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Leier: Maintenance of hunting areas often goes overlooked

West Fargo - For most of us, the road traveled matters little once we’ve arrived at our destination. Seldom do we realize – or appreciate – while beginning a pheasant hunt across the prairie, the time and energy it took to provide access to a public hunting spot.

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Leier: Pike swimming under the radar in North Dakota

West Fargo - Unlike hunting seasons, most of which have a defined beginning and ending date, North Dakotans are afforded the opportunity to fish 24-7, 365 days a year for most species, excluding paddlefish.

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Leier: Fishing access in ND has never been better

West Fargo - Not surprisingly, my youngest daughter, age 6, considers me old, and I’d guess that most kids look at mom and dad in the same way, no matter the age of the parent.

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Leier: Preserve summer fun by putting safety first

West Fargo - When it comes to a successful or memorable trip outdoors, many will look for pleasant weather, good friends and maybe catching some fish or an evening of storytelling around a campfire.

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Leier: A look at recent outdoors-related laws

Fargo - The 2013 North Dakota legislature dealt with a number of bills related to outdoor recreation and conservation.

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Leier: It's never too early to think ahead

Fargo - While it feels like spring should soon begin taking hold across North Dakota, the fact of the matter is you’d be really depressed if you counted how many days it is until Fourth of July, or even the start of school in August, and we’re not even into April yet. It’s a testament to how slowly time arrives and how quickly it fades into the rear-view mirror. The point is it’s never too soon to think ahead, whether it’s summer fishing or fall hunting.

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Leier: Make the most of 'big three' hunting opportunities

Fargo - The deadline to submit an application for the 2013 North Dakota moose, elk and bighorn sheep license lottery is March 27.

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Leier: Bald eagle population down from a year ago

Fargo - Penning an outdoors column each week may seem daunting to some, but even with 52 opportunities in a given calendar year to generate topics and information to pass along, at times I actually wish I had more time and room.

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Leier: Examining the bills that impact outdoors

Fargo - The legislative process in North Dakota only takes place every two years. With that in mind, all hunters, anglers, trappers and anyone else who spends time outdoors has an opportunity to engage in the process now, rather than later this year after bills become law and changes in how you spend time outdoors are already implemented.

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Leier: Keep animals in mind when enjoying outdoors

Fargo - Many animals have adaptations that help them get through winter, but in some years even those natural defenses are not a sure hedge against death.

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Columns

Leier: Answering common questions about deer hunting

West Fargo - Every year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want rules and regulations clarified. Some common questions are listed below:

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Leier: A rundown of ND outdoors studies

West Fargo - North Dakota State Game and Fish Department biologists conduct a variety of studies every year. The familiar ones are those that provide counts or indexes that factor into season setting and limits, and also set hunter and angler expectations.

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Leier: Hunters should find their licenses sooner rather than later

West Fargo - Last week, the North Dakota State Game and Fish Department began its seasonal periodic reminders urging the thousands of deer hunters to take a few minutes to go find their 2013 deer license.

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Leier: Hunters must be aware of regulations to help stop spread of CWD

West Fargo - With all the archery deer hunting activity and the coming spike with deer gun season, it’s a good time to remind hunters of specific regulations on transporting deer and other big game.

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Leier: Waterfowl opportunities in ND are abundant

West Fargo - Many hunters these days are bemoaning a downward population trend for deer and pheasants in North Dakota. On the other hand, for 2013 at least, duck and goose populations are in good shape and can provide opportunities that hunters may not want to overlook.

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Leier: Looking forward to upcoming seasons, and with good reason

West Fargo - Hunters aren’t much different than sports fans when looking forward to upcoming seasons and learning about expert analysis and predictions. Fall flight forecasts for waterfowl and results from upland game brood surveys will pique the interest of hunters and wildlife managers alike.

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Leier: HIP is important tool for state biologists

West Fargo - If you catch a conversation between hunters and hear a reference to HIP, chances are they are discussing the Harvest Information Program and not what their kids or teenage neighbors are into.

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Leier: Early Canada goose season in ND continues to evolve

West Fargo - North Dakota’s early Canada goose season has been around for more than a decade. It’s a specific effort to put additional hunting pressure on the rising population of giant Canada geese – the only goose species that nests and raises its young within the state.

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Leier: In terms of wet years in ND, 1993 still stands out

West Fargo - With more than four decades behind me, sometimes 20 years seems like a long time, and sometimes it seems like yesterday. That’s how I feel about the summer of 1993, and specifically July, when much of North Dakota’s landscape went through a dramatic change from dry to wet.

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Leier: Survey returns yield interesting results

West Fargo - While I’m never one to wish away the current for the future, I also realize mid-July is weeks and not months until school begins, baseballs are replaced by footballs, and shotguns and doves are mentioned with walleyes and plugs. I’ll hold onto summer as long as possible.

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