North Dakota, Standing Rock Tribe to Partner on Reservation Elk Hunts

Digest: Nevada approves emergency hunts; 'fair chase' initiative launched

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

By Mark Carter

North Dakota wildlife officials are partnering with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to manage an elk hunting season on the Standing Rock reservation.

This week, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) and Jeff Kelly, director of Standing Rock Game, Fish and Wildlife, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that directs state and tribal authorities to co-manage an elk season on the reservation.

The MOU represents the first of its kind in North Dakota, and it establishes elk hunting unit E6 while directing the North Dakota Game and Fish Department to work with counterparts from Standing Rock as well as private landowners to coordinate the effort. State officials expect to collaborate with the tribe on other hunting seasons as well. 

"This is a good example of collaborating for the benefit of the land, wildlife and tribal members," Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault told the Grand Forks Herald. "Rather than having two different seasons on fee land and tribal land, this establishes a single season that's consistent for all hunters."

Standing Rock Game, Fish and Wildlife Director Jeff Kelly (left) shakes hands with North Dakota Game and Fish Department Director Terry Steinwand after signing a memorandum of understanding for an elk hunting season within the Standing Rock Reservation. Joining them are Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault (standing, left) and Gov. Doug Burgum. (Grand Forks Herald)

In addition to responsible, coordinated management of elk within E6, the MOU seeks to maximize recreational opportunities for all licensed hunters and reduce impacts to crops and feed supplies on private lands.

Elk season, bow and regular, begins September 1 in certain units; October 6 in others. The coordinated hunt in E6 begins November 27 and runs through December 31. For more information on elk hunting in North Dakota, click here

Nevada Approves Emergency Depredation Hunts

The Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners has approved several emergency depradation hunts connected to recent wildfires that have destroyed more than 500 square miles of winter range in Elko County for antelope and mule deer herds.

The board approved hunts for deer (doe) and antelope (horns shorter than ears). 

“Last summer’s fires had already decimated a large portion of this winter range, and the additional habitat loss from the 2017 fires have taken a bad situation and made it much worse,” said Tony Wasley, director for the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), in a statement. “The affected winter ranges are highly unlikely to be able to support the number of animals it has in years past. Depending on the winter severity, we may see significant herd losses even with the reduced populations resulting from this hunt.”

The emergency hunts are expected to reduce the density of herds using the affected ranges before winter as well as reduce malnutrition and starvation and even help maintain the integrity of the unburned ranges by reducing the number of animals dependent on it.

Hunters who have not received antelope or deer tags will have the chance to receive tags for the emergency hunts. Two emergency antelope hunts will be held from September 25 through October 9. One will have 400 total tags available for units 062, 067, 068, and the other will have 300 total tags available for units 071 and 073.

Two antlerless deer hunts will be held -- an early season of October 10-31 and a late season of November 6-20. Each will have 350 tags available.

Tags for all emergency hunts will be issued through the same online application system used for the main draws each spring. Hunters can apply for the tags at HuntNevada.com.

The application period opens Thursday (August 17) and runs through Friday, August 25. Results will be posted Friday, September 1, according to NDOW.

Boone & Crockett Club Launches 'Hunt Fair Chase' Initiative

The Boone & Crockett Club has launched an online initiative designed to help hunters converse with non-hunters and anti-hunters about why they hunt.

"Hunt Right; Hunt Fair Chase" launched earlier this month with the support of numerous manufacturers and outdoors groups, and it addresses what B&C considers the "most pressing issues of our time" -- those of the North American hunter and of hunting in general.

“Hunters have always been a minority,” said C.J. Buck, vice president of communications for the club, in a news release. “But, there was a time when sportsmen were widely respected for their skill, commitments to wildlife, and how we conducted ourselves. Today, we do not need to look far to see that hunting’s modern relevance is being questioned, if not being outright attacked. This includes sportsmen ourselves, not just the activity of hunting.”

B&C says the purpose of the initiative is to invigorate and inspire sportsmen by shining "a light on the moral connection hunters have always had with the game they hunt, and how this connection translates into the values hunters carry with them into the field." 

Check it out at HuntFairChase.com.