Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

PLOTS Guides Available

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide for 2018 is now available online at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, the free printed PLOTS guides are available at most license vendors and other locations throughout the state.

 

The guide will feature about 762,000 PLOTS acres. Because the guide is printed in mid-August, some PLOTS tracts highlighted in the guide may have been removed from the program since the time of printing. There will also be some PLOTS tracts where the habitat and condition of the tract will have changed significantly. Conversely, Game and Fish may have added new tracts to the program after the guide went to press.

 

To minimize possible confusion, Game and Fish will update PLOTS map sheets weekly on its website.

 

The PLOTS guide features maps highlighting these walk-in areas, identified in the field by inverted triangular yellow signs, as well as other public lands.

 

The guides are not available to mail, so hunters will have to pick one up at a local vendor or Game and Fish officeor print individual maps from the website.

Agencies Prohibit Hunting over Bait

Hunters are reminded it is unlawful to hunt big game over bait, or place bait to attract big game for the purpose of hunting, on both public and private land in deer unit 3C west of the Missouri River, and all of units 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.

 

In addition, placing of bait for any purpose is prohibited on all North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas.

 

Hunting over bait is defined as the placement and/or use of baits for attracting big game and other wildlife to a specific location for the purpose of hunting. Bait, in this case, include grains, minerals, salts, fruits, vegetables, hay, or any other natural or manufactured food.

 

The designation does not apply to the use of scents and lures, water, food plots, standing crops or livestock feeds used in standard practices.

 

Hunting big game over bait is also prohibited on all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas, U.S. Forest Service national grasslands, and all North Dakota state school, state park and state forest service lands.

Hunters Reminded of Big Game Transport Rules

Big game hunters are reminded of requirements for transporting deer, elk and moose carcasses and carcass parts into and within North Dakota as a precaution against the possible spread of chronic wasting disease.

 

Hunters are prohibited from transporting into or within North Dakota the whole carcass of deer, elk, moose or other members of the cervid family from areas within states and provinces with documented occurrences of CWD in wild populations, or in captive cervids. Hunters should note that Montana is now included in the 2018-19 CWD proclamation as a state that has had free-ranging deer, moose or elk diagnosed with CWD and therefore now has big game transport requirements.

 

In addition, hunters harvesting a big game animal in unit 3F2 in North Dakota cannot transport the whole carcass, including the head and spinal column, outside of the unit. This is a new rule from last year, when hunters could take the carcass  outside of the unit if it was taken directly to a meat processor within five days of the harvest date.

 

Only the following portions of the carcass can be transported:

  • Meat that has been boned out.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Hides with no heads attached.
  • Meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately.
  • Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories.
  • Finished taxidermy heads.

 

Hunters should also note that hunting big game over bait, or placing bait to attract big game for the purpose of hunting, is prohibited in deer units 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.

 

Federal Duck Stamp Required Sept. 1

Waterfowl hunters age 16 and older are reminded a federal duck stamp is required beginning Sept. 1. Waterfowl includes ducks, geese, swans, mergansers and coots.

 

This year’s 2018-19 federal duck stamp is available for electronic purchase through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov, instant licensing telephone number, 800-406-6409, or at license vendors registered with the department’s licensing system. Physical stamps are not available at North Dakota license vendors, but they can still be purchased at many U.S. Postal Service offices.

 

The electronic stamp is a purchase item like any other hunting or fishing license. When the purchase is completed the electronic stamp is valid immediately. The words “Federal Duck Stamp” will be printed on the license certificate, along with an expiration date 45 days from the date of purchase. The actual physical stamp will be sent by postal mail.

 

The physical stamp is processed and sent by the official duck stamp vendor in Texas, and should arrive to the individual buyer well before the expiration date printed on the electronic license. The physical stamp must remain in possession of the hunter after the 45-day electronic stamp has expired. Individuals who have questions regarding the status of their physical stamp can contact the federal duck stamp vendor customer service number at 800-852-4897.

 

The federal duck stamp has a fee of $25. An additional $1.50 fee is added to cover shipping and handling costs of the actual physical stamp.

Deer Archery Season Opens Aug. 31

North Dakota’s deer archery season opens Friday, Aug. 31 at noon, and continues through Jan. 6, 2019.

 

Bowhunters can buy a license online at the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov; by calling 800-406-6409; or at vendors linked to the Game and Fish Department’s online licensing system. Hunters who purchase bow licenses at a vendor location will receive a tag at time of purchase; otherwise, hunters who purchase their license over the phone or personal computer should allow for several days to receive their tag in the mail. A general game and habitat license is also required for archery hunters, and must be purchased prior to receiving the archery tag.

 

Bowhunters must follow all regulations of the managing agency when using tree stands, ground blinds and game cameras on public hunting areas, including displaying an equipment registration number, or the owner’s name, address and telephone number, on all equipment left unattended on Game and Fish wildlife management areas.

 

In addition, hunting big game over bait is prohibited on both public and private land in deer unit 3C west of the Missouri River, and all of units 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.

 

Hunters should refer to the 2018 deer hunting guide for season information and regulations.

Dove Season Opens Sept. 1

North Dakota’s dove season opens statewide Sept. 1, and hunters are reminded to register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting.

The daily limit is 15 and possession limit is 45. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset. The season is open through Nov. 29.

All dove hunters must possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate and a general game and habitat license, regardless of age. In addition, hunters ages 16 and older need a small game license.

Hunters can HIP certify when purchasing a license – or by clicking the Migratory Bird HIP link – at the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, hunters can call 888-634-4798 and recording the HIP number on their printed license.

Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose or August Management Take/Early September Canada goose seasons in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required only once per year. However, hunters must HIP register in each state for which they are licensed before hunting migratory game birds.

Pronghorn Lottery Held

North Dakota’s pronghorn lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

A total of 1,075 licenses were available in 10 units. More than 11,100 applications, including 377 gratis, were received.

All licenses were issued.

Hunters who are drawn for a 2018 pronghorn license will be sent their license after purchasing a valid 2018-19 general game and habitat license, or combination license, which is also required to hunt pronghorn (exception: no other licenses are required for gratis). Hunters who have already purchased this 2018-19 license do not have to purchase another one.

Fur Harvester Classes Scheduled

The North Dakota Cooperative Fur Harvester Education Program is sponsoring three fur harvester education classes for anyone interested in trapping or hunting furbearers.

 

Courses in Bismarck and Jamestown are set for Aug. 21, 23 and 25. A course in Dickinson is Aug. 18 and 25.

 

Courses are free and take 16 hours to complete .

 

Students will learn the history of the fur trade in the Dakotas, furbearer identification, tools and techniques for harvesting furbearers in North Dakota, as well as proper handling (skinning, fleshing and boarding) of furbearers.

 

Upon completion, graduates are issued a certification card that is recognized by any state requiring trapper education prior to purchasing a license.

 

Anyone interested in signing up for the class should visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov, click on the education link and fur harvester education.

Swan Hunt Applications due Aug. 15

Swan hunters are reminded the deadline for submitting an application for the 2018 season is Aug. 15.

 

Applicants must submit an online application through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. North Dakota residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply. The resident swan license is $10, while the nonresident fee is $30.

 

The statewide tundra swan hunting season is Sept. 29 – Dec. 30. A total of 2,700 licenses are available. Successful applicants will receive a tag to take one swan during the season. Since swans are classified as waterfowl, nonresidents may hunt them only during the period their nonresident waterfowl license is valid.