North Dakota Game and Fish free program to landowners

Published: Mar. 6, 2021 at 6:45 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - There’s a program free to landowners that benefits wildlife.

More than 93% of land in North Dakota is privately owned, which is why it’s critical for the Game and Fish Department to work with landowners to manage wildlife and wildlife habitat.

“The free food plot seed is given out to landowners to provide habitat as well as food for animals throughout the year. The blend was specifically designed to provide benefits for a majority of the year,” said NDGF plots biologist Ryan Huber.

Landowner D.J. Randolph participated in the free food plot seed program last year and plans to do so again this year.

“I think it’s a great program, any time you can get something that’s going to benefit wildlife at no charge to you, why wouldn’t you try to put that in? You can go on the website and sign up for it, contact the Game and Fish and they’ll arrange a distribution point for you to pick up the seed,” said Randolph.

After the first two years of the program, landowners have seen the benefits of the program.

“The landowners have been very receptive. We have several guys that are sending me emails throughout the summer. They’re so proud of it. They want to show us,” said Huber.

“I like a variety of seed in a food plot blend. One, you’re providing different food at different stages of the year for a variety of wildlife,” said Randolph.

Randolph says this food plot attracts a diversity of wildlife.

“I observed deer, both full grown adult deer and fawns, fawns tend to like to bed in the food plot. Wild turkeys as the chicks got 10 inches or a foot tall and they were all moving around, saw them feeding in it a lot. And through late summer and early fall routinely jumped pheasant up out of the food plot any time I went through it,” The Game and Fish Department encourages landowners who participate in the food plot program to allow reasonable hunting access.

“We use this food plots area for youth hunting and youth hunters were able to harvest both deer and turkeys,” said Randolph.

The food plot campaign is one of many other Game and Fish private land programs in which thousands of landowners participate.

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