We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Doug Leier: North Dakota's early Canada goose season provides August hunting opportunities

Hunting of Canada geese in August and early September is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers, which remain high.

NDGF Canada geese.jpg
The first early Canada goose season was held in 1999 as a regional effort to help reduce resident Canada goose numbers in North Dakota.
Ashley Peterson/North Dakota Game and Fish Department
We are part of The Trust Project.
Leier_Doug 2017.jpg
Doug Leier is an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Reach him at dleier@nd.gov.

WEST FARGO – Much of my work as an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is understanding the point of view hunters and anglers are coming from. It’s important to appreciate the context of a young angler expressing interest in stocking new bodies of water when I think of how we have more bodies of water with more fish than ever in our state's history. How could a 20-year-old angler want even more? Because they’ve always enjoyed the wet cycle that created this bounty of fishing.

When a young farmer is frustrated by problems with Canada geese, I can’t expect them to understand how rare these giant birds were back in the 1970s. When the water came back in 1993, North Dakota fisheries began to grow and so did Canada goose numbers. To a point, measures were taken to help reduce Canada goose numbers, and expanded hunting has been in place essentially since the memory of farmers and hunters under age 25.

The first early Canada goose season was held in 1999 as a regional effort to help reduce resident Canada goose numbers in North Dakota. Season dates covered the first few weeks of September, so most of the harvest took place before other subspecies of Canada geese started to migrate into the state.

At first, only a couple of counties in southeastern North Dakota were part of the early season, but the open area expanded to the entire state the next year, and the opening date was moved to mid-August in 2008. The 15th of the month has become somewhat of the standard opener, though lack of harvested crops for field hunting in some years can limit hunter interest, as can abundant mosquitoes and late summer heat. But still, the opportunity is there for hunters who are willing to take on the elements.

MORE OUTDOORS NEWS RELATING TO NDGF:
Game and Fish biologists have completed aerial surveys of the same 24 Badlands study areas since the 1950s.
Whooping cranes that travel through North Dakota are part of a population of about 500 birds on their way from nesting grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada to wintering grounds in Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, a distance of about 2,500 miles.
The PLOTS Guide, which features information on walk-in tracts, also includes public land hunting access information, including more than 200 wildlife management areas totaling about 220,000 acres.

2022 early Canada goose season details:

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Opening day 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. 22 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 the early Canada goose season 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 16 and older need a small game license. Nonresidents need only a $50 early Canada goose license, which is valid statewide without counting against the 14-day regular season license. Licenses can be purchased online by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov.
  • Harvest Information Program certification is required and beginning Sept. 1, a federal duck stamp for hunters 16 and older is 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 only once a year in each state.
  • 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.
ND Canada goose zones.JPG
North Dakota Canada goose zones.
Contributed/North Dakota Game and Fish Department

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 to increase pressure on locally breeding Canada geese.

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

Doug Leier is an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Reach him at dleier@nd.gov.
What to read next
The angler is one of two men busted at the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament on Sept. 30. They would have walked away champions, if the event organizer, Jason Fischer, hadn’t decided to take a closer look at their catch.
On the St. Louis River Estuary, diehard angler Pam Zylka catches everything from sturgeon and walleye to drum and bass.
The first reference I found to house finches in the Herald’s online archive was in 1989, when Milt Sather called about a house finch he’d seen in Greenbush, Minn. The column about the sighting was printed Nov. 2 that year.
To get an event in the Outdoors Calendar, contact Brad Dokken at (701) 780-1148, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1148 or by email at bdokken@gfherald.com. Deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesdays.