Think of how time-consuming, expensive and impossible this would be. Instead, routes are determined and surveyed each…

The Pheasant Hunter’s Prayer

By Nick Simonson That favorite day of many outdoorsmen is fast approaching – pheasant opener.   With head bowed, eyes skyward (is that physically possible?) and tongue firmly in cheek, we once again pray that divine intervention outweighs Murphy’s Law this autumn with the following blessing: Heavenly God, to whom I pray,provide me birds on opening…

Soaked But Successful

By Nick Simonson Sportsmen are rarely dissuaded by the weather, unless it’s life-threateningly cold, or hot to the point of taxing the well-being of a field dog, adventures in the uplands continue through all sorts of conditions.  Wind, snow and even rain impact how pheasants relate to their habitat and where they seek shelter, and…

Our Outdoors: The Sprint

By Nick Simonson They say summer moves fast, and it’s true, but by far, fall goes by the quickest of all the seasons; especially for those of us of a hunting mindset, and specifically in this particular autumn we’re experiencing.  It always feels as if the next three months will be subject to the wills…

Q&A with Jeb Williams, NDG&F Director

By Doug Leier Jeb Williams began as the director of North Dakota Game and Fish late summer and it’s been a busy start to his tenure. While he’s been a coworker for more than 20 years, here’s a conversation to help us all get to know Jeb a little bit better. What is your wildlife…

Brad’s Bites: End-of-Season Report

By Brad Durick Recent hot days have water temperatures holding at 63 degrees on the Red River. The lack of moisture over the past few weeks has flows back down to about nothing, however. Over the past week, the catfish have not been responding well. We are back to having fish pick up the bait…

Know Where to Go

By Doug Leier The old parental response of “the journey is half the fun” to kids wondering “are we there yet” fits for hunting as well. Even just the scouting can make for memories. Most can think of a few stories where finding a place to hunt at times can be as much a part…

The Peluso Report: Finding Fall Fish on Devils Lake

By Mike Peluso This will probably be my last Devils Lake fishing report until the upcoming ice fishing season. I will say this, if the open water season on Devils Lake is any indication on what this winter will be like, it’s going to be epic! We have finally hit the fall transition. The leaves…

Precision Ag: From Planning to Planting to PLOTS

By Emily Spolyar, ND PF Pheasants Forever’s (PF) Precision Agriculture and Conservation Specialists are intentionally positioned to connect not just with growers who are already thinking about conservation practices, but more specifically, with growers who may not be currently considering conservation practices as a viable solution to lower-producing acres on their operations. These specialists seek…

Our Outdoors: Running Into Fall

By Nick Simonson This Saturday was the second of two back-to-back weekend road races which capped off the most amazing summer of running for me. It was blissfully cool in the morning ahead of the two-day warm-up which, once again in this summer’s style, timed out perfectly for an enjoyable weekend.  With the major milestones…

Brad’s Bites: Catfish Cooling

By Brad Durick Cool mornings and shorter days are leading to the end of the 2021 catfishing season on the Red River. Right now, the water temperature is holding at about 63 degrees which is a great place to be for a couple more weeks of angling. Water levels, while still low, are very stable…

Hatcheries Make Historic Fishing Highs Possible

By Doug Leier Numbers get hard to comprehend when I relay to North Dakota anglers that over the past 30 years nearly 250 million walleye and 2 million pounds of trout and salmon have been stocked in North Dakota waters. It’s where a little perspective and history can help make you appreciate more of what…

The Peluso Report: Devils Lake Turning Over

By Mike Peluso The fall transition has started on Devils Lake and the walleyes are starting to do the same. Expect things to be a little inconsistent for a bit. The water temperatures have started to drop, and I noticed some of the muck from the bottom floating on the surface this week while fishing….

