North Dakota Game and Fish Report

Early Canada Goose
Dates Announced

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

Opening day for early Canada goose is Aug. 15 in all three zones. Closing dates are Sept. 7 in the Missouri River zone, Sept. 15 in the western zone and Sept. 20 in the eastern zone.

Early Canada goose limits are 15 daily and 45 in possession.

Limits and shooting hours are different from the regular season, while the zone boundaries remain the same. Shooting hours for early Canada goose 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.

Harvest Information Program certification is required, and beginning Sept. 1 a federal duck stamp for hunters age 16 and older is also needed. Those who HIP registered to hunt the spring light goose conservation order 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 access them.

Hunting of Canada geese in August and early September is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers, which remain high. Game and Fish is attempting to provide additional hunting opportunities that can increase pressure on locally breeding Canada geese.

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

Swan Hunt
Applications Online

Swan hunters who are interested in applying for a 2019 license can now submit an online application through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

North Dakota residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply. The resident swan license is $10, while the nonresident fee is $30. The deadline for applying is Aug. 14.

The statewide tundra swan hunting season is Sept. 28 – Dec. 29. Successful applicants will receive a tag to take one swan during the season. Since swans are classified as waterfowl, nonresidents may hunt them only during the period their nonresident waterfowl license is valid.

Hunters should note that Game and Fish will not mail swan licenses to successful applicants until after they purchase a valid 2019-20 hunting license. All swan hunters, regardless of age, are required to have a general game and habitat license. In addition, nonresidents must have a waterfowl license and residents age 16 and older need a small game license.

Small Game, Waterfowl and Furbearer Regulations Set

North Dakota’s 2019 small game, waterfowl and furbearer regulations are set and most season structures are similar to last year.

Noteworthy items include:

Opening day for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers for North Dakota residents is Sept. 21. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Sept. 28.
The daily limit on pintails is reduced from two to one.
River otter season limit is increased from 15 to 20.
The fisher trapping season is expanded almost statewide, except for Bottineau and Rolette counties, which remain closed.
The tree squirrel season is extended to Feb. 29.
Veterans and members of the Armed Forces (including National Guard and Reserves) on active duty, who possess a resident hunting license, may hunt waterfowl Sept. 14-15.
The prairie chicken and sage grouse seasons will remain closed due to low populations.
In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or Private Land Open To Sportsmen areas from Oct. 12-18.
Hunters and trappers can find the North Dakota 2019-20 Hunting and Trapping Guide – which includes upland game, migratory game bird and furbearer/trapping regulations and other information – by visiting the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. Printed guides will be available at vendor locations in mid-August.

For a complete listing of opening and closing dates, and daily and possession limits, refer to the table on pages 4-5 of the guide.




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