Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Spring Light Goose Conservation Order

North Dakota’s spring light goose conservation order opens Feb. 23 and continues through May 12.

Residents must have a valid current season 2018-19 (valid through March 31) or 2019-20 (required April 1) combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license. Resident youth under age 16 only need the general game and habitat license. The 2019-20 license is available for purchase beginning March 15.

Nonresidents need a 2019 spring light goose conservation order license. The cost is $50 and is valid statewide. Nonresidents who hunt in the spring remain eligible to buy a fall season license. The spring license 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 online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, at license vendors around the state, or by calling 800-406-6409.

Hunters must register annually with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting in each state. The HIP number can be obtained online, or by calling 888-634-4798. The HIP number obtained for North Dakota’s spring conservation order is also valid for North Dakota’s fall hunting season.

The spring conservation order 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 conservation order is closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory birds.

For more information on regulations refer to the 2019 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations and the North Dakota 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide.

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

 

Have You Seen? Spring Goose Season Video

 

Spring Light Goose Season

With the spring-like temperatures and melting ice, light geese have already started moving into the state. The spring light goose conservation season started on February 18 and runs through May 14. Learn more about the conservation season in this week’s North Dakota Outdoors webcast or here: https://youtu.be/V_V-loU1zQI

Related Links:

Spring Light Goose Migration Updates

North Dakota spring light goose hunters can track general locations of geese as birds make their way through the state.

Hunters are now able to call 701-328-3697 to hear recorded information 24 hours a day. Migration reports are also posted on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Updates will be provided as migration events occur, until the season ends or geese have left the state.

North Dakota’s spring light goose season opened Feb. 18 and continues throughMay 14.

Residents must have a current season 2016-17 (valid through March 31) or 2017-18 (required April 1) combination license; or a small game, and general game and habitat license. The 2017-18 license is available for purchase beginning March 15.

snowgeese

Nonresidents need a 2017 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.

Other season information, including regulations, is available by accessing the Game and Fish website.

Wetland Conditions Good for Duck Hunting

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual fall wetland survey indicates good but variable wetland conditions for duck hunting throughout the state.

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish

Migratory game bird biologist Andy Dinges said the northeast region has the highest number of wetlands holding water, while the south central and southeast have also seen improvement from last year’s fall wetland conditions. However, the northwest and north central regions of the state will have the fewest wetlands available for duck hunting opportunities since fall 2012.

“In general, wetland conditions are best in northeast, but other regions in the state have average to slightly below average fall wetland conditions,” Dinges said.

Dinges said this year’s moisture conditions began with fairly dry conditions in May, but were aided by steady precipitation throughout much of the state during mid-summer.

“Drying conditions in some regions should provide good loafing areas for waterfowl and cranes along wetlands, but can make hunting difficult in some cases if there is wide mud margin around wetlands,” Dinges added.

The quality of waterfowl hunting in North Dakota is largely determined by weather conditions and patterns. Dinges said strong reproduction for ducks in breeding areas both in and outside of North Dakota this year makes for good fall hunting potential.

“Hunters should always scout because of ever changing conditions and distribution of waterfowl,” Dinges said, “and should also be cautious driving off-trail to avoid soft spots, and while encountering areas of tall vegetation that could be a fire hazard.”

The fall wetland survey is conducted mid-September, just prior to the waterfowl hunting season, to provide an assessment of conditions duck hunters can expect.

New Fishing and Hunting Licenses Available Only Through Electronic Purchase

Hunting, fishing and furbearer licenses for the 2016-17 licensing year will be available starting March 15.

electronic

This year for the first time, paper license booklets are no longer available at license vendors since participating vendors will need to sell licenses electronically. Not all vendors that sold licenses in the past will still sell licenses.

New fishing, hunting and furbearer licenses are required April 1. The 2016-17 licenses are effective April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased using a computer or smartphone by logging into the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or atlicense vendors that are linked to the department’s online licensing system.

In addition, licenses may also be purchased by calling the department’s instant licensing telephone number at 800-406-6409 any time day or night. A service charge is added for licenses purchased through the instant licensing telephone number.

More than 70 percent of hunters and anglers already buy their licenses electronically. Benefits of purchasing a license through an electronic licensing system include having the ability to reprint multiple copies of a license, or to replace lost or damaged licenses, from any license vendor or personal computer, without having to pay a fee for a duplicate license.

A list of vendors participating in electronic licensing sales is available on the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov/licenses/electronic-licensing-requirements.  Vendors on the list as of April 1 will be linked to the department’s online licensing system.

Game and Fish will continue to use paper applications for lottery licenses. These will be available at license vendors and other locations throughout the state.

Spring Light Goose Migration Updates

North Dakota spring light goose hunters can track general locations of geese as birds make their way through the state.

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

Hunters are able to call 701-328-3697 to hear recorded information 24 hours a day.Migration reports are also posted on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Updates will be provided as migration events occur, until the season ends or geese have left the state.

North Dakota’s spring light goose season opened 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.

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.

Other season information, including regulations, is available by accessing the Game and Fish website.

Mountain Lion Management Meetings Set

North Dakota Game and Fish Department officials will host three public meetings this month to discuss the status of the state’s mountain lion population.

Cougar photo 3

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

“We want to share what we’ve learned about managing mountain lions in North Dakota over the last 10 years,” said Jeb Williams, wildlife division chief. “Considering what we knew about mountain lions in North Dakota prior to 2005, which was very little, the information gathered in the last decade is significant.”

Meeting dates and locations to discuss what state wildlife managers have learned are as follows: Feb. 23, Game and Fish Department headquarters, 100 North Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, 7 p.m.; Feb. 24, Fargo Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Avenue South, 7 p.m.; and Feb. 29, Killdeer Cobblestone Hotel and Suites, 158 Rodeo Drive, 7 p.m.

North Dakota has had a mountain lion hunting season every year since 2005. 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. Phase II is expected to be completed in 2017.

“We have made amazing headway in the last four years, and by the time Phase II is done we will have a really good handle on this population,” said Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist.