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Sportsmen’s Homecoming in Harvey, North Dakota

By Bob & Ginny Riege

Traditions are something that Harvey, North Dakota has to offer especially when it comes to hunting in the fall. Harvey, North Dakota has hunting rooted in the traditional family methods and it is carried on from generation to generation.

The click of a receiver on a prized shotgun will bring back memories of the cackle of the rooster pheasant or the feeder call of the mallard duck, but Harvey, North Dakota has more than that to offer.  Harvey allows us to enjoy home cooked meals with pumpkin pie and dogs curled by the fire.  Harvey, North Dakota reminds us of days gone by, but instills in us memories of putting on hunting boots, wool clothes and fleece lined slippers, and reflections of Mom and Dad.

Image if you would the following scenario; The pickup truck rolls along a gravel road early in the morning and crunches to a stop in a farmyard surrounded by corn, soybean fields and slough grass.  The hunters crawl out of their vehicle and shake hands, greeting people with hugs and smiles.  The wafting smell of fresh baked bread and coffee pours from the farmhouse with the help of the screen door.   The newly arrived hunters quickly unpack some items and allow their stiff-legged dogs to run free in the yard.  The talk that filters from the group mentions such things as posting, pushing and what other areas look like.  Jim asks “What is the ditch like down at dead end?” and Kirk asks, “Where do you want me to go?”  It is a “homecoming” the beginning of many days when friends and families reunite.

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Tim and Melanie Nelson pose with their four Labs along with a harvested pheasant while hunting the Lonetree WMA in Harvey, ND. Photo submitted by Ginny Riege

Throughout the area around Harvey, North Dakota there are places that hold pheasants in huntible numbers.  There are private lands with scattered potholes and sloughs or woody draws that provide good places to hunt. These prairie potholes provide an excellent sportsmen’s paradise with a plethora of ducks and geese.

Public lands, (Lonetree Wildlife Management Area 25,730 acres) whether game production areas or waterfowl production areas, which are managed by the state or federal government, are also excellent spots for hunters to look for a few roosters, sharp tailed grouse, or Hungarian partridge.  In fact, a hunter would be hard pressed to hunt this entire WMA in a lifetime.

In North Dakota, the weather is usually mild until mid-November, so pheasants have no reason to seek the shelter of heavy cover.  They can be found anywhere.  A patch of grass around a dam, in the middle of a plowed field, or a few cedar trees on a grassy hillside are all it takes to hold roosters.

In the middle-season the birds are where most hunters would expect them.  The thicker, deeper and more tangled the vegetation, the better the pheasants like it.  Trees, because they break the wind are often essential ingredients of late season pheasant cover.  In treeless areas, birds gather in cattail sloughs or brush draws in the vicinity of food.  In this thick cover, a dog is a great help. You may wish to switch to a heavier shell, something like the Remington # 4 shot size to catch a few more roosters that have been educated by hunters before you.

Harvey, ND is also more than hunting or fishing, it is an experience in realty.  Where else could you witness, in the clearing, where the farm once was, a 12 point buck waiting for the wind to still so he can go on feeding in the quiet and keep a watch out for any predators.  As the day folds into late afternoon we all like to find a spot that we can watch the migrating flocks of waterfowl and delight in the beauty of the setting sun.  Or the vivid image of a young white Lab dog staring into a little tuff of grass and watching two big rooster pheasants cackle and claw their way into the bright blue sky of November.

“God doesn’t count the hours man spends afield with friends,” or “The thing we build that lasts longest is memory.”  All we ever need to do to hear the sounds of geese is to listen.  All we ever need to do to see the point and hear the flush is to close our eyes.

All in all, Harvey, North Dakota is truly a paradise, not only for the pheasant hunter but also the waterfowler, deer hunter and turkey hunter.  Let us not overlook another important area that North Dakota abounds with and that is fishing.  The Upper Missouri river and Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe are some of the top walleye, northern, bass, and Chinook salmon waters here in the Midwest.  So next time you think you might like to try another hunting or fishing area take a look at this paradise.

