Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Tentative 2018 Season Opening Dates

Tentative 2018 Season Opening Dates

To help North Dakota hunters prepare for hunting seasons in 2018, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department annually provides its best estimate for opening dates for the coming year.

Dates become official when approved by governor’s proclamation. Tentative opening dates for 2018 include:

Spring Turkey April 14
Deer and Pronghorn Bow, Mountain Lion August 31
Dove September 1
Sharptail, Hun, Ruffed Grouse, Squirrel September 8
Youth Deer September 14
Youth Waterfowl September 15
Early Resident Waterfowl September 22
Regular Waterfowl, Youth Pheasant September 29
Pronghorn Gun October 5
Pheasant October 6
Fall Turkey October 13
Mink, Muskrat, Weasel Trapping October 27
Deer Gun November 9
Deer Muzzleloader November 30

 

Sportsman Against Hunger Accepting Goose Meat

The North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger program is again accepting donations of goose meat taken during the early Canada goose season. In addition, the program will accept Canada and light (snow, blue and Ross’s) goose donations during the regular waterfowl season.

080112 column early goose hunt

Similar to last year, hunters can bring in their goose meat to participating processors after removing the breast meat from the birds at home. Or, hunters may also deliver geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification such as the wing or head must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor.

For a list of participating processors in North Dakota, visit the North Dakota Community Action website.

Breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunter’s name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken and species and number taken. Information forms are also available at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website.

Hunters will also fill out a brief form so that processors can keep a record on donated goose meat, the same as is required for processing any other type of wild game meat.

Since no goose carcasses or feathers are allowed inside processing facilities, hunters must be able to ensure proper disposal and clean-up of carcasses.

 

Have You Read? February North Dakota Outdoors Magazine

The February  issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine is available FREE online right now. One of the features is  Managing Mountain Lions: A Look at the Past and Future by Ron Wilson. North Dakota held it first mountain lion hunting season in 2005, and it’s ran uninterrupted since. The Game and Fish Department in conjunction with researchers from South Dakota State University, launched the first part of a two phase research project in 2011.

FEB

There’s some great information breaking down the deer lottery, and the Enforcement Division’s 2015 year in review.

 

Greg Freeman explains how All-Electronic Licensing Starts April 1Elimination of paper  licenses sold at vendors has been in the works since 2013, when the state legislature passed a law requiring each county auditor to implement a computerized online licensing system by March of last year, and each agent or vendor appointed by a  county auditor by March, 1, 2016.

 

Check these stories and more for free in the full February issue available right here or here http://gf.nd.gov/publications

Have You Seen? Mountain Lion Meetings

Mountain Lion Management Meetings

Results of a two-phase research project and biological findings from animals harvested over the last decade show the state’s mountain lion population has steadily declined over the past several years.

Department officials will host three public meetings this month to discuss these results and the status of the state’s mountain lion population. Learn more in this week’s webcast with wildlife division chief right here, Jeb Williams.

And read more about mountain lions in North Dakota right here

District Game Warden Exam Set For March 18

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has scheduled an examination to select candidates for the position of district game warden. The test is at 10 a.m., March 18, at the department’s main office in Bismarck.

010113Game warden checking  hunters

Applicants must register to take the exam no later than March 14 by submitting an online application through the North Dakota State Job Openings website.

Applicants must be at least 21 years of age and have a bachelor’s degree at time of hire (tentative hire date is June 1), have a valid driver’s license and a current North Dakota peace officer license, or be eligible to be licensed. Candidates must have excellent interpersonal skills in communications and writing, and must not have a record of any felony convictions.

District game wardens enforce game and fish laws and related regulations in an assigned district and other locations as determined by the department. Wardens normally work alone under varied conditions, at all hours of the day, night and weekends. In addition to law enforcement duties, wardens assist in the areas of public relations, education programs, and hunter and boat safety education.

Salary through training for a district game warden is $3,600 per month. Upon successful completion of training, the monthly salary ranges are $4,136 – $6,894. Wardens also receive the state benefits package, including travel allowance. Uniforms and other equipment are provided.

