North Dakota’s sandhill crane season opens Saturday, Sept. 19, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 15.

Limits are three daily and nine in possession in Unit 1 (west of U.S. Highway 281), and two daily and six in possession in Unit 2 (east of U.S. Highway 281). Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Saturday, Oct. 31. Beginning Sunday, Nov. 1, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.

Credit: North Dakota Game and Fish Department
Credit: North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Hunters should use caution and identify birds to prevent shooting at whooping cranes as they begin their fall migration.

In addition to other licenses required, resident hunters need a $10 crane permit, while nonresidents need a $30 permit. Hunters can buy a license online by going to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at

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Harvest Information Program certification is required and is available on the Game and Fish website or by calling (888) 634-4798.