Game wardens for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department issued more than 2,600 citations last year for hunting, angling and boating citations, according to tallies from the department’s enforcement division.

Failure to carry a license was the No. 1 violation, and counties with the most violations were Ramsey, 320; Williams, 163; and McKenzie,128.

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Here’s a look at the most common violations and number of citations issued:

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  • Boating (659): Inadequate number of personal flotation devices, 261; use of unlicensed/unnumbered boat, 138; and failure to display boat registration, 108.

  • Licensing (515): Failure to carry license, 306; hunting, fishing or trapping without proper license, 182.

  • Small game (377): Using shotgun capable of holding more than three shells, 96; exceeding limit, 68.

  • Fishing (315): Aquatic nuisance species violations, 84; exceeding limit, 65.

  • Miscellaneous (227): Criminal trespass, 76; minor in possession, 46; and possession of a controlled substance, 33.

  • General (226): Hunting on posted land without permission, 72; loaded firearm in vehicle, 59; and use of motor vehicle in restricted area, 47.

  • Big game (170): Illegal taking/possession of big game, 72; tagging violations, 17; and failure to wear fluorescent orange, 15.

  • Wildlife management areas/refuge (165): PLOTS access violations, 60; failure to obey posted regulations, 57.

  • Furbearer, 21: Use/possession of illegal snares, 8; harassing with motor vehicle, 6.

While wardens issued more than 2,600 citations in 2020, the number hardly compares to the number of contacts they made without issuing citations. These license checks, boating safety inspections, public safety calls, wildlife issues – the list goes on – are as important as the number of citations issued.

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For instance, between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31 of last year, wardens made nearly 12,000 contacts and issued about 1,000 citations, the department said.

A summary of 2020 violations is printed in the February issue of North Dakota OUTDOORS, the Game and Fish Department’s magazine.