Good question Perry, our group has had many discussions trying to figure out exactly what a possession limit is. Here are the descriptions in the ND waterfowl Hunting Guide.
Possession Limit "means the maximum number of the particular game referred to (except waterfowl and migratory game birds) that a hunter, legally licensed by this state, may have in his/her actual possession during any phase of any single hunting trip, venture, or expedition of more than one day. No more than a daily limit may be taken on any one day."
This tells me that for upland game the possession limit applies to the number of birds you have in possession during "during any phase of any single hunting trip, venture, or expedition of more than one day." and that the birds I have at home in my freezer don't count as part of your possession limit for upland game.
Possession Limit for Waterfowl and Migratory Game Birds "means the maximum number of migratory game birds of a single species or a combination of species permitted to be possessed by any one person when lawfully taken in the United States in any one specefied geographic area for which a possession limit is prescribed."
This tells me that for waterfowl the possession limit applies to any bird you have in possession whether at home in the freezer or in your cooler during an outing.
I used to live in MN, and their descriptions are even more vague. I've talked to different fame wardens and everyone seems to interpret it differently. The biggest question is that do birds in your freezer at home count in your possession limit, which according to the upland game possession limit only applies to birds in possession "during any phase of any single hunting trip, venture, or expedition of more than one day." I don't understand why a simple explanation of how birds at home in the freezer are counted.
Good points tmorrie, I should have clarified myself a little better. ND does not have a freezer limit, for example you can have 100 walleyes in your freezer and it is a okay. However, waterfowl does fall under federal regulations and ND laws do not necessarily apply. I will get an answer on this and post it.
I am looking forward to Muzzy's response on waterfowl possession limits.
I am shocked to hear that North Dakota does not interpret possession of fish to include those at home in the freezer. In Minnesota, you can't have more than your possession limit in the freezer. My wife's uncle got pinched for that violation. In the meantime, he put a big dent in the local crappie population.
Just got off the phone with a warden supervisor. He is probably the most up to date person I know on game laws. He also hunts waterfowl down south in the winter, so has good information. You can only have one possession limit of waterfowl at a time, this includes on your person on a trip or in your home or freezer. If you have more than one license for different states, you can still only have one possession limit. If you have a possession limit of ducks from MN and a possession limit of ND you would be in violation of federal game laws. This even holds true if you have waterfowl licenses for 5 different states. Back on the freezer limit, we don't usually advertise the fact that we don't have one unless someone asks or it is brought up as it was earlier. This only applies to fish and game that is regulated on a state level. This is why waterfowl doesn't apply and falls under stricter federal regulations. Hope this helps., I learned something myself.
Holy sh_t, Muzzy. I always thought I was a law abiding citizen. The supervisor's opinion on one possession limit for waterfowl regardless how many states you hunt in would make many of us multi-state hunters violators. If we scratched out a few on the Minnesota opener and then went to North Dakota and got a possession limit, it sounds like we would be in violation of Federal Law. Man, I just can't eat em that fast.
Perry, process them into jerky, you can eat them pretty fast then. Supposedly that isn't just his opinion, he said that is how the feds regulate it. I wasn't sure of how it worked, because we have very few people who hunt waterfowl in other states, and I never had it come up before.
Perry, it would be nice if we had a freezer limit, it makes it hard to enforce laws, as once they are in the freezer it is hard to prove an overbag on a daily limit. i.e. once they get all of their walleyes, etc. in the freezer it is hard to prove anything.
Properly defining the word possession "Limit" vs. "Possession" is the question....
Here in MN "Possession" is defined as any game animal in possession whether on hand, cold storage, in transport or elswhere. (vague??no)
So yeah I guess you could "possess" as many as you want too, but keep in mind what the possession "limit" is......Tmorrie was only explaining the definition of "possession limit" not "possession" big difference when it comes to interpreting the rules.
Guys, now I'm really confused. If I go to Sask. and shoot a legal possession limit of 16 mallards, when I cross the border I'm 6 over per our guidelines. This somehow violates our legal possession limits? Doesn't make sense, and I don't think this is the law or at least the way the law is enforced, even by the Feds.
Assuming for the sake of argument that I can legally bring 16 mallards from Canada, why is it different when you're talking about holding licenses from and harvesting birds in different states? For example, I'm a ND res hunting in Montana. If Montana allows a three pin possession limit (just for the sake of example), I can only transport two pins home even though Montana has no problem with me leaving with three? It just doesn't seem like this should be the case, but maybe so.
