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ND GNF Newsletter for Septmeber

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Residents Open Waterfowl Season Sept. 27, Nonresidents Oct. 4

Dry conditions covering much of North Dakota have waterfowl biologists cautioning duck hunters to scout early to determine whether favorite marshes will be huntable this year.

Mike Szymanski, waterfowl biologist with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said below average annual precipitation will affect areas available to hunt. “Much of the state was without significant snowfall last winter, and spring was very dry,” Szymanski said. “These conditions left habitats such that few ducks initiated nesting efforts early.”

While June rains didn’t necessarily improve wetland conditions, it did spark some late nesting by mallards, gadwall and some blue-winged teal. However, reproduction was spotty, as few ducks were produced in the western two-thirds of the state, with average production further east.

“We carried a relatively large breeding population from previous years, so it’s not to say that hunters won’t encounter ducks this fall,” Szymanski said, while noting breeding conditions in prairie Canada appear to be similar to those in North Dakota. “It’s just that a higher proportion than normal will be adult birds that are not as naïve to hunting pressure.”

While most of the state is drier than it was last year, the eastern third appears to have the most moisture. Biologists will conduct a fall wetland survey in mid-September to quantify wetland conditions across the state.

Goose hunters can expect another good fall flight based on biologist observations. Resident Canada geese continue to be abundant across the state. However, Szymanski said a low nesting effort will result in fewer geese in the western portion of the state. “Dry conditions out west not only resulted in lower reproduction, but also more adult birds leaving the area to molt their flight feathers,” he added.

Reports from the Arctic indicate good weather conditions this summer. While biologists have not yet conducted reproduction surveys for Arctic nesting geese, conditions should result in a good fledging rate. “There certainly will be more young birds in the fall flight of light geese than last year, which was essentially a reproductive bust,” Szymanski said.

Opening day for North Dakota residents to hunt ducks, geese, coots and mergansers is Sept. 27. Nonresidents may begin waterfowl hunting in North Dakota Oct. 4.

Resident hunters must possess a general game and habitat license and a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. In addition, hunters ages 16 and older must have a small game license and federal duck stamp.

Nonresidents must purchase a nonresident waterfowl license, including the general game and habitat license, and certificate. Hunters age 16 and older must possess a federal duck stamp. Nonresident youth hunters from states that provide a reciprocal licensing agreement for North Dakota residents qualify for North Dakota resident licenses. See the 2008 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide for details.

All migratory bird hunters are reminded to register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters who purchase a license through the state Game and Fish Department HSOforum ( or instant licensing telephone number (800-406-6409) can easily get HIP certified.

Otherwise, hunters must call 888-634-4798, or access the department’s HSOforum, 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 in each state that is hunted.

Hunters should refer to the waterfowl hunting guide for season regulations including licensing requirements, dates, bag limits, season zones and nonresident hunting zones.

Units 2C and 2D Doe Season Opens Sept. 26

A seven-day September antlerless deer gun season in northeastern North Dakota in units 2C and 2D opens at noon Sept. 26 and continues through Oct. 2.

Only hunters with a unit 2C or 2D antlerless license are eligible to participate. Hunters must stay in the unit for which the license is assigned.

Deer hunters who would like to participate in the September season can purchase a remaining 2C or 2D doe license online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department HSOforum,

Proclamation Signed as a Precaution Against Spread of CWD

The 2008 proclamation establishing guidelines for transporting deer, elk and moose carcasses and carcass parts into North Dakota is now in effect as a precaution against the possible spread of chronic wasting disease into the state. To date, CWD has not been diagnosed in North Dakota, but has been found in a growing number of locations across North America in recent years.

Hunters are not allowed to transport into North Dakota the whole carcass, or certain carcass parts, of deer, elk, moose or other members of the cervid family from areas within states and provinces with documented occurrences of CWD in wild populations, or from farmed cervid operations within states and provinces that have had farmed cervids diagnosed with CWD. Only the following portions of the carcass can be transported:

Meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately.

Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.

Meat that has been boned out.

Hides with no heads attached.

Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.

Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.

Upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories.

Finished taxidermy heads.

The following game management units, equivalent wildlife management units, or counties have had free-ranging deer, moose or elk diagnosed with CWD, and importation of harvested elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, moose or other cervids from these areas are restricted.

Alberta – Wildlife management units 150, 151, 163, 234, 236.

Colorado – Game management units 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 45, 46, 49, 51, 52, 57, 58, 59, 69, 84, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 107, 109, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 120, 121, 131, 161, 171, 181, 191, 211, 214, 231, 301, 371, 391, 411, 421, 441, 461, 521, 581, 591, 691, 861, 951.

· Illinois – Counties of Winnebago, Boone, McHenry, DeKalb, Ogle, LaSalle, Stephenson.

· Kansas – Cheyenne County, Decatur County.

· Nebraska – Upper Platte, Platte, Plains, Sandhills, Frenchman, Buffalo and Pine Ridge units, which include the counties of Cheyenne, Kimball, Sioux, Scotts Bluff, Morrill, Sheridan, Box Butte, Dawes, Banner, Cherry, Hall, Garden, Keith, Red Willow, Deuel, Grant, Arthur.

· New Mexico – White Sands Missile Base (GMU 19) and GMU 34.

· New York – any deer taken within the CWD containment areas of Oneida and Madison counties.

· Saskatchewan – Wildlife management zones 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 24, 25, 29, 43, 46, 47, 50, 68 South and Fort a la Corne Wildlife Management Unit.

· South Dakota – Prairie units WRD-21A, WRD-27A, WRD-27B; and Black Hills units BHD-BH1, BHD-BD3, BHD-BD4.

· Utah – 16A, 16B, 16C, 13A, 13B, 8A, 8B, 8C, 9A, 9B, 9C, 9D.

· West Virginia – any deer taken within the CWD containment zone of Hampshire County.

· Wisconsin – any deer registered with a Wisconsin DNR Red Registration Tag from the area designated as the Disease Eradication Zone or Herd Reduction Zone including deer management zones 54B-CWD, 70-CWD, 70A-CWD, 70B-CWD, 70C-CWD, 70D-CWD, 70E-CWD, 70F-CWD, 70G-CWD, 71-CWD, 73B-CWD, 73E-CWD, 75A-CWD, 75B-CWD, 75C-CWD, 75D-CWD, 76-CWD, 76A-CWD, 76M-CWD, 77A-CWD, 77B-CWD, 77C-CWD.

· Wyoming – Deer hunt areas 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 22, 30, 33, 34, 37, 41, 55, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 70, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 88, 89, 120, 122, 125, 127, 158, 163, 164 or Elk hunt areas 5, 6, 7, 8, 16, 22, 110, 125.

In addition, the following states and provinces have had farmed deer, elk, moose or other cervids diagnosed with CWD, and importation of farmed deer, elk, moose and other cervid carcasses or their parts are restricted: Alberta, Colorado, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Additional areas will be added as necessary and listed on the North Dakota Game and Fish Department HSOforum,

Because each state and province has its own set of rules and regulations, hunters should contact the state or province in which they will hunt to obtain more information.

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