North Dakota Fishing and Hunting Forum banner

Possible new regulations

3874 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Matt Jones
This was on the front page of todays Minot paper.Evidently the GNF can set the number of licenses this year and also set time periods this year!!!

Out-of-state duck hunters
Officials contemplating hunting restrictions

By: Dale Wetzel
AP Writer
Posted at 12:00 pm

BISMARCK - Delays in selling duck hunting licenses have prompted speculation that the Game and Fish Department is planning new restrictions on out-of-state hunters. Agency officials and Gov. John Hoeven say nothing has been decided.

"I honestly don't know what we're going to do yet," said Dean Hildebrand, the department's director. "We have a lot of suggestions, and a lot of options out there."

The issue is being handled gingerly in the wake of the uproar that greeted Hoeven's suggestion to begin this year's pheasant hunting season a week earlier than normal.

The proposal spurred a backlash against out-of-state bird hunters, who have been coming to North Dakota in increasing numbers. After initially defending the idea, Hoeven abandoned it last month.

A similar situation could arise if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows an earlier start to the duck season, which is tentatively scheduled to begin Sept. 28.

North Dakota businesses that cater to duck hunters, including landowners who charge a fee for access to their land, have long advocated an earlier duck opener.

It would give hunters a better chance to bag blue-winged teal ducks, which are generally the first to begin the fall migration from North Dakota's prairie pothole region in mid- to late September.

"We have a wonderful teal population, that we have not been able to hunt effectively," Hildebrand said.

Since the Game and Fish Department began selling duck licenses on its World Wide Web site over the last few years, fall licenses have been available by April.

That is not true this year. Hildebrand and Roger Rostvet, the agency's deputy director, said the licenses are not being sold yet because of uncertainty about the season's opening date, and discussions about how licenses should be allocated.

Rostvet said a license lottery for out-of-state duck hunters is not being contemplated.

"That may be something that could happen later on, through legislation, but at this time, to set up a lottery would not be feasible," Rostvet said. "That's what is driving people nuts, is the thought there might be a lottery this fall ... It just isn't physically possible."

Should an earlier duck season opener materialize, one possibility is to reserve the opening week for North Dakota resident hunters, Hildebrand said.

Others include limits on the number of licenses issued to nonresidents, or staggering the time periods in which nonresident hunters may go afield.

Rostvet said an agency working group is considering suggestions that will be discussed in May, during a planned round of public meetings of the agency's advisory board.

Hoeven said no decisions would be made until the round of public consultations were completed.

"We need to make sure that any changes that we consider go through the advisory board, that we have the opportunity to get out there and have hearings," Hoeven said. "Clearly there is sentiment out there to (limit out-of-state hunters). The question is, how do you approach it?"

The number of duck hunters visiting North Dakota has climbed rapidly in recent years, from 5,928 in 1991 to just over 30,000 during last fall's hunting season.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 9 Posts
I kind of like the idea of having the first week being resident only but would have some concerns. The main issue with NR is access and how it's increasingly getting tougher due to NR's purchasing and leasing land for hunting. Opening a week earlier with residents only might just cause landowners to not let anyone on their property if their expecting friends and family from out of state to come and hunt.

I agree with Fetch that someone (Hildebrand) needs to step up and get off the fence. All the politicians are so concerned about not upsetting anyone (which is virtually impossible with an issue such as this), that I'm afraid nothing will be done. I know Hoeven's not going to step and take the reins on this one.
Currently ND isn't allowed to have an early teal season under the current frameworks. Southern states that have teal seasons do not have teal seasons count against their regular season days.

States classified as productions states (northern midwest states) can't have a true teal season due to the fear that too many mistake ducks will be taken due to the fact that the ducks are still in eclipse plumage when teal migrate through.

The only production state that has anything close to a teal season is IA. What the IDNR did was subtract 5 days from their regular season and place them 2-3 weeks in fron of their traditional mid October opener. Some years IA opens two weeks before ND, and some years just one. Since it is not a teal season all ducks are legal but the "emphasis" is on teal.

I wouldn't mind seeing a two day split in ND two weeks before the regular opener. If they did this I would like to see it remain a teal season, but allow for one mistake duck. It's pretty sad teal seasons failed in the past because of the overharvest of other species. It's pretty easy to tell teal apart from other species even out of plumage. It's a pretty simple concept; if you can't identify your target as a legal duck...then don't pull the trigger.
See less See more
1 - 2 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.