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North Dakota Outdoors: Now is the time to take a hunter safety course

If you plan to hunt this year and haven’t taken a certified hunter education course, now is the time to sign up. Mike Anderson explains in this week’s segment of North Dakota Outdoors.

Canada goose hunting
North Dakota's hunter education program is offered in many cities across the state. There are a few options to complete the course to fit your schedule.
North Dakota Game and Fish Department photo
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BISMARCK — If you were born after 1961, are 12 years or older, you must take a certified hunter education course prior to obtaining a firearm or bowhunting license in North Dakota.

And this winter is a good time to get certified and avoid the potential crush before the fall hunting seasons begin.

“The vast majority of our courses occur from January through May," says Brian Schaffer, North Dakota hunter education coordinator. "We've been working on encouraging more courses throughout the summer months, but calling the department in August, saying you need to find hunter education course with it being a volunteer led program, the majority of our classes are not going to be occurring right before hunting season.”

MORE HUNTING COVERAGE:
Spring mallard numbers were 19% below the 2019 estimate but unchanged from the long-term average.
The free printed PLOTS guides will be available in late August at most license vendors and other locations throughout the state.
North Dakota’s tundra swan season opens Saturday, Oct. 1, and continues through Friday, Dec. 30.

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Hunting of Canada geese in August and early September is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers, which remain high.
Since their introduction in the state less than a decade ago, zebra mussels have found their way into 13 bodies of water across South Dakota, most notably leaping westward into Pactola Reservoir last month. Some interest groups think the Department of Game, Fish and Parks could be doing more to slow the spread.
Anglers will be able to harvest one walleye 20-23 inches or one longer than 26 inches, with fishing allowed from 6 a.m. to midnight.
The North Dakota Legislature established the Outdoor Heritage Fund in 2013.