BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — This week’s newsletter from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department features two key reminders to hunters: Clean up after yourself, and to be on the lookout for an important email.

The first and most major piece of news shared by the Department is the return of the yearly Hunter Harvest Surveys. Whether it’s success or failure, the results of 2022’s hunting season are extremely important for wildlife managers.

The Game and Fish Department has surveyed hunters for over 50 years about their activities, and uses the findings to help better monitor and manage the animal populations across North Dakota. Thousands of these surveys are sent out annually to hunters so that Game and Fish can see how the hunters’ harvests will play a role in setting the number of hunting licenses available in the next season.

Even if hunters did not harvest any deer in the 2022 deer gun season, they will still need to fill out and return their surveys. This is because the surveys are designed to be received by a random group of hunters, and knowing about those who were unsuccessful in their hunts is just as important to the Game and Fish Department as knowing how many did have a successful hunt. The more of these surveys that are returned to Game and Fish from hunters, the better and more accurate their statistics will be. This will allow them to produce better harvest estimates in the future.

Thousands of these questionnaires will soon be sent out via email to big game, small game, waterfowl, swan, turkey, and furbearer hunters. The harvest surveys take very little time to complete, and a follow-up survey will be mailed to any individuals who did not respond to the emailed version.

Game and Fish also wishes to remind all of those focused on the outdoors that all of their equipment — including cameras, tree stands, blinds, steps, and other personal equipment — must be removed from all wildlife management areas by January 31. Any items still in these areas following the date will be considered abandoned property, and the Game and Fish Department has full rights to remove and confiscate them.

For more updates from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, visit their website at gf.nd.gov.