Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

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.

Deer Season Set, Online Apps Available

North Dakota’s 2018 deer season is set, with 55,150 licenses available to hunters this fall, 650 more than last year.

In total, antlered mule deer licenses increased by 150 from last year, antlerless mule deer by 550, antlered whitetail by 150 and antlerless whitetail by 150. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reduced the number of “any antlered” licenses by 100, and reduced “any antlerless” license by 250.

In addition, restricted youth antlered mule deer licenses increased by 15, and muzzleloader licenses remained the same.

As in the past several years, no mule deer doe licenses are available in unit 4A.

North Dakota’s 2018 deer gun season opens Nov. 9 at noon and continues through Nov. 25.

Applicants for regular deer gun, youth and muzzleloader can apply online through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov, or call 800-406-6409. A service fee is charged for applications made through the 800 number.

Gratis applicants must apply online – the toll-free licensing telephone number is not set up to receive gratis applications. In addition, paper applications are no longer available for any lottery or gratis licenses.

The deadline for applying is June 6.

Applicants who do not have access to a computer can submit the application at a public service location such as a public library, stop at a Game and Fish office, or request help from a friend, relative or neighbor.

Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline will qualify for an any-legal-deer license. As per state law, gratis applications received after the deadline will be processed based on licenses remaining after the lottery – generally only antlerless licenses remain.

Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

Paddlefish Snagging Season Opens May 1

North Dakota’s paddlefish snagging season opens May 1 and is scheduled to continue through May 21. However, depending on the overall harvest, an early in-season closure may occur with a 24-hour notice issued by the state Game and Fish Department.

 

Legal snagging hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. One tag per snagger will be issued. Snagging is legal in all areas of the Yellowstone River in North Dakota, and in the area of the Missouri River lying west of the U.S. Highway 85 bridge to the Montana border, excluding that portion from the pipeline crossing (river mile 1,577) downstream to the upper end of the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Management Area (river mile 1,565).

 

If the season closes early because the harvest cap is reached, an extended snag-and-release-only period will be allowed for up to four days immediately following the early closure, but not to extend beyond May 21. Only snaggers with a current season, unused paddlefish snagging tag are eligible to participate. Only a limited area at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers is open to this extended season snagging opportunity.

 

Mandatory harvest of all snagged paddlefish is required on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On these days, all paddlefish caught must be kept and tagged immediately. All paddlefish snagged and tagged must be removed from the river by 7 p.m. of each snagging day. Any fish left at the Confluence fish cleaning caviar operation after 8 p.m. the day they were snagged will be considered abandoned and the snagger is subject to a fine. The use or possession of a gaff hook within one-half mile in either direction of the U.S. Highway 200 bridge on the Yellowstone River is illegal at any time during the snagging season.

 

Snag-and-release of all paddlefish is required on Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays. Participants during snag-and-release-only days need to have in their possession a current season, unused paddlefish snagging tag. Use or possession of gaffs is prohibited on snag-and-release-only days, and, if it occurs, during the snag-and-release extension period.

 

All paddlefish snaggers must possess a paddlefish tag in addition to a valid fishing license. Cost of a paddlefish tag is $10 for residents and $25.50 for nonresidents.

 

Addresses and phone numbers of vendors selling tags:

 

Bismarck Game and Fish Office

100 N. Bismarck Expressway

Bismarck, ND 58501

701-328-6300

 

Sportsman’s Warehouse

925 32nd Ave. W.

Williston, ND  58801

701-572-2500

 

Scenic Sports

1201 E. Broadway

Williston, ND 58801

701-572-8696

 

Wal-Mart, Inc.

4001 Second Ave. W.

Williston, ND 58801

701-572-8550

Runnings Farm and Fleet

2003 Third Ave. W.

Dickinson, ND 58601

701-483-1226

 

Rosie’s Food and Gas
204 S. Main
Dickinson, ND 58601
701-483-7860

 

J Sports Sporting Goods

100 Fourth Ave. NE

Watford City, ND 58854

701-260-5228

Mountain Lion Season Closes in Zone 1, Conditional Season Opens Jan. 4

Mountain lion hunting during the late season in Zone 1 is closed immediately. The zone’s late-season harvest limit of either seven total cats or three females was reached this morning after the third female was taken.

lion-header

A conditional season in Zone 1 will open Jan. 4, 2018 for hunters to pursue the additional two mountain lions that were not taken during the early season. The Zone 1 early season harvest limit was eight cats, and only six were taken.

