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North Dakota Game and Fish Outlines Upcoming Waterfowl Season

BISMARCK — With North Dakota’s waterfowl season opening Saturday, Sept. 23, for residents and Saturday, Sept. 30, for nonresidents, the Game and Fish Department on Monday, Sept. 18, offered reminders on hunting season specifics.

The season for swans opens Sept. 30 for both residents and nonresidents who have purchased a swan license, according to a Game and Fish Department news release.

Hunters may take six ducks, including mergansers, per day with the following restrictions: five mallards of which two may be hens, three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, one scaup and one pintail. Mergansers are included in the total duck limit with no species restrictions. Hunters can take two additional blue-winged teal Sept. 23 through Oct. 8.

The hunting season for Canada geese will close Saturday, Dec. 16, in the Eastern Zone; Thursday, Dec. 21, in the Western Zone; and Friday, Dec. 29, in the Missouri River Zone. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 3, while the season for light geese is open through Friday, Dec. 29.

Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 2 p.m. each day.

Extended shooting hours for all geese are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Wednesdays through the end of each season. Starting Nov. 26, all-day hunting is also allowed on Sundays through the end of each season.

The bag limit for Canada geese during the regular season is eight daily and 24 in possession, except in the Missouri River Zone, where the limit is five daily and 15 in possession.

The daily limit on whitefronts is three with nine in possession, and light geese have a daily limit of 50 with no possession limit.

Nonresident PLOTS reminder

In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation Private Land Open To Sportsmen areas from Saturday, Oct. 7, through Friday, Oct. 13, with the exception of nonresidents hunting on PLOTS land they own.

Hunters who do not HIP certify when they buy a North Dakota license can add it through the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov . Those who registered to hunt North Dakota’s spring light goose season or August Management Take/Early September Canada goose season do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required in each state only once per year.

Hunters should refer to the North Dakota 2023-24 Hunting and Trapping Guide for further details on the waterfowl season.

ANS prevention

Waterfowl hunters also should do their part in preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species into or within North Dakota, the Game and Fish Department said.

Hunters must remove aquatic plants and plant fragments from decoys, strings and anchors; remove aquatic plant seeds and plant fragments from waders and other equipment before leaving hunting areas; remove all water from decoys, boats, motors, trailers and other watercraft; and remove all aquatic plants from boats and trailers before leaving a marsh or lake. In addition, hunters are encouraged to brush their hunting dogs free of mud and seeds.

Cattails and bulrushes may be transported as camouflage on boats. All other aquatic vegetation must be cleaned from boats prior to transportation into or within North Dakota.

Drain plugs on boats must remain pulled when a boat is in transit away from a water body.

In addition, hunters are reminded of a state law that requires motorized watercraft, including motorized duck boats, operated on state waters and not licensed in North Dakota, to display an ANS sticker, including an ANS fee of $15 to be paid each calendar year.

For more ANS information , including regulations, or to purchase the ANS sticker , visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov .

Hunting from duck boats

Safety is also a consideration, and the Game and Fish Department encourages waterfowlers hunting from boats to wear properly fitted life jackets while on the water.

Hunting coats with life jackets built in are light and comfortable to wear. In addition, wearing a life jacket will not only keep the overboard hunter afloat, but also slow the loss of critical body heat caused by exposure to cold water.

Capsizing and falling overboard from small boats are the most common types of fatal boating accidents for hunters.

Source : Grand Forks Herald