2010 Small Game and Furbearer Regulations Set
North Dakota’s 2010 small game and furbearer regulations have been set and most season structures and bag limits are similar to last year. The only significant changes involve closing the prairie chicken season and increasing the mountain lion quota.
The combination of the past two severe winters and wet springs has reduced the prairie chicken population by up to 50 percent. Spring booming counts on leks, an index to male abundance, have shown a gradual decrease in the number of males each spring.
The mountain lion season opens statewide Sept. 3 and continues through March 31, 2011. Zone 1 will have a season quota of 10 lions, an increase of two from last year.
Other small game and waterfowl licensing details are similar to last year.
Only North Dakota residents are permitted to hunt waterfowl from Sept. 25 – Oct. 1. Nonresidents will be allowed to hunt waterfowl in North Dakota beginning Oct. 2. Other waterfowl season details will be finalized in mid-August in the waterfowl amendment to the small game and furbearer proclamation.
In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 9-15.
Hunters should refer to the North Dakota 2010-11 Small Game and Furbearer guides (available mid-August) for more details on small game and furbearer seasons. Waterfowl regulations will be available in early September.
Early Canada Goose
Sept. 15 (Sept. 7 Missouri River Zone)
Sandhill crane (unit 1)
Sandhill crane (unit 2)
Tundra swan (2,200 lottery licenses)
Early Canada Goose Season Opens Sunday, Aug. 15
North Dakota’s early Canada goose season opens statewide Sunday, Aug. 15.
This year’s early season will have a daily limit of five Canada geese and a possession limit of 10. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily. Limits and shooting hours are different from the regular season, as the proposed regular season bag limit is three daily and six in possession.
Normal licensing requirements for the regular season, including a federal duck stamp, apply to the early season. Nonresidents who hunt in Sargent and Richland counties during the early season may do so without counting against their 14-day regular season license.
All migratory bird hunters must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters who purchase a license through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website (gf.nd.gov) or instant licensing telephone number (800) 406-6409 can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters can call (888) 634-4798 and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. 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 only once per year.
Waterfowl rest areas, closed to hunting during the regular season, will be 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 seasons the past several years, the statewide population remains high, with numbers well above population goals. The large population has resulted in increased reports from landowners concerning depredation on crops and nuisance problems.
During the past decade, hunters have been able to take advantage of longer Canada goose hunting seasons, large bag limits and expanded shooting hours. While these strategies have increased harvest considerably, the population remains above objective levels.
For additional information and regulations, hunters should refer to the Game and Fish Department website.
Fall Crow Season Opens Aug. 14
North Dakota’s fall crow season opens statewide Aug. 14 and continues through Oct. 24.
Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. There is no daily or possession limit on crows.
For more information on the state’s small game hunting seasons refer to the North Dakota 2010-11 Small Game Guide, available early-to-mid August, or visit the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.