North Dakota’s early Canada goose season is set, and bag limits and licensing requirements are the same as last year.
The season will open Aug. 15 and continue through Sept. 15, except in the Missouri River Zone where the season ends Sept. 7. The early Canada goose season has a limit of 15 daily and 45 in possession.
Limits and shooting hours for the early season are different from the regular season. Shooting hours during the early 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 age 16 and older need a small game license. Nonresidents need only a $50 early Canada goose license, and the license is valid statewide without counting against the 14-day regular season license.
A federal duck stamp for hunters age 16 and older, and Harvest Information Program certification, is required beginning Sept. 1.
Hunters may notice an increase in license fees, which were established and set by the 2013 state legislature. The general game and habitat license increased to $20, the small game license is $10, and the combination license, which includes general game and habitat, small game, furbearer and fishing, increased to $50.
Hunters who purchase a license through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website atgf.nd.gov, or instant licensing telephone number 800-406-6409, can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters can call 888-634-4798 and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required only once per year.
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 hunt.
The early hunting season is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers. Despite liberalized regulations the past several years, with longer seasons, large bag limits and expanded shooting hours the statewide population remains high, with numbers well above population goals.
For additional information and regulations, hunters should refer to the Game and Fish Department website.