- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A fall survey indicates “good to excellent” wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout most of North Dakota, according to the state Game and Fish Department.

The northwest part of the state has a near-record number of wetlands, and the rest of the state has wetland numbers that are similar to or above the average over the past 10 years, Migratory Game Bird Biologist Mike Szymanski said.

“Most areas have fairly similar conditions compared to last year, with improvements in the central part of the state,” he said. “Really, we seem to have pretty good numbers of wetlands holding water statewide. The western half of the state is the wettest, but other than a few smaller isolated areas, hunters across the state shouldn’t have issues finding wetlands holding water.”

Hunters also shouldn’t have problem finding ducks. Game and Fish reported in late June that an annual breeding duck survey indicated a population of nearly 5 million birds, up 23 percent from last year and more than double the long-term average. Record-keeping goes back to 1948.

However, “Hunters should always scout because of ever changing conditions and distribution of waterfowl,” Szymanski said.

Duck hunting in the state started last weekend and continues through the end of the year.

Even though it’s wet, Game and Fish is still advising hunters to be cautious about driving off-trail, where vehicles can spark grass fires. Vehicles also could get stuck in soft spots caused by recent rainfall.


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