Outdoors briefly

Small game regulations set

North Dakota’s 2013 small game and furbearer regulations are set and most season structures are similar to last year.

Continued expansion of fishers in eastern North Dakota has allowed the Game and Fish Department to change from a quota system to a limited number of days with no quota. The season will run from Nov. 25-Dec. 1. Fishers can only be taken by traps and cable devices. A limit of one fisher per person is allowed during this season.

This year, states can offer a possession limit of three times the daily bag limit for most migratory birds. Prairie chicken and sage grouse seasons will remain closed due to low populations.

Only North Dakota residents are permitted to hunt waterfowl from Sept. 21-27. Nonresidents are allowed to hunt waterfowl in North Dakota beginning Sept. 28. Other waterfowl season details will be finalized in mid-August in the waterfowl amendment to the small game and furbearer proclamation.

In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas or conservation PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen) areas from Oct. 12-18. Hunters should refer to the North Dakota 2013-14 Small Game and Furbearer guides (available mid-August) for more details on small game and furbearer seasons. Waterfowl regulations will be available in early September.

Crows (fall)

Aug. 10-Oct. 20 – No daily or possession limit

Early Canada Goose

Aug. 15-Sept. 15, Sept. 7 – Missouri River Zone

Daily limit 15 – Possession limit 45

Mountain lion

Zone 1 early – Aug. 30-Nov. 24 Zone quota 14, limit 1

Zone 1 late – Nov. 25-March 31, 2014 limit 1

Zone 2 – Aug. 30-March 31, 2014 no zone quota, limit 1

Doves

Sept. 1-Oct.30 – Limit 15, possession limit 45

Hungarian partridge

Sept. 14-Jan. 5, 2014 – limit 2, possession limit 12

Sharp-tailed grouse

Sept. 14-Jan. 5, 2014 – limit 3, possession limit 12

Ruffed ground

Sept. 14-Jan. 5, 2014 – limit 3, possession limit 12

Tree squirrels

Sept. 14-Jan. 5, 2014 – limit 4, possession limit 12

Sandhill crane

Unit 1 – Sept. 14-Nov. 10 – limit 3, possession limit 9

Unit 2 – Sept. 14-Nov. 10 – limit 2, possession limit 6

Snipe

Sept. 14-Dec. 1 – limit 8, possession limit 24

Woodcock

Sept. 21-Nov. 4 – limit 3, possession limit 9

Tundra swan

Sept. 28-Dec. 29 – season limit 1

Pheasants

Oct. 12-Jan 5, 2014 – limit 3, possession limit 12

2012 pheasant season summary

Wildlife populations were flourishing in 2006-07 when Conservation Reserve Program acres peaked at more than 3.25 million in North Dakota. Since then, as CRP acres have steadily declined, so has the overall harvest of game species.

According to statistics released by the State Game and Fish Department, while the number of pheasant hunters increased by 4 percent from 2011 to 2012, overall harvest fell 10 percent.

The number of resident hunters in 2012 was up 1 percent from 2011, while nonresident pheasant hunters increased 9 percent. Birds bagged per hunter decreased from 8.2 to 7.2, and each hunter spent an average of 5.4 days afield.

Counties with the highest percentage of pheasants taken by resident hunters in 2012 were: Hettinger, 7.7; Burleigh, 7.7; McLean, 6.7; Morton, 5.7; and Stark, 4.7. Top counties for nonresident hunters were: Hettinger, 20.1 percent; Bowman, 8.8; Adams, 6; Emmons, 5.9; and McLean, 5.2. Annual pheasant season statistics are determined by a mail survey of resident and nonresident hunters.

Online swan app available

The online application for North Dakota’s 2013 tundra swan license lottery is available on the state Game and Fish Department’s website, (gf.nd.gov). The deadline for applying is Aug. 14.

Paper applications will be available the end of July from Game and Fish offices, county auditors and license vendors. Hunters can also apply by calling (800) 406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made by phone.

The statewide tundra swan hunting season is Sept. 28-Dec. 29. A total of 2,200 licenses are available. Successful applicants will receive a tag to take one swan during the season. Since swans are classified as waterfowl, nonresidents may hunt them only during the period their nonresident waterfowl license is valid.