The conditional season will close March 31, 2018, or immediately once the second cat is taken. Early season regulations apply, which means hunters are not allowed to use dogs. In addition, hunters who harvested a lion during the early or late season are not eligible to participate.

Zone 1 includes land south of ND Highway 1804 from the Montana border to the point where ND Highway 1804 lies directly across Lake Sakakawea from ND Highway 8, crossing Lake Sakakawea then south along ND Highway 8 to ND Highway 200, then west on ND Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to the South Dakota border.

The mountain lion season in Zone 2, which is the rest of the state outside Zone 1, has no harvest limit and is open through March 31, 2018.

2017 Deer Season Questions and Answers

Every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common questions are listed below. Hunters with further questions are encouraged to call the Game and Fish Department at 701-328-6300, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays, or access the hunting link at the department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

 

What licenses do I need for deer gun season? A fishing, hunting, and furbearer certificate, the general game and habitat stamp or a combination license, and the deer license. Gratis license holders need only the gratis license.

 

Can I use my gratis license to take a mule deer doe? Not in unit 4A.

 

I shot a deer in Unit 3F2. What field dressing restrictions must I follow? Hunters cannot transport a carcass containing the head and spinal column outside of the unit unless it’s taken to a state-inspected meat processor within five days of the harvest date. In addition, the head can be removed from the carcass and taken to a licensed taxidermist or to a chronic wasting disease surveillance drop-off location. If the deer is processed in the field to boned meat, and the hunter wants to leave the head in the field, the head must be legally tagged and the hunter must be able to return to or give the exact location of the head if requested for verification.

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND    Game and Fish

 

I received a lottery license, and I own land in another unit. Can I hunt on my land in the other unit with my lottery license? A person who holds a valid license to hunt deer may hunt the same species and sex of deer on land in an adjoining unit for which that person would be eligible for a gratis deer license.

 

I can’t find my deer license. What should I do? You must obtain an application for a duplicate license from the Game and Fish Department – by calling 701-328-6300 or printing it off the website at gf.nd.gov – or from a county auditor. Fill out the form, have it notarized and return it to the Department along with a fee. You may not hunt without the deer license in your possession. If you find the original license after receiving a replacement, you must return the original to a local game warden or Game and Fish office.

 

Can hunters age 14 or 15 (and qualifying 13 year olds) with a youth season license who did not harvest a deer during the youth season hunt the regular deer gun season with this license? Yes, but you are subject to the restrictions listed on the license.

 

I was unsuccessful in filling my mule deer buck license in a restricted unit during the youth season. Can I hunt the remainder of the state during the regular gun season? No. You are restricted to the same unit as during the youth season.

 

I shot a deer, but it is rotten. What can I do? You must take possession of the animal by tagging it. A license only allows you the opportunity to hunt. It is not a guarantee to harvest a deer, or to the quality of the animal.

 

What should I do if I find a wounded deer? Contact a game warden. Do not shoot the deer unless you want to tag it, or are instructed by the warden to do so.

 

Is camouflage blaze orange acceptable for the deer gun season? No. You must wear both a hat and outer garment above the waistline totaling at least 400 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange.

 

I hunt with a bow. When do I have to wear orange? Only during the regular deer gun season.

 

Can I hunt road rights-of-way? Do not hunt on road rights-of-way unless you are certain they are open to public use. Most road rights-of-way are easements under control of the adjacent landowner and are closed to hunting when the adjacent land is posted closed to hunting.

 

Can I hunt on a section line if it is posted on both sides? No. If the land is posted on both sides, the section line is closed to hunting, but is still open for travel.

 

Can I retrieve a wounded deer from posted land? If the deer was shot on land where you had a legal right to be and it ran on posted land, you may retrieve it. However, you may not take a firearm or bow with you. The department suggests contacting the landowner as a courtesy prior to entering.

