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ND early Canada goose season opens Aug. 15


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North Dakota’s early Canada goose season is set and the season will open Aug. 15. The limits are 15 daily and 30 in possession

Limits and shooting hours for the early season are different from the regular season. Shooting hours during the early season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset daily.

Normal licensing requirements for the regular season, including a federal duck stamp, apply to the early season. Nonresidents who hunt in Benson, Ramsey, Towner, Sargent and Richland counties during the early season may do so without counting against their 14-day regular season license.

All migratory bird hunters must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters who purchase a license through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov, or instant licensing telephone number (800) 406-6409, can easily get HIP certified. Otherwise, hunters can call (888) 634-4798 and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who registered to hunt the spring light goose season in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required only once per year.

Waterfowl rest areas, closed to hunting during the regular season, will be open during the early season. Most land in these rest areas is private, so hunters may need permission to hunt.

The early hunting season is intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers. Despite liberalized regulations the past several years, with longer seasons, large bag limits and expanded shooting hours the statewide population remains high, with numbers well above population goals.

The early season ends in the Missouri River zone Sept. 7, while the rest of the state closes Sept. 15. The Missouri River zone closes early to provide additional late season hunting opportunities by adding these days to the end of the regular season.

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Awsome! I'm going to North Dakota to hunt geese and see my new grandchild which is due Sept. 1st! My daughter moved there this spring and her husband farms over 1000 acres! grin

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Surprised they didn't budge on moving up the opener like SD did.

Probably figured it was early enough as it was. Doubt I'll make it out on opener anyway. Too early for me. I'll wait until September when it's actually worth trying to decoy birds.

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Most of the birds in SD are flying pretty well already. Should be good for the guys going Saturday. Most wheat is harvested and some corn in the dryer parts has been cut for silage.

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80-90% of wheat and oats in western MN is gone and birds are in it. They seem to be flying fine to me. Could be GRINDING em this weekend if MN didnt suck. I talked to a farmer last night that expected to be combining corn by Sept 18th!!

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Oh, I've seen plenty of birds in fields already, too. My experience with the early season is that they tend to bunch up in family flocks until closer to September. I tend to see this when scouting. Typically, a field being used by multiple families looks as such: smaller flocks dotting the landscape with no easily identifiable "X." Later in the season, flocks are more apt to decoy into a blob of birds.

That's just my experience, anyway. I'm sure people who get out after them will have plenty of luck. Simply my personal preference, and nothing more.

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Seems to be the case here through most of September as well.. I've personally never really had a problem with it. Just kinda set up where the biggest group of em was and get ready to blow the blind doors off.. lol I LOVE early season geese!!!!

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So does NoDak allow water hunting like MN? I want to head out there for early goose but I'm afraid my open weekends are a species of special concern in this household.

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So does NoDak allow water hunting like MN? I want to head out there for early goose but I'm afraid my open weekends are a species of special concern in this household.

As far as I know, you can hunt water during the early season. I don't know anyone that does, however. It's a good way to bust a roost and cut hunting short. Of course, I suppose the farmers won't mind if you blow them out of the state, but I might cry

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I dont think you can get a non resident license for the early season in sodak..

August season in SD is resident only. NR can hunt the Sept. season though.

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As far as I know, you can hunt water during the early season. I don't know anyone that does, however. It's a good way to bust a roost and cut hunting short. Of course, I suppose the farmers won't mind if you blow them out of the state, but I might cry

We'd be hunting fields, but I am more curious how closely the regulations across the Red River mirror Minnesota's...Our group gets an earfull or a dirty look when we water hunt ducks in NoDak, I hope you don't feel the same way about ducks. We love a good mallard field hunt as much as the next guys but without launching a boat you'll never get a shot at cans, redheads, scaup, etc. Some of those folks can get off their high horses, it's the same back here in Minnesota when the few small grain fields in southern Minnesota get filled up or are one of 20 fields being lorded over by one group...when I see that I honestly don't care if Joe Sixpack goes out and busts a roost, the geese don't belong to one person.

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We'd be hunting fields, but I am more curious how closely the regulations across the Red River mirror Minnesota's...Our group gets an earfull or a dirty look when we water hunt ducks in NoDak, I hope you don't feel the same way about ducks. We love a good mallard field hunt as much as the next guys but without launching a boat you'll never get a shot at cans, redheads, scaup, etc. Some of those folks can get off their high horses, it's the same back here in Minnesota when the few small grain fields in southern Minnesota get filled up or are one of 20 fields being lorded over by one group...when I see that I honestly don't care if Joe Sixpack goes out and busts a roost, the geese don't belong to one person.

+1!!!!!

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I like a good water shoot just as much as the next guy. Not a big diver hunter, though, so I don't do it very often. Different strokes for different folks.

But when it comes to geese (and field-feeding ducks such as mallards) hunting a field vs. water can be the difference between one morning of hunting or a solid week of hunting. If you burn a roost and shoot some birds, they will be gone and you probably won't have any return for a second hunt. But if you scout and find fields where they are feeding, you can hunt the same birds multiple days and never really kick them completely out of the area.

Transition sloughs are a different story. If you get on a pond that you can decoy birds while they're traveling between feeds and roosts, you're set. Some of my best hunts ever have been on transition sloughs.

I'm just trying to save you some frustration. If you're planning to make the trip all the way up here to shoot your 15 daily sky carp, better to do a little homework and get your money's worth than plop down on the first pond you find and possibly ruin your hunting for the rest of the week. I honestly give a rats patooty what you do or do not do. I'm just hoping to educate a few folks so they maybe learn a new way to hunt while they're in Nodak.

Other than that, have fun! I hope you kill as many geese as you can fit in your truck.

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Sorry, more of a rant on my part, a rant I stand by particularly as it pertains to southern Minny. I totally agree with you about having more prolonged success in fields...it's looking like ND is outta the cards more and more by the day for early season geese for me, but I could easily be talked into a cast and blast some August/September in the future. Me and my buddies didn't invest a lot of money into full bodies to hunt the water, I was just curious if ND allows it or not. The truth is, you could bring Non-Residents from every state and province that borders ND and put them in a slough and not come close to covering all the water in the state...could you bust some roosts? Yeah, probably. I'd like to see the data on geese, my experience is they do leave, but with ducks, if its attractive habitat, they will still put up with some hunting (documented in the literature - there's a good study from Thief Lake in Minnesota back when it was thick with scuds). I have water hunted ducks in the same sloughs consecutively in NoDak but my usual pattern is more to travel to new spots and do my work in scouting. And yes, you should put my rant aside if you are new to the sport (or in some cases old), do some scouting, and have some fantastic field hunts.

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Nonresident can do early goose it counts against your 2 seven days unless you hunt a handfull of designated counties. I believe there are 5 of them.

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