Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Early Canada Goose Season Announced

North Dakota’s early Canada goose season is set, and bag limits and licensing requirements are the same as last year.

 

However, one major change from last year is that the state Game and Fish Department has restructured the Canada goose hunting zones.

 

Migratory game bird management supervisor Mike Szymanski said the new structure addresses depredation issues and provides additional hunting opportunities.

 

“Basically, our worst Canada goose-landowner conflicts are in the eastern half of the state and getting those extra days back in September gets some more harvest pressure on those birds,” Szymanski said.

 

The Canada goose hunting season is divided into three zones – Missouri River, western and eastern. The Missouri River Canada goose zone has the same boundary as last year, while the western zone has the same boundary as the high plains duck unit, excluding the Missouri River zone. The eastern zone has the same boundary as the low plains duck unit.

 

The early season opens on Aug. 15 in all three zones. Closing dates are Sept. 7 in the Missouri River zone, Sept. 15 in the western zone and Sept. 21 in the eastern zone.

 

The early Canada goose season has a limit of 15 daily and 45 in possession.

 

Limits and shooting hours for the early season are different from the regular season, while the zone boundaries will remain the same. Shooting hours during the early season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.

 

Residents need a $5 early Canada goose license and a general game and habitat license. Also, residents age 16 and older need a small game license. Nonresidents need only a $50 early Canada goose license, and the license is valid statewide without counting against the 14-day regular season license.

 

A federal duck stamp for hunters age 16 and older, and Harvest Information Program certification, are both required beginning Sept. 1. Those who HIP registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required in each state only once per year.

 

Waterfowl rest areas, closed to hunting during the regular season, are open during the early season. Most land in these rest areas is private, so hunters may need permission to hunt.

 

The early hunting season is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers. Despite liberalized regulations the past several years, with longer seasons, large bag limits and expanded shooting hours, the statewide population remains high, with numbers well above population goals.

 

For additional information and regulations, hunters should refer to the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.

Early Canada Goose Season Announced

North Dakota’s early Canada goose season is set, and bag limits and licensing requirements are the same as last year. However, the west boundary of the Missouri River Canada Goose zone, north of N.D. Highway 200, is extended to N.D. Highway 8.

The season will open Tuesday, Aug. 15 and continue through Sept. 15, except in the Missouri River Zone where the season ends Sept. 7. The early Canada goose season has a limit of 15 daily and 45 in possession.

Limits and shooting hours for the early season are different from the regular season. Shooting hours during the early season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.

Residents need a $5 early Canada goose license and a general game and habitat license. Also, residents age 16 and older need a small game license. Nonresidents need only a $50 early Canada goose license, and the license is valid statewide without counting against the 14-day regular season license.

A federal duck stamp for hunters age 16 and older, and Harvest Information Program certification, are both required beginning Sept. 1.

Hunters who do not HIP certify when they buy a North Dakota license, can add it later through the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov, or by calling 888-634-4798 and recording the HIP number on their printed license. Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required in each state only once per year.

Waterfowl rest areas, closed to hunting during the regular season, are open during the early season. Most land in these rest areas is private, so hunters may need permission to hunt.

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In 2016, North Dakota early Canada goose season hunters bagged more than 36,000 birds – the sixth consecutive year hunters reached that number. Top counties for total harvest were Ramsey, McIntosh, Kidder, Benson and Stutsman.

The early hunting season is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers. Despite liberalized regulations the past several years, with longer seasons, large bag limits and expanded shooting hours, the statewide population remains high, with numbers well above population goals.

For additional information and regulations, hunters should refer to the Game and Fish Department website.

Have You Seen? Winter Waterfowl Survey

Mid-Winter Waterfowl Survey

 

This weeks North Dakota Outdoors Webcast – (Winter Waterfowl Survey) 01/12/2017 is up and available for your viewing right here or here: https://youtu.be/CMkgF5DEEZE

Learn about the nationwide winter waterfowl survey and find out how waterfowl numbers are doing this winter in North Dakota in this week’s webcast.

Don’t forget to check out the Game and Fish Department YouTube channel for more videos right here or here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz6aHsV0xgNrjPwTwI6eJNw

Sportsmen Against Hunger Accepting Goose Meat

The North Dakota Community Action Sportsmen Against Hunger program is 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.

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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 at www.capnd.org.

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 Game and Fish website atgf.nd.gov/sah.

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.