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Below is an article from the Fargo Forum in todays paper. Good News for Non-Residents.

New duck hunting restrictions defeated

By Dale Wetzel, The Forum

Published Thursday, February 10, 2005

BISMARCK -- Critics of restrictions on out-of-state duck hunters were successful in blocking a House proposal to impose more limits, though the bill's supporters said it was intended only to ensure a better season.

Rep. Mike Brandenburg, R-Edgeley, argued in a House speech Wednesday that existing rules aimed at visiting hunters have made them feel unwelcome, when their presence is crucial to the economy of rural North Dakota.

During his campaign last fall, he spoke to business people who cater to visiting hunters and met with a group of them, Brandenburg said.

"They all said, 'Why don't you like us? What are we doing wrong, that you don't want us here in North Dakota?' " he said.

Representatives voted 49-44 on Wednesday to defeat a bill that sought to establish eight zones for visiting duck hunters, and assign a number of licenses to each zone.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ron Iverson, R-Fargo, also sought to link the number of nonresident duck licenses on duck breeding conditions, as well as the number of resident hunters expected to go afield during the season. Iverson said the bill was intended to spread out the number of hunters, to avoid situations where too many were competing for prime locations.

"There's a formula in there that everybody can be involved in. This isn't a resident-nonresident, pitting them against each other. We're trying to bring everybody together here to solve this problem," Iverson said. "We want to make sure everybody has a good, quality hunt in North Dakota."

Supporters of the bill call it the "hunter pressure concept," and say it is a scientific way to decide how many duck licenses to sell.

If North Dakota's prairie potholes and small lakes are brimming with water, the reasoning goes, duck reproduction will flourish, and the state has room for more duck hunters. During dry conditions, the number of licenses for nonresident hunters would decline.

A similar bill was defeated in the House two years ago, and Rep. Jon Nelson, R-Wolford, said the new version had a bigger flaw -- the requirement for eight zones to regulate the movement of nonresident hunters. They did not affect North Dakota hunters.

At present, North Dakota has three waterfowl hunting zones -- two relatively small areas in central and southeastern North Dakota, and the remainder of the state.

Visiting hunters are not allowed to spend more than seven days in either one of the two smaller zones, which include some choice duck-hunting territory.

"That's where the most problems occurred," Nelson said of the two smaller zones. "That's where all the hot spots occurred in the state. We will make that hot spot the entire state, by creating eight zones, in my opinion."

The number of visiting duck hunters has steadily declined, from 30,000 in 2002 to 24,000 last year, Nelson said. Resident hunters had asked for a similar reduction in the number of out-of-state duck hunters two years ago, he said.

"Do we need to go farther, and continue to send a message to nonresidents that they're not welcome in North Dakota?" Nelson asked. "With passage of this bill, that's exactly what will happen."


The bill is HB1422.

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I am a transplanted North Dakotan and I disagree.

There are other ways to control the resource. If the NDG&F feels the resource is being stressed they could:

1) have stricter limits than the Feds allow (ie. 4 ducks per day vs the current 6).

2) have a shorter season than the Feds allow.

3) introduce the idea of half-day hunting the first two weeks of the season, etc...

Not sure one needs to kill six duck limits to have an enjoyable hunt.

Attack the real issues:

1) outiftters and guides controlling too much land (like its nearest southern neighbor)

2) more public access. more plot land (more walk-in access just like its southern neighbor).

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If you are telling me guides and outfitters are controlling too much land in ND and SD, save your breath. I hunt 4-5 days a week during the regular fall season and have absolutely no problems accesing land to hunt. (waterfowl that is) Pheasants are like that but thats a whole different topic. I don't own /lease one acre of land. I do some guiding but with no real consistant concentrations of birds leasing is just not smart. When I have clients out I pay farmers to access thier fields for the time that I will be there, which means that land is not tied up to me. Anyone can hunt it. South Dakota has TONS of public access and I feel limiting the number of people who hunt here makes the experience of those who draw a license much more enjoyable. Who wants to hunt crowded areas? I'm shure most here will agree with me,


Brookings SD

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I have had very little trouble finding plenty of room to hunt in ND due to my ties to the land/area of ND that I hunt in.

I also rarely hunt the same field(s) from year to year, bird concentrations move because of crop rotations, hail damage, new sheet water areas, etc...

While you may not bother to lease land, there are plenty of outfitters in NORTH Dakota that do. They tie up big areas (10K acres or more) for just a few hunters. The problem is many of these areas are in historically very good migration corridores. As long as these outfitters have clients these areas will be off limits.

Again, if it truly the resource that they are trying to protect - shoot less birds - either via voluntary restraint or through regulations that are more restrictive than the past five years.

If you believe that the resource is strong - continue to bang away and fill the freezer.

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Kudos to ND for trying...Its all for the good of the resource.

For trying what??? ALL they are trying to do is keep the Fargo people to have their stuff to themself. This has NOTHING to do with numbers of birds shot or any protection of the resource. That is a crock! This is ALL about them wanting to shoot all their own birds but still wanting to come catch our walleyes!

Don't be so naive!

