Outdoors Notebook: Delta Waterfowl expands Hen House program

Feb. 3—BISMARCK — Delta Waterfowl is planning to install more than 2,200 of its Hen House nesting structures in parts of the U.S. and Canada by late spring, the conservation group said this week.

Utilizing an ever-growing team of 30 Hen House delivery specialists, Delta is expected to install 2,218 new nesting structures during the next couple months, while also performing annual maintenance on the existing fleet of 10,775 duck-producing houses.

With the latest additions, Delta's Hen House Program will have nearly 13,000 nest structures in place for the 2024 nesting season in key breeding areas for mallards, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Colorado, along with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

Delta's Hen House expansion this winter includes 678 new structures in Saskatchewan, 450 in Manitoba, 400 in Alberta, 390 in South Dakota and 300 in North Dakota. Delta received grants from the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund, Wildlife Habitat Canada, the Manitoba Conservation Trust, and the Manitoba Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund. In addition, the new structures are funded by major gifts from donors Jim Richardson and John S. Dale.

"Hen Houses are a proven efficient and effective way to produce more ducks," Joel Brice, chief conservation officer for Delta Waterfowl, said in a statement. "Hen Houses fit well with farming and ranching activity, and they hatch a lot of mallards, the most popular duck among North American hunters." — staff report

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has launched an online survey to gather public input on 2023 deer populations and observations, the agency said. The survey includes questions about experiences hunters had during the deer hunting season, issues related to damage deer might do to crops, landscaping or gardens, and other deer-related issues.

The DNR will use the feedback to shape regulations for the 2024 hunting season.

The survey is open through Monday, Feb. 26, and available on the

DNR deer management webpage


. — staff report

BISMARCK — North Dakotans interested in supporting wildlife conservation programs should look for the Watchable Wildlife checkoff on the state tax form, the Game and Fish Department said.

The state income tax form gives wildlife enthusiasts an opportunity to support nongame wildlife such as songbirds and birds of prey, while at the same time contributing to programs that help everyone enjoy all wildlife.

The checkoff — whether you are receiving a refund or having to pay in — is an easy way to voluntarily contribute to sustain this long‑standing program. In addition, direct donations to the program are accepted any time of year.

To learn more about Watchable Wildlife program activities and to

view the winning entries in the 2023 photo contest,

featured in the January issue of North Dakota OUTDOORS, visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at — staff report

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota DNR is conducting a rulemaking process on regulations pertaining to Minnesota-Canada border water designations.

According to Shannon Fisher, fisheries populations monitoring and regulations manager, many of the previous border water designations were "rather ambiguous," and some areas had never been defined at all.

As an example, Fisher said, the existing boundary designation for the Warroad River, which flows into Lake of the Woods in Warroad, Minnesota, is the Warroad City Beach. The boundary has been difficult to enforce because it wasn't clear where on the beach the actual boundary was located.

The new language, Fisher said, sets the boundary at the state Highway 11 bridge.

"This new boundary will be much easier for anglers and enforcement officers to identify," Fisher said. "There were also a number of tributaries that were either defined poorly or not defined at all. The new language clarifies where boundary waters start by identifying the line between boundary waters and inland waters. For example, the Black River, Big Fork River and Little Fork River up to the state Highway 11 bridges that cross them are considered boundary waters."

Fishing contests, designated waters and drone use in Aquatic Management Areas also are part of the rulemaking process now underway, the DNR said. For more information,

check out the DNR website

at and search for "Border waters, fishing contests, designated waters and aquatic management areas." — staff report

EAGAN, Minn. — The USA Clay Target League has launched a

new website.

In a news release, the League said the new website is part of its "massive new ecosystem," which encompasses all 50 state high school programs as well as the League's college and homeschool programs.

"The League will have over 50,000 athletes and 10,000+ coaches participating on as many as 1,800 teams in 45 states this year," John Nelson, president of the USA Clay Target League, said in a statement. "Such a large audience of athletes, coaches, parents and supporters requires a state-of-the-art website that is built to provide scores, standings and information in an easy-to-use platform.

"Previously, participants and their families have needed to visit a number of websites at various times during the season," Nelson added. "Now everyone can access rules, registration information, scores and standings, season awards, tournament information and more in one centralized location."

* Info: — staff report