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North Dakota House passes repeal of Sunday morning shopping ban

OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: North Dakota early Canada goose season opens Aug. 15, Minnesota deer hunters to have more options this fall, North Dakota sets small game, waterfowl and furbearer regulations etc.

North Dakota's early Canada goose season, which opens Aug. 15, is designed to reduce overabundant populations of giant Canada geese. (Photo/ North Dakota Game and Fish Department)

N.D. early goose season opens Aug. 15

North Dakota's early Canada goose season opens Wednesday, Aug. 15, and bag limits and licensing requirements are the same as last year, the Game and Fish Department announced.

The Canada goose hunting season is divided into three zones: Missouri River, western and eastern. The Missouri River Canada goose zone has the same boundary as last year, while the western zone has the same boundary as the high plains duck unit, excluding the Missouri River zone. The eastern zone has the same boundary as the low plains duck unit.

The boundary structure, which is new this year, addresses depredation issues and provides additional hunting opportunities, said Mike Szymanski, migratory game bird management supervisor for Game and Fish in Bismarck.

"Basically, our worst Canada goose-landowner conflicts are in the eastern half of the state and getting those extra days back in September gets some more harvest pressure on those birds," Szymanski said.

The early season continues through Sept. 7 in the Missouri River zone, Sept. 15 in the western zone and Sept. 21 in the eastern zone. Early Canada goose limits are 15 daily and 45 in possession.

The early season is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers, which remain high. More info:

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

NDGF sets hunting, trapping regs

North Dakota's 2018 small game, waterfowl and furbearer regulations are set, and most season structures are similar to last year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department announced this week.

A few highlights:

• Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 22 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota on Sept. 29.

• The daily limit on pintails has increased from one to two.

• The prairie chicken and sage grouse seasons will remain closed because of low populations.

• In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 6-12.

The state's waterfowl, small game and furbearer regulations will have a new look this fall. No longer printed as separate documents, North Dakota's 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide includes three main sections—upland game, migratory game bird and furbearer/trapping.

The 52-page document offers much of the same information hunters and trappers rely on, but in a more user-friendly format. The guide also features a four-page colored duck identification guide, aquatic nuisance species information, boating safety for hunters and Tom Roster's Nontoxic Shot Lethality Table.

The guide is available on the Game and Fish Department's website at Printed guides will be available at vendor locations in mid-August.

-- N.D. Game and Fish Department

DNR expands Minnesota deer options

Minnesota deer hunters will have more options this season, thanks to a rebounding population, officials said.

According to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, "favorable" winter weather and previously conservative hunting regulations have led to stable and growing deer populations around the state.

The DNR will allow hunters to use bonus permits to harvest more than one deer in more areas than in previous years; fewer areas will require hunters to apply in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer.

Last year, 48 areas required hunters to be chosen in a lottery in order to harvest an antlerless deer. This year, only 39 areas will require it. Bonus permits, which cost $18 for residents and $91 for nonresidents, may be used in 54 areas, up from 43 areas in the 2017 season.

Deer licenses now are available, and hunters can apply for the lottery through Thursday, Sept. 6. Archery deer season opens Saturday, Sept. 15 and firearms season open Saturday, Nov. 3.

Mandatory testing for chronic wasting disease continues this year: in the disease management zone (deer permit area 603) during all deer seasons; in most permit areas in southeastern Minnesota during the first two days of both the A (Nov. 3 and 4) and 3B (Nov. 17 and 18) firearm seasons; and in several deer permit areas in the Crow Wing and Meeker county areas in north-central and central Minnesota during the first two days of the A firearms season.

More info:

-- Minnesota DNR

Did you know?

• Groups that want to restore, protect or enhance public land or land permanently protected by conservation easements can apply for Conservation Partners Legacy grants that help pay for work on Minnesota prairies, forests, wetlands or other habitat for fish and wildlife. Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to submit applications until 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, on the Minnesota DNR website at Applicants may request up to $400,000 with a total project cost not exceeding $575,000. Projects also must have a 10 percent match from a source outside a state agency. Info: Jessica Lee, CPL grant program coordinator for the DNR, or (651) 259-5233.

• The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds hunters that tree stands, ground blinds and game cameras cannot be placed on state wildlife management areas before Aug. 20. Equipment set out before Aug. 20 or left on a WMA after Jan. 31 is considered abandoned property and is subject to removal. In addition, an equipment registration number or the owner's name, address and telephone number must be displayed on all equipment requiring identification. More info:

• Swan hunters interested in applying for a 2018 license now can apply online through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department's website, Paper applications are no longer available. North Dakota residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply. The resident swan license is $10, while the nonresident fee is $30. The deadline for applying is Aug. 15. The statewide tundra swan hunting season is Sept. 29-Dec. 30, and 2,700 licenses are available.

• The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has openings for Hike the Maah Daah Hey Trail, an educational event for women scheduled Sept. 8-9. The $30 fee includes group gear and transportation to the Burning Coal Vein trailhead from the Tom's Wash trailhead. Participants must provide their own personal gear and meals. Info: Brian Schaffer, (701) 328-6312 or email

• The fifth annual "Pay It Forward" fishing event for military veterans is set for Aug. 20-23 on Lake of the Woods. Veterans will receive a three-night, two-day fishing trip with all expenses paid. For more information, to become a sponsor or to suggest potential participants, email Joe Henry of Lake of the Woods Tourism at

• August is National Shooting Sports Month.

-- compiled by Brad Dokken