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Lawdog you are 100% correct. Also, look were perchjerker

is from, his state is more restrictive for NR waterfowl,

I believe it is under 5000 NR license, that goes through

a lottery.

What people in Mn seem to forget, is we "give" away our

resource(s) to fuel the tourism industry where other states

are attempting to protect there natural resources. The

question comes is it for the better of the game or the

resident population.

In ND case it is slanted towards the residents and has

very little biological backing for some of the restrictions

or proposed bills.

My biggest concern to me is the restrictions on a migratory

bird. Having restrictions by zones is borderline

discrimination. I am suprised no one has challenged this

restriction in court.

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Hatch (MN Att. General) does have a lawsuit filed against ND.

The problem I have is this type of action can esculate boarder war philosophies and make once nuetral people want to circle the wagons and protect "their own".

MN government needs to let North Dakotans fight their own battle. Not perfect, but ND seems to be working out compromises to balance the issues.

Is it greed for the resource or concern for the resource that is driving the desire of a few resident hunters to restrict NRs in ND?

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It's sounds good but it's just the first round. I've hunted waterfowl in ND for over 25 years and have never had any problems finding a place to hunt. This includes the past couple of years, however I do not like the current restrictions of having to hunt zone 3 if I hunt zone 1 one of my weeks. Pheasants are a different story.

Limiting the season to only 1/2 days would really cut down on the NR hunters and the only people to suffer are the small town business's in ND.

7 of us went together and purchased a house in South Central ND 5 years ago to use when we are hunting. We also use it a couple times during the summer. We know the local residents and 99.9% of them enjoy our company and we get along fine. Several times we've had farmers tell us to go ahead and shoot those "grain eatin SOB's".

We seldom limit out but that's not because we don't have the opportunity. We try not to shoot hens and take only close shots to limit cripples.

We enjoy our ND freinds and the wonderful time we spend in ND. We put a lot of money in to the local economy. Including a new roof on the house at $6,000 to a local company. Each year the people we bring hunting, including ourselves, spend approxiamtely $300 - $450 while in ND times 2 weeks hunting, plus a 3 - 4 times during the Spring and Summer this adds up to quite a bit.

We are not asking for special privilage just a FAIR shake.

Very seldom have we run in to any one else hunting the potholes or fields we wanted to hunt. When we do we find another spot to hunt. There is PLENTY of room for both resident and NR hunters.

Yes, I think the Hatch Lawsuit is wrong and was politically motivated. Hatch will probably run for Governor or the Senate next time.

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I have a question for you guys who rip on ND, why is it you are so concerned about ND, when S. Dakota is far more restrictive on non-residents? The hunting in South Dakota is far superior to North Dakota because of it. There is a big difference between not having a problem "finding a place to hunt" and being able to pursue and hunt birds that haven't been bothered for 11 days straight. I live in ND, and have good hunting, but I would gladly trade my ND resident license for someone's SD resident license. And I bet nobody from SD would trade me. Why do you think more and more North Dakotans are saying "screw hunting at home, lets go to Saskatchewan".....because there are people snooping around bugging the birds all day every day here. I am originally from MN so I understand where you guys are coming from, but it really annoys me when I am heading home, either with a limit or not, and there are MN trucks putzing around stopping by every pothole with 4 mallards on it. How do you expect the birds to stick around if they don't get to rest. It is your right to jumpshoot, but it flat out is a major reason there are 80,000 ducks on sand lake every October 10th and very few in ND, since it is right after the non-res opener. I am not trying to be rude, I just hope you guys can appreciate both sides of the issue. The last couple years there has been a little over 25000 non resident waterfowlers in ND. Nobody has a problem with these numbers in wet years when ducks and water are plentiful, but you guys surely must be sensible enough to admit that the state can't support the same pressure in dry years like the last couple as in the wet years. The ducks are suffering. Anyone who believes the "counts" that are looking good is fooling themselves. ......Boy that got long.

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I wasn't trying to anger anyone when I replied to the post. It just torqs me off when people from other states feel they have the same right as residents to hunt/fish in another state. There has to be certain "perks" for a person for whichever state they decide to reside. Whether it be over the counter deer tags or waterfowl hunting, some things just have to be better for residents. Be happy when you draw a ND/SD license, your hunting experiece will be much better.....wait, how bout you Minnesotans put a fire up the butt of you elected officals and get some habitat in that state. Drain your own wetlands, plow up all the habitat, as a result have no ducks and then complain cuz you cant get a ND/SD license....give me a break

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You are correct JerknPerchSD.

This would all end when Minnesota went to a 14 day only

non-resident fishing license. But, we would allow you

to purchase as many as you like! No zones, no blackout

date for nonresidents and no lotteries. Plus, we would

eliminate family fishing licenses.

Guess what would happen if that passed in Minnesota.

The REAL money of ND would get involved and stop all

these bills/restrictions because you upset the fishing

at their Minnesota lake homes!

