by Doug Leier

Every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department provides a report on the number of citations issued by state game wardens the previous year.

The statistics for 2014, recently published in the February 2015 issue of North Dakota Outdoors magazine, carry some not-so-positive news: Game wardens cited a record number of anglers, hunters and others with violations in 2014.

031115 warden statisticsThe grand total of 2,712, was up nearly 300 from the number of violations in 2013.

The number one violation for the past few years has been fishing or hunting without a license, and closely related, fishing or hunting without having the license "on your person."

The numbers also show that McKenzie County again led the state in the number of citations. Williams, Stark, Ramsey and Burleigh counties rounded out the top five.

By law, North Dakota game wardens enforce all state laws on property that the Department owns or manages like wildlife management areas, and also on state sovereign land. Game wardens are licensed peace officers and they are also often called upon to assist other law enforcement agencies as well.

Here's a listing of the Game and Fish violations summary for 2014.

Big Game

Failure to accompany/transport other's game 1

Failure to wear florescent orange 6

Tagging violations 23

Exceeding limit 4

Killing wrong species or sex 9

Other big game violations 7

Total 50

Small Game

Using gun able to hold more than 3 shells 79

Hunting in closed season 12

Illegal possession/taking 11

Exceeding limit 56

Failure to leave identification or sex of game 39

Killing wrong sex or species 14

Failure to accompany/transport other's game 9

Nontoxic shot violation 6

Failure to carry federal waterfowl stamp 7

Hunting in unharvested fields 11

Other small game violations 42

Total 286


Use of unlicensed or unnumbered boat 123

Failure to display boat registration 34

Operating without lights at night 22

Inadequate number of PFDs 176

Water skiing violations 41

Reckless or negligent operation 2

Operating vessel under influence/intoxicated 10

Other boating violations 74

Total 482


Fishing with excessive lines 59

Exceeding limit 114

Fishing in closed/restricted area 19

Failure to attend lines 16

No identification on fish house 21

Failure to remove fish house 2

ANS violation 34

Paddlefish violations 10

Other fishing violations 74

Total 349


Shining (using artificial light) 7

Illegal possession/taking 2

Harassing furbearers with motor vehicle 4

Hunting/trapping in closed season 3

Other furbearer violations 6

Total 22


Use of motor vehicle off established trail 4

Use of motor vehicle in restricted area 33

Harassing wildlife with motor vehicle 12

Hunting on posted land without permission 61

Hunting before/after legal hours 33

Wanton waste 7

Aid in concealment of unlawful game 8

Hunting in wrong unit/closed area 4

Loaded firearm in motor vehicle 48

Discharge of firearm within/on motor vehicle 2

440 yard violation 11

Littering 70

Other general violations 34

Total 327


Failure to sign/affix stamp 16

Hunting/fishing/trapping without proper license 307

Failure to carry license on person 325

Misrepresentation on license or application 35

Other licensing violations 21

Total 704

Wildlife Management Areas/Refuge

Failure to obey posted regulations 83

Camping 11

Tree stand violations 6

Possession of glass beverage containers 77

Baiting on WMA 4

Possession/discharge of fireworks 7

Prohibited uses of motor vehicles 31

Unlawful use of firearms 22

Other WMA/refuge violations 3

Total 244


Possession of controlled substance 9

Possession of drug paraphernalia 14

Open container 9

Minor in possession 50

Criminal trespass 19

Other miscellaneous 28

Total 129