The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s enforcement division tallied the number of hunting, angling and boating citations for 2021, and failure to carry a license was the number one violation.
Game wardens issued more than 2,600 citations last year. Counties with the most violations were Ramsey (399), Williams (132) and Benson (125).
The most common violations and number issued were:
- Boating (846): inadequate number of personal flotation devices (247); failure to display boat registration (92); and use of unlicensed/unnumbered boat (63).
- Licensing (493): failure to carry license (256) and hunting/fishing/trapping without proper license (213).
- Fishing (406): aquatic nuisance species violations (137) and exceeding limit (81).
- Small game (243): using shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (70) and failure to leave identification of game (62).
- General (209): hunting on posted land without permission (58); use of motor vehicle off established trail (55); and loaded firearm in vehicle (48).
- Miscellaneous (182): criminal trespass (71); minor in possession (30); and possession of a controlled substance (30).
- Big game (170): CWD violations (20); tagging violations (18); and failure to wear fluorescent orange (17).
- Wildlife management areas/refuge (82): Failure to obey posted regulations (50).
- Furbearer (18): Shining (using artificial light) (7).
While wardens issued more than 2,600 citations in 2021, that number hardly compares to the number of people contacted by wardens and no citations were issued. These license checks, boating safety inspections, public safety calls, wildlife issues, the list goes on, are as important as the number of citations issued.
In total, game wardens made 51,100 field contacts in 2021. This number does not include public contacts at sport shows, state fair, local wildlife club meetings, school programs, hunter safety classes, and other community events.
A summary of 2021 violations is printed in the Game and Fish Department’s February issue of North Dakota OUTDOORS.