NW Region New ND “Pheasant King”

By Nick Simonson With the youth pheasant weekend in just a few days on Sat. Oct. 1, and the general pheasant opener just a week later on Oct. 8, hunters are checking their boots, loading shells in their vests, and figuring out which parcels of their favorite hunting grounds they’ll hit when their opportunity opens…

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…

The Ultimate Upland Checklist

By Nick Simonson Whether you’re headed out after sharptailed grouse now or getting geared up for the pheasant opener in a couple weeks, having those items at the ready which make for a good hunt will help up your odds and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Take note of the following necessities and nice-to-haves…

Hit the Hot Spots

By Nick Simonson While some autumn days feel more like an extension of summer, it won’t be long until colder temperatures start impacting the way animals behave, move, and identify their seasonal safe havens.  Pheasants are no different, and when things get cold – whether it’s an unseasonal dusting of snow on opening weekend, or…

Our Outdoors: Paying Attention

By Nick Simonson Once in a great while on the water, or in the tree stand, or even just out for an early morning run, I catch a glimpse of the rising sun before it disappears under the clouds for the day as a system begins to move through.  I often find myself thinking with…

Brad’s Bites: Fall Catfish Cooldown

By Brad Durick You can tell it is Mid-September on the Red River. The mornings have been cool, with warmer weather during the middays. Right now, the catfish are a bit sluggish and hanging just off the drops to the holes on the off-current sides and tight in log jams and snags that are not…

The Peluso Report: Mighty Minnows

By Mike Peluso I have another split on the schedule this week, with the first part on Devils Lake and the second half on Lake Sakakawea. I am hoping by the end of the month to see some walleye action on the Missouri River, but for now I will stick with the DL and Sak…

Make Contact for Better Habitat, Access

By John Bradley North Dakota in the fall can be a hunter’s paradise. With opportunities for mule and white-tailed deer, sharptailed grouse and pheasant, waterfowl and turkey, North Dakota historically has provided something for every type of hunter. People travel from around the world to hunt in North Dakota for our bountiful wildlife, hospitality, and…

Casting & Blasting Across ND

By Nick Simonson The next few weeks present a unique overlap of just about everything as September turns into October.  From summer festivities and back to school activities, to baseball, football, and even a hint of pre-season basketball and hockey intersecting, it’s an exciting time for everyone, but especially hunters and anglers.  This month and…

Our Outdoors: Ups & Downs

By Nick Simonson The rolling hills around Big Detroit Lake in western Minnesota typically kick off my autumn, but it isn’t the scattering of ruffed grouse in its surrounding woods that elicit my echoing footfalls and that of hundreds of others on the weekend after Labor Day.  Instead, the woodland birds, whose Minnesota opener is…

Numbered

By Doug Leier Hard to believe North Dakota’s hunting seasons opened more than a month ago with the early Canada goose season on Aug. 15. Other hunting openers have followed and more to come, and every hunter should know the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide for 2022 is…

Brad’s Bites: Fall Flux

By Brad Durick What a difference few cool nights can make in the catfish bite on the Red River. It is that time of year, and when things change like this, the fish can get moody. The cold fronts bring the water temperatures down and that can shock the fish in the short term. A…

The Peluso Report: Transition Fishin’

By Mike Peluso There is a lot of transition happening on Devils Lake right now, and I’m guessing this is the story for most of our waters in North Dakota. It’s just that time of year! Water temperatures fall at night and warm during the day. Weed growth begins to die off, and lots of…

Think Small(mouth) This Fall

By Nick Simonson Fall brings a disjointed weather pattern and longer nights and cooler days to the upper Midwest which can often set the fishing on fire when a warm conditions stay put for a spell.  In those times of stability, no fish provides greater fun that the smallmouth bass.  As they binge for what…

Summer Good for Grouse, Partridge Hatches

By Nick Simonson With the completion of the roadside brood surveys for North Dakota’s upland game, and the sharptailed grouse and Hungarian partridge season opener set for this Saturday, hunters may find a better crop of younger grouse in comparison to 2021 and might likely encounter more Hungarian partridge in their walks this fall.  North…

Our Outdoors: Big Finish

By Nick Simonson Often now it seems that summer extends past Labor Day weekend.  Where I used to be sprinting around the front yard at the cabin in blue jeans and a sweatshirt, tracking down a lofted spiraling football in my youth, the warmth of the elongated summer has been more conducive to board shorts…

Brad’s Bites: Good Gets Better

By Brad Durick If you can believe it catfishing got better that it already has been on the Red River. The pattern has remained mostly the same from the past two weeks and fish can be found right in the middle of the river at the heads of holes. They are in the areas that…

The Peluso Report: Fishery Status Update

By Mike Peluso In this week’s fishing report I’m going to change course just a tad. With my recent cancellations, it has given me an opportunity to scout the upper stretches of the Missouri River near my hometown of Bismarck, N.D. I like to get out on the river a few times in the late…

More & Larger Muleys a Possibility this Fall

By Nick Simonson North Dakota’s populations of mule deer heading into the start of archery season are doing well after weathering the rigors of this spring’s late snow storms and the drought of 2021, and it is likely that a strong population of mature muley bucks will be available for those patient and cautious enough…

Our Outdoors: Four Factors for Upland Game

By Nick Simonson Hunts are best viewed in hindsight.  The thrill of the flush and the clamor of the shot often overpower the memory of the longer, quieter stretches of the walk leading up to those moments. But it is in that prologue to the excitement where we begin to realize what came together to…

RAWA Would Boost ND Wildlife Habitat

By Doug Leier Pretty much everyone who hunts and fishes in North Dakota knows they have to buy a license first, and most of those people understand that license dollars go to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. What is less understood, despite decades of promotion by state and federal agencies across the country,…

Brad’s Bites: Good Cat Action Continues on the Red

By Brad Durick It has been a good week for channel catfish on the Red River once again. There are lots of fish that are willing to play. Fish right in the middle of the river at the heads of holes or back in the middle of them. The catfish seem to not be liking…

The Peluso Report: Walleyes Still White Hot

By Mike Peluso Walleye fishing up on Lake Sakakawea remains insane this week, and Devils Lake also remains good. I keep waiting for a major slow down, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Like I’ve talked about in past reports, the bulk of the walleyes are deep on Lake Sakakawea. Not all, but a vast…

Southeast ND Set for Archery Deer Season

By Nick Simonson A winter filled with heavy snows across southeastern North Dakota is a distant memory, as the moisture packed in those drifts gave way to growing fields of grass and a greening landscape following the drought of 2021.  This, along with spring and early summer rains, helped provide nearly ideal fawning habitat for…

Our Outdoors: Box It In

By Nick Simonson Excitement is building for the upcoming hunting seasons, from archery deer and grouse just around the corner, to pheasant opener and the firearms big game seasons starting later in the autumn, and anticipation grows for these fall events that cannot be contained by the four lines which bound their square on the…

Stats and the Status of Wildlife

By Doug Leier I’m a fan of numbers and statistics to a point where they fascinate me. Not just what the numbers say but how the numbers are generated. When I took my college statistics course, I knew going in I was about to experience a learning curve in the most real time. Thankfully, the…

The Peluso Report: Still in Season

By Mike Peluso It is hard to believe it’s late August already. Kids are back in school, football season is starting, and the seasons are about to change. This means a few things for me. One, I don’t stop guiding. In fact, I’m guessing since I guide for walleyes on the Missouri River in spring…