The only way any of this makes sense is if the rule is you can hold only one possession limit consistant with the most liberal license owned, home state or otherwise. Is that the rule? Otherwise, you'd have to carry your home state's regs with you anytime you hunted elsewhere, and tailor your harvest to mesh the rules of both states.
Muzzy, Doug, anyone else help us a little further on this one?
We really try to eat what we shoot through the fall. FRESH Mallard or goose marinated, wrapped in bacon, and slow cooked on the BBQ over indirect coals simply does not get any better.
Most falls I may have a possession limit of mallards or Canada geese by the end of the season, but hopefully these are gone by Oct 1 of the next year.
Now I will be a smart a**.
For guys who just shoot a lot of birds (not going to judge you). You can solve this problem by:
1) simply breast out everything and label it tame duck or snow goose.
2) better yet jerk it in the oven or dehydrator and call it snow goose.
3) have a game feed with the neighbors, church, etc...
4) give some birds to friends
5) buy your wife a license and teach her to lie. Better not piss her off before the warden stops to ask a question or two.
Just thought I would chime back in. There was a little doubt about the answer that I got about this from our Warden Supervisor. The 2002 waterfowl regulations are in and summed up what he said to a T. These are the exact same as in previous years. I will list the rule as follows:
"Possession Limit for Waterfowl and Migratory Game Birds" means the maximum number of migratory game birds of a single species or combination of species permitted to be possessed by any one person when lawfully taken in the United States in any one specified geographic area for which a possession limit is prescribed"
Dan, this is were I will try to answer your questions. The last part has to do with the fact that some areas in the United States have different daily and possession limits than we do. The possession limits of the state where you harvested the birds would apply. If you hunted in a state which said that you could possess 10 ducks a day, and you could only possess 10 ducks since that is the limit where you harvested them even though our possession limit is 12 ducks. You could bring your possession limit up to the max of 12 with 2 additional ducks from here. Vice Versa, if a certain state in a certain flyway allowed you to shoot more of a certain species or overall total, that possession limit from that state would apply as that is where the bird was harvested.
It would appear that animals taken outside of the USA, for example geese and ducks shot in Canada wouldn't apply to your possession limit as the regulation specifies in the United States.
Some are trying to argue that there is a difference between possession and possession limit. I don't see that there is a difference! If the regulations say that you can have 12 birds in possession, that means iany combination in the field, your car, at home, in the freezer, or on the shelf in the form of jerky. No further birds can be shot until a like number of birds have been consumed. If I have my 12 ducks in the freezer at home after the Minnesota waterfowl opener, I better just shoot geese when I go to North Dakota a few weeks later if I want to be strictly legal and ethical. That is what I am getting from Muzzy's explanation. It's not that ambiguous to me.
I always understood that you could have a possession limit for each state. Otherwise, wouldn't you have to abide by limits in your state and not the state you are hunting? Example, a person could come to ND and shoot ten mallards under one possession, but then go home and be 2 mallards over his possession if he was from MN. And the Saskatchewan example, you are allowed 16 mallards and 16 honkers under one possession by Saskatchewan game laws, does that mean if I want to take my birds home that I only have a possession of 10 mallards and 6 honkers? What I always thought was that if you have a valid liscence for each state that the birds were shot in, you where allowed a legal possession for that state.
Perry, I agree it is very clear for waterfowl and migratory birds that all birds in your possession count towards the possession limit and I've always follwed those regs regardless of how many different states I've hunted.
I was trying to make the point that for upland gamebirds that the description in the ND regs should define how birds that you have at home are counted, it states: "Possession Limit: means the maximum number of the particular game referred to (except waterfowl and migratory game birds) that a hunter, legally licensed by this state, may have in his/her actual possession during any phase of any single hunting trip, venture, or expedition of more than one day. No more than a daily limit may be taken on one day."
I read this the same as Muzzy stated when he said that in ND there is no possession limit for the upland gamebirds you have at home in your
freezer, but I don't think it would be very ethical to have 2,3,4... times your possesion limit in the freezer at home.
Decoyer, a previous poster kind of covered this, but the 16 mallards you bagged in Saskatchewan would have to be legal to transport back and freeze in ND, MN or whereever as long as you had the Saskatchewan license and shot them in Saskatchewan.
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