Kellen’s Call: Fall Haul

By Kellen Latendresse It’s too bad we can’t extend some seasons in North Dakota, as fall is the one I wish was twice as long! There isn’t time to do it all.  I have two nights off this week and have one buddy wanting me to join him for a dove hunt, another asked me…

Stuff That Works

By John Bradley There’s a Guy Clark song called “Stuff That Works” that has been stuck in my head for weeks.  The refrain is: “Stuff that works, stuff that holds up. The kind of stuff you don’t hang on the wall.” While he sings about his old guitar, his old blue shirt, his old boots,…

Brad’s Bites: Late Summer Stabilization

By Brad Durick Water levels on the Red River remain low but the flow is substantially better than a few weeks ago, running about 700 cfs in Grand Forks. While it is still not great, it is good for the fish. The catfish seem to be responding to the stable higher water quite well with…

Our Outdoors: Hot Dogs

By Nick Simonson In what has been an historically hot summer across much of the country, and certainly the upper Midwest, it’s easy to assume those temperatures will stick around into fall. As the old saying goes, when in a drought, don’t predict rain. But even in those average years over the past few decades,…

Highlighting ND’s WMAs

By Doug Leier  North Dakota’s 200 wildlife management area’s total around 220,000 acres of state land open to hunters. These aren’t Private Land Open To Sportsmen acres. PLOTS are private lands enrolled in the Game and Fish administered program.   The department WMAs have specific rules and regulations to balance and reduce potential conflicts, which can and do occur when areas attract…

The Peluso Report: Seasonal Slow Down

By Mike Peluso It’s been a relatively slower week of fishing for me. I did chase muskies one day and went after walleyes on the river south of Bismarck and fished Devils Lake one day guiding. So, this is going to be a mixed report. I’ll start with the muskie day. We never caught one,…

Pheasant Counts Drop, Grouse & Partridge Stable

NDG&F Dept. Release North Dakota’s roadside surveys conducted in late July and August indicate pheasants were down from last year, while sharp-tailed grouse and gray partridge numbers were about the same. State Game and Fish Department upland game supervisor Jesse Kolar said results of the annual upland late summer counts were expected. “Recent weather patterns…

Brad’s Bites: Flows Up, Catfish Turning On

By Brad Durick We have water for now. The rains of that past couple weeks have brought the river up to over 1,000 cfs at Grand Forks and that is moving north. While it is still not a ton of water, it is truly blessing for the fish to keep them going. It probably won’t…

Choking Up for Upland Game

By Nick Simonson When I began hunting, I was gifted an old Remington 870 Wingmaster by my father, who had used it extensively in his younger days for pheasants and grouse, and the occasional waterfowling trip for ducks and geese.  The gun was well worn, with the scratches in the stock and slight mottling of…

Secret Stops for Sharptailed Grouse

By Nick Simonson September brings with it the initial upland seasons of the year, and sharptailed grouse have often been that first flush that has sent my heart soaring each fall after its beat echoed steadily in my ears as my dog held point.  While these buff and gray birds with the trademark chuckle that…

Our Outdoors: First Watch

By Nick Simonson Opening day of North Dakota’s bow season sits in that stretch of time where summer and fall mix together.  Cool dewy mornings of Labor Day weekend melt into warm afternoons, and despite the fact that deer are in their warm weather patterns and most often present themselves with a reserve limited to…

The Peluso Report: Seek Structure on Devils Lake

By Mike Peluso A little wind, a little rain, a little heat, and a lot of walleyes were all in play this week on Devils Lake. This is sure shaping up to be an unbelievable late season. Structure like rocks, roads, humps and definitely the deeper structure seems to be where some of the bigger…

Kellen’s Call: Change of the Seasons

By Kellen Latendresse We’re starting to see some yellow and orange leaves and nights are getting cooler, which means fish patterns are shifting. Eyes On This past week, I’ve only had three days for walleyes and three for muskies, so my sample size of fishing is a little smaller.  Plus dove season opened up and…

Brad’s Bites: Flows Up, Frogs Moving

By Brad Durick We have had a bit more rain and the flow on the Red River in Grand Forks is nearly double what it was last week. It appears to still not be enough for the catfish to respond positively with a more consistent bite. They are still lined up on the back of…