 

What if the landowner says I cannot retrieve a deer from posted land that was shot on land where I had a right to be? Contact a game warden.

 

Can I drive off a trail on private land to retrieve a deer? Unless prohibited by a landowner or operator, you may drive off-trail on private land once a deer has been killed and properly tagged. You must proceed to the carcass by the shortest accessible route, and return to the road or trail by the same route. However, off-trail driving is prohibited in all circumstances on state wildlife management areas, Bureau of Land Management lands, national wildlife refuges, national grasslands, federal waterfowl production areas and state school land.

 

Do I need to pay attention to the fire danger index in November? In a year with a lack of moisture it can be of concern. When these conditions are present, hunters should keep track of the daily fire danger index, which restricts off-trail vehicle use and recreational fires when the index is in the Very High, Extreme and Red Flag Warning categories. Some counties may also still have localized restrictions in place.

 

Can I transport someone else’s deer? Yes, but you will need a transportation permit from a game warden. The license holder, person transporting the animal, and the carcass must be presented to the game warden before the permit is issued.

 

What if I am going to take my deer head to a taxidermist and meat to a butcher shop? How do I keep the tag with it all? The tag should remain with the head and the carcass tag should remain with the meat.

 

May I carry a pistol when I am hunting with a deer rifle? Yes, but the handgun must meet minimum requirements listed in the deer hunting regulations to be legal for taking deer.

 

Can I use a bow to fill my regular deer gun license? Yes. You may use any legal firearm or bow during the regular deer gun season.

 

Can I carry both bow and gun afield during deer gun season if I have both licenses? Yes, but only if you are going to fill your gun license. No firearms, except handguns, may be in the hunter’s possession while hunting with a deer bow license. However, handguns may not be used in any manner to assist in the harvest of a deer with an archery license.

Sandhill Crane Season Opens Sept. 16

North Dakota’s sandhill crane season opens Sept. 16 and runs through Nov. 12.

Limits are three daily and nine in possession in unit 1 (west of U.S. Highway 281), and two daily and six in possession in unit 2 (east of U.S. Highway 281). Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Nov. 4. BeginningNov. 5, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.

photo by Ed Bry, ND Game and Fish

Hunters are urged to use caution and identify birds to prevent shooting at whooping cranes as they begin their fall migration.

In addition to other licenses required, resident hunters need a $10 crane permit, while nonresidents need a $30 permit. Hunters can buy a license online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Harvest Information Program certification is required. To get HIP certified, access the Department’s website, or call888-634-4798.

Have You Seen? 2016 North Dakota Archery Deer Season

Have you seen this week’s North Dakota Outdoors webcast?  Deer bow season starts September 2. Find out how this season is shaping up in this week’s webcast with wildlife division chief Jeb Williams.

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND    Game and Fish

You can watch the video right here: or http://gf.nd.gov/publications/television/outdoors-online-webcast

 

Find out more on hunting at the Game and Fish Department website hunting tab right here or here: https://gf.nd.gov/hunting

 

More videos are available right here or http://gf.nd.gov/video

2016 Fall Turkey Season Preview

 

Have you seen? This week’s North Dakota Outdoors Online webcast video features upland game biologist Rodney Gross with a look at  how the 2016 fall turkey season is shaping up.

Note: Lottery application deadline: September 7 apply right here

You can watch the video right here: or http://gf.nd.gov/publications/television/outdoors-online-webcast

More video’s are available right here or http://gf.nd.gov/video

 

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https://youtu.be/_0Kkfk_VXS4

Fall Turkey Season Set

 

North Dakota’s fall turkey season is set with 3,510 licenses available to hunters,145 fewer than last year.

Prospective hunters, including gratis applicants, can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will be available at vendors Aug. 31. The deadline for applying isSept. 7

In addition, applicants can apply by calling the department’s toll-free licensing line,800-406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made over the phone.

Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply in the first lottery. Nonresidents can apply for fall turkey licenses that are still available following the first lottery.

Hunting units 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) and 53 (Divide and Williams counties) will remain closed to fall turkey hunting in 2016 because of low turkey numbers.

The fall wild turkey season extends from Oct. 8 through Jan. 8, 2017.

Wild turkeys ND badlands photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish