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North Dakota's 2002 spring light goose season saw more hunters take more birds than last year, but the final bag still didn't't add up to a significant harvest, according to Mike Johnson, waterfowl biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

An estimated 1,494 hunters harvested 6,424 light geese, up from 1,263 hunters and 3,547 geese taken during the 2001 spring season. A post-season survey indicated 948 residents and 546 nonresidents actively hunted during the statewide spring season, held March 1 - May 12. Hunters spent an average of 2.7 days each in the field with 62 percent of hunter-days occurring between April 5-18. At least 37 counties had hunter activity, with 55 percent of hunter-days reported in Dickey, Richland, LaMoure and Sargent counties. The average seasonal bag was 4.3 light geese per hunter, with the highest seasonal bag reported at 131 birds.

The biggest factor limiting the harvest seemed to be the timing and duration of the migration, Johnson said. "Extreme, cold temperatures kept the birds in South Dakota and Nebraska," he added. "Then when conditions were favorable in North Dakota, the majority of the birds quickly pushed through into Canada."

Basic regulations for the spring season were the same as a regular waterfowl hunting season except hunting was allowed until one-half hour after sunset; electronic calls could be used; shotguns capable of holding more than three shells were permitted; and there was no bag or possession limit.

Unplugged shotguns were used by 53 percent of the hunters, and 29 percent reported using electronic calls. Jump shooting and pass shooting accounted for the largest portion of the harvest, Johnson said, with more than 66 percent of the hunters agreeing these methods were effective for increasing the harvest.

A fifth Conservation Order season is scheduled for 2003, Johnson said. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that future seasons may proceed as they continue to process an Environmental Impact Statement on the light goose population issue," he added. "The success of future seasons will depend on the migratory behavior of light geese and participation by hunters."
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Another sub-par spring SOB season...let's keep our fingers crossed that we get 'South Dakota-Like' conditions for this year. :lol:
 

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If they do get the numbers liek they did last year, im heading down to SD, i cant take the reading the reports for down there, " BIRDS ALL OVER THE PLACE". Why cant that happen to use. The first 2 seasons we had the spring goose they were like fly's on ####!! Lets hope they get no snow down south. and we get big snow line that starts north of I-94.
 
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