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You cannot compare fishing to hunting, especially waterfowl. If you want to, then howabout all those MN boats out fishing the Missouri river in the spring when your season is closed? We don't put up a fuss even though MN boats outnuber SD bouts at least 20 to 1. What I don't understand is why you complain so much about hunting in ND. Its not like they don't allow you to go over there, you may have to skip one year out of 4 to do so but the opportunity is still there. And your hunting experience you have when you go there is AWESOME because o the cap. Every year I talk to MN hunters here in SD that tell me that they hope we don't change a thing because they love the opportunity to come and SHOOT BIRDS in UNCROWDED, PUBLIC areas. Could you imagine how it would be if there wasnt a cap? 14 guys to every pothole in county and no birds to be found

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Hey Jerknperch, I thought this post was ND Ducks/Geese not SD!

Why do you keep talking about and comparing SD. You hunt there, I don't, you think the hunting is great in SD, I have no idea (never hunted SD), I 'm willing to conceed its great let it die and lets talk about ND.

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The sad thing JerknPerchSD you don't get it.

The state of MN has been catering to non-residents

for nearly a century. Now, when it is your turn,

you turn against us. You want everything to

yourself. Your state is one of the worst for waterfowl

and upland hunting when it comes to restrictions.

Do you see the state of Mn passing laws and regs

restricting ND or SD residents from enjoying our

state, the answer is no.

Should you receive some advantages for hunting/

fishing, for being a resident; the answer is

yes, it is called a cheaper fee for the license.

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Well JerknPerchSD you said there needs to be some "Perks" for residing in a state.Fish are a resource just as Big Game, Small Game, etc. The difference I see is that everything but Waterfowl pretty much stays in the state it is born/hatched in. When the Dakotas once again become dry and the flights switch back to what was perhaps a more traditional migration route how many will be leaving their state and coming over. I personally have no problem with states limiting the usage of a resource say Fish, Big Game, Small Game, etc. I just see Waterfowl as uniquely different. So by using your point what's wrong with MN wanting to protect it's fisheries for the residents who reside here? It sounds alot like I want my cake and eat it too! Personally I have never hunted ND and have hunted SD twice, it was great. I have also hunted MN for 20+ years for waterfowl and even though it has slowed up in my opinion for ducks I still have fun. Get with the 21st century. There is more people and less land to enjoy our passions such as hunting and fishing. One mistake being made is out pricing the average freelance hunter who wants to travel, not the way to go! Especially those with kids who want to get them involved in the outdoors. Look at your own states' fee structure and think of a husband and wife who want to come and bring a couple of kids to hunt waterfowl - ouch! So when people bring up limiting nonresidents fishing in MN it probably gives you the same feeling we get about the hunting and I'm sure it would give a sour feeling to those with property here on MN lakes similar to those from MN with property/family in ND/SD. How about telling those from ND/SD that have homes on MN lakes you can't fish in MN 1 in 4 years but the opprotunity is there the other 3? I personally don't want to see people being limited on either side of the border either by $$$ or time constraints/limits. So where did this all start? with MN?? I don't think so.

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You are talking to a Wildlife and Fisheries major at SDSU. I don't want to see big money charactors from the cities leasing out land in SD/ND. That is exactly what would happen if they didn't have a cap. Nobody would win in that situation, be that me, or any of you guys whining about caps in ND and SD that want to come over and freelance it. It already happended with Pheasant hunting and even I can't hardly get access to pheasant land, and I live here. It will become as simple as pay to play in ND/SD for waterfowl and you are blind if you can't see that. I absolutely cannot see how you can't think the license caps are a good thing, I just cant. Maybe its because you cant get a license 1 time in 4 years. Boo-hoo. SD has a sucess rate of around 80% give or take. SDakotans are lucky that they have good numbers of birds that are unpressured for the most part and fairly easy private land access, AWESOME public land that anyone can kill ducks on, and are very hospitable to non resident hunters. The people from MN that come to hunt here, and I know quite a few, are pleased that we limit the amout of licenses we give out. It makes their hunt much better knowing that they can find their own little slough or field and kill ducks, almost gaurenteed. How much fun would it be if they didn't have a cap and had 3 times the amount of hunters on the same amount of land? Pulling up to a public at 3:30 in the morning and finding 8-10 other vehicles there would ruin a good day fast... Trust me, I've heard lots of discussion about this at school, with GF&P officials, MN residents as well as SD residents...Leave it as it is now...it works for everyone tongue.gif

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How do we limit our upland hunting? We cater to Non-Residents hand over foot to come and kill tame pheasants here. We need that money to fund our GF&P. Where else can you kill a limit of pheasants day in and day out? License fees went up for residents this year as well...

This will be my last post on this page. I'm not going to be bashed for presenting an opinion on why caps can be a good thing. If you are too one-sided to see both sides of an

issue then continue to bash ND and keep draining your own wetlands and destroying habitat. After all, there is a reason SD and ND produce most of the ducks in the flyway. We didnt take an example from our nearest neighbor to the east.

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As far as I'm concerned, ND can do what they want with their state! As can SD and MN for that matter. If you feel like you are being treated unfair, then write your congressman and have things changed in your own state.

We all choose where we reside. If you want to hunt ducks in ND every year, then move there.

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