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Posted on Sun, Mar. 03, 2002

OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: More nonresidents
than ever
Out-of-state waterfowl hunters hit new high in N.D.
By Brad Dokken
Herald Staff Writer

New figures from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show
more nonresident waterfowl hunters than ever visited the state in
2001.

According to Paul Schadewald, chief of administrative services for
Game and Fish in Bismarck, 30,028 nonresidents bought waterfowl
licenses in 2001, an increase of 19 percent from the 25,165
nonresident waterfowl licenses issued in 2000.

"This is a continuing trend," Schadewald said. "We have seen a
steady increase in the number of out-of-state hunters since 1990."

Of the 30,028 nonresident hunters in 2001, 69 percent came from
Minnesota and Wisconsin, Schadewald said. An estimated 51.5
percent are from Minnesota and 17.2 percent from Wisconsin.
Michigan (3.6 percent), Illinois (2.:cool: and Iowa (2.4) rounded out the
top five.

Based on Harvest Information Program registrants, about 50 percent
of all North Dakota waterfowl hunters came from other states in
2001.

Survey shows support

for curbing nonresidents

Preliminary results from a survey of resident hunters conducted by
the North Dakota Sportsmen's Alliance show a strong interest in
reducing the number of nonresident hunters allowed in the state
each year.

Here's a quick look at survey highlights so far:

44 percent strongly favor a cap on nonresident waterfowl hunters,
23.1 percent favor a cap, 20.3 percent are uncertain, 9 percent are
opposed and 2.7 percent are strongly opposed.

55.7 percent oppose an earlier pheasant opener, 31.2 percent
support the idea and 13 percent are uncertain.

71 percent support a resident-only pheasant hunt at the beginning
of the regular season, 21.4 percent oppose the idea and 7.5 percent
were uncertain.

The preliminary results represent the early findings of a survey sent
out to a random sample of 700 resident hunters. The numbers to
date reflect the views of 257 respondents. According to alliance
members, final results should be available in April.
 

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I cant believe people would favor to open it one week earlier, it is even hard enough to tell roosters hens during opener, nut some you can tell pretty well. there one answer and thats not to open it early! The only thing that is good is the cannonball club will make more money, right, well that a bunch of BS! you do not need a guide to hunt pheasants if you do you really have problems! Guides should only be for wilderness adventures into the back country of the Rocky Mountians and places like that where people could get lost, you can not get lost in North Dakota, not even in the Badlands!
 

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I agree,you don't need a guide.But those people aren't paying for a guide to hunt pheasants.They are paying for the access to the leased land,and usually a package to include a place to stay and maybe meals.The land access is the big thing.
 

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A couple of comments on NR# vs resident North Dakota hunter numbers.

ND waterfowl hunters are traditionally goose hunters. We shot ducks when they landed in the barley fields. The number of North Dakotans that hunt ducks over floating decoys is relatively small. How many ND hunters even own floating duck decoys or a duck call.

I grew up hunting geese in ND. I am pretty sure the first time my dad hunted ducks over floating duck decoys was when my brother and I bought two dozen decoys when we were in high school.

The snow goose migration changes are likely permanent. In the late 1970s and early 80s we could hunt snows from early October to freeze up in South Eastern ND. (we shot alot of birds). Now they are lucky to see snow geese for about a week or two in November - usually during deer season.

Northern ND offered even better snow goose hunting all season long. I also hunted the Devils lake region - I remember access was difficult 20 years ago on weekends.

Now the snow geese short stop in Canada - this will likely not change. The peas and other crops in Canada coupled with lower hunting pressure will keep the geese north of the border.

The effects on ND resident hunters are :

1) Many have quit hunting rather than swamping around slews for ducks. Field hunting geese or sneaking geese is relatively easy - never far from the pick up truck.

2) Hard core ND goose hunters (rich and poor) are going to canada to hunt geese. Many no longer even by a resident ND license. The number of people doing this may surprize you.
 

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I grew up hunting in the late 80's and back then there was no point owning duck decoys because there was no water. We chased snow geese on the canadian border and chased pheasants down by Oakes. During the middle part of the 90's the potholes started filling up and snowgeese started sitting longer in Canada. We then bought floating decoys and started hunting honkers. I think a lot of guys in the state have had to adapt to the changing times and I hear Canada is getting a lot of pressure now too. There is getting to be slough hunters everywhere and it's getting to where the birds can't even roost without somebody chasing them
 

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How times have changed.

I have hunted in North Dakota for 26 straight years. The first 14 as a resident and the last 12 as a NR. I have hunted over floaters every year since 1979.

I will agree that it was tougher to find good open water spots from 1983 through 1992, especially in SE ND.

Some years were better than others based upon lucky late summer rains. We could always find a place to set up. Sometime you almost felt guilty. A pond would be absolutely stacked with greenheads and they had no place to go but back to your pond.

If you only knew how good the snow goose hunting was from Lisbon to Oaks before 1987 (or so), especially from the 1970s to 1983. The snows arrived by October 10 and the numbers only grew until freeze-up.

Of course there were almost no giant canadains around and when we did find them they were in one of the many closed zones that the NG&F dept had set up to protect them.

[ This Message was edited by: prairie hunter on 2002-03-13 16:51 ]
 

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I also agree that there are many more hunters on the marsh. That is what most NRs come to hunt. Ducks over water.

Long time ago ... most nonresidents who visited ND headed north to hunt geese. Now the goose hunters head to Canada and the duck hunters come to ND.

Anyone from Wiscosin, Ohio, or the southern states are in ND for ducks.

Used to be most North Dakotans could have cared less about ducks over water since they were goose hunters. Many North Dakotans still only shoot greenheads.

I also agree that many people have adapted like you and more have started hunting over water.

[ This Message was edited by: prairie hunter on 2002-03-13 16:50 ]
 

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Your right most hunters have changed to ducks and Canadas.Up here there are Greenheads and LBD's.I'm one of those who has gone to Canada for geese since 1994.Not because the snows weren't here but we got tired of putting out 1000 decoys and pass shooting singles.Plus the outfitters here tied up all the land.
BTO...before the outfitters the birds were hunted heavily on the weekends and pretty much left alone until the next weekend.Then outfitters started hunting them hard every day.Now the biggest one has gone out of business.Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
 
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