The pickup truck is filled with stiff-legged hunters and bone tired dogs.  The “homecoming” is complete for another year, but the memories of the rise of the two young rooster pheasants on the edge of the field and the smell of roasting turkey dinner with soft homemade baked bread linger a long time with each hunter.  Dakota Homecoming isn’t about footballs, or family reunions but about getting out of the office or school and enjoying what nature has to offer in all her splendor and beauty.

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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So much to look forward to in 2012

As you’re getting ready to turn that calendar to a new year, grab your pen and start making plans to check out some new attractions and activities in North Dakota!

The International Peace Garden in the Turtle Mountains is known for its beauty, tranquility and symbolism. It’s a popular destination in the summer and now travelers can enjoy it in the winter. The Peace Garden has an extensive network of trails accessible for snowshoeing.  Snowshoes, walking poles and bindings can be rented from the interpretive center.  The interpretive center and conservatory are open year round.

The Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University is dedicated to preserving the legacy of America’s 26th President. A new presidential digital library gives scholars and visitors a new way to be inspired by Roosevelt.  Visit online or in-person – but be sure to package your visit with Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Always wanted to fish the Missouri River in the winter but your boat is stored away? No problem. Sakakawea Guide Service now offers unique houseboats with an opportunity to fish the Garrison Dam tailrace throughout the winter months.

Rolling Plains Adventures, near Bismarck, hosts guided hunts and ranch vacations and a new Grand Lodge will open in 2012. Based on Black Leg Ranch, the fifth generation ranchers/owners help guests discover ranch life with horseback riding and cattle drives plus home-cooked meals.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center expansion is slated to be open in February showcasing a new event center, library and production studio. More exhibits tell the story of the Corps of Discovery and others who journeyed through (now) North Dakota.  The Center is located in Washburn.

Also scheduled to be open in February is the new Enchanted Castle, a 20-room lodging facility in Regent – known as one stop along the Enchanted Highway. The front of the new hotel will have the appearance of a castle. Walk across the moat to enter the property.

Stay tuned for more great things coming to North Dakota in 2012.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Attractions, ND in the News, North Dakota Buzz

 

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Getting crafty in North Dakota

One peek at North Dakota’s upcoming events calendar and you’ll see a theme:  It’s hunting season – so go hunt up some awesome sales, deals, unique art, crafts and handmade goods!

These are the shows that you wait all year for.  (I think that’s why “the big one” is in the name of a few.)

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Events, Family Fun

 

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Marney’s Top 10 Legendary experiences

If you follow sports in Minnesota, you’re probably familiar with Fox Sports North host Marney Gellner.  Last month, Marney was back in her home state of North Dakota covering the University of North Dakota vs. University of Minnesota men’s hockey series in Grand Forks.  In preparation for the big weekend, Marney prepared two segments featuring her favorite 10 places or experiences in North Dakota.

If you missed it when it aired, you can still see Marney’s favs.  Here’s countdown 10-to-6 and countdown 5-to-1.

Marney also did pre-game interviews with North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple and fishing personality Jason Mitchell, of the FSN aired Jason Mitchell Outdoors program.  Especially fun is when Governor Dalrymple accurately predicts the game’s final score (and North Dakota’s win)!

Marney Gellner is legendary – RU?

 
 

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2011 Guides Unveiled – Get Yours for Free

Governor Jack Dalrymple and North Dakota Tourism unveiled the 2011 Travel Guide and Hunting & Fishing Guide today, and previewed the 2011-2013 state highway map which will be available later this month.  The new publications are available at no cost and showcase a wide array of adventure, activities, events and accommodations in North Dakota.

Wondering where you can golfBoating access points?  National and state parks with campgrounds?  Scenic bywaysSnowmobile and ski trailsConcert venuesHotels?  Yes – you can get that information and more in these helpful guides.  An online and mobile version of the Travel Guide will also be available soon.

Ordering is easy, just visit www.ndtourism.com and click the Free Brochures link.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2011 in Events, North Dakota Buzz

 

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