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Game & Fish: New Answers for Old Problems

By T. McDonald

Bismarck, ND – The Director of the State Game and Fish Department says the past two weeks of public input hearings has not only pointed out the need for increasing access to land for hunting, it has also given him ideas on how to make that happen. Dean Hildebrand says not only have public lands been in high demand by resident hunters, there is also an increasing number of people from out of state looking to hunt in those same areas, and it's going to take some new strategy?
"?We're going to try to bring some additional people on board so we've got them out in the field as sales people, trying to acquire additional land that we in the Game and Fish Department can lease for people to hunt upon. So, it's like marketing any other product. We're out there with cover locks, and we're out there now with our 'Private Land Open To Sportsmen' program and this will be just an emphasis on that. And then we're going to be looking at new programs we can bring on board. Probably our state school lands, maybe improving some of the quality of those lands so that we've got more habitat on those. And there are some other things we're looking at."
Hildebrand says as the state looks at acquiring new land there has to be a balance struck to avoid conflicts with groups that are doing the same thing as a business.