2016 Spring Snow Goose Conservation Season

North Dakota’s spring light goose season opens Feb. 20 and continues throughMay 15.

Residents must have a valid current season 2015-16 (valid through March 31) or 2016-17 (required April 1) combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license. The 2016-17 license is available for purchase beginning March 15.

Snowgeese dickey County, 4-98 photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish

Nonresidents need a 2016 spring light goose season license. The cost is $50 and the license is good statewide. Nonresidents who hunt the spring season remain eligible to buy a fall season license. The spring season does not count against the 14-day fall waterfowl hunting season regulation.

In addition, nonresident youth under age 16 can purchase a license at the resident fee if their state has youth reciprocity licensing with North Dakota.

A federal duck stamp is not required for either residents or nonresidents.

Resident and nonresident licenses are available from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office, website at gf.nd.gov, or by calling 800-406-6409. Licenses are also available at any vendor that is linked to the department’s electronic licensing system.

Availability of food and open water dictate when snow geese arrive in the state. Early migrants generally start showing up in the southeast part of the state in mid-to-late March, but huntable numbers usually aren’t around until the end of March or early April. Movements into and through the state will depend on available roosting areas and the extent of the snow line.

Hunters must obtain a new Harvest Information Program registration number before hunting. The HIP number can be obtained online or by calling 888-634-4798. The HIP number is good for the fall season as well, so spring hunters should save it to record on their fall license.

The spring season is only open to light geese – snows, blues, and Ross’s. Species identification is important because white-fronted and Canada geese travel with light geese. The season is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.

Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit. Electronic and recorded calls, as well as shotguns capable of holding more than three shells, may be used to take light geese during this season.

There are no waterfowl rest areas designated for the spring season. Hunters should note that private land within waterfowl rest areas closed last fall may be posted closed to hunting.

Nontoxic shot is required for hunting all light geese statewide. Driving off established roads and trails is strongly discouraged during this hunt because of the likelihood of soft, muddy conditions, and winter wheat that is planted across the state. Sprouted winter wheat is considered an unharvested crop. Therefore, hunting or off-road travel in winter wheat is not legal without landowner permission.

To maintain good landowner relations, hunters are advised to seek permission before hunting on private lands or attempting any off-road travel during this season.

All regular hunting season regulations not addressed above apply to the spring season. For more information on regulations refer to the 2016 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations and the 2015 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide.

Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey

 

Each January, Game and Fish Department biologists participate in the Mid-winter Waterfowl Survey.

 

This survey is a cooperative effort that surveys waterfowl populations in the US and parts of Canada and Mexico.

The survey, conducted since 1935, provides information on waterfowl population statuses and distribution.

Learn more about this survey from department migratory game bird management supervisor Mike Szymanski.

Watch the video by clicking here or here: http://gf.nd.gov/publications/television/outdoors-online-webcast

Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey

Youth waterfowl season is Sept 14 & 15

North Dakota’s two-day youth waterfowl season is Sept. 14-15. Legally licensed resident and nonresident youth waterfowl hunters age 15 and younger may hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers statewide.

 

The daily bag limit and species restrictions for the youth season are the same as for regular duck and goose seasons.

 

Resident and qualifying nonresident youth waterfowl hunters must possess a general game and habitat license and a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Nonresidents from states that do not provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents must purchase the entire nonresident waterfowl license package.

 

In addition, all youth hunters must be Harvest Information Program certified, and youth ages 12 and older need to have passed a certified hunter education course. Hunters age 15 and younger do not need a federal duck stamp.

 

Hunters who purchase a license through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters must call (888) 634-4798, or log on to the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate.

 

Shooting hours for the youth waterfowl season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. An adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the resident youth hunter into the field, and a licensed adult is required to accompany a nonresident youth hunter. The two-day weekend hunt does not count against a nonresident adult hunter’s 14-day regular season waterfowl dates.

 

An adult may not hunt ducks, coots or mergansers, but can hunt Canada geese outside the Missouri River Zone. An early Canada goose season license is required.