Light goose hunters planning to hunt during North Dakota’s spring season can purchase a license online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website. The season opens Feb. 16 and continues through May 5.
Residents can hunt during the spring season by
having last fall’s 2012-13 bird licenses. Otherwise, hunters will need
to purchase either a 2013-14 combination license; or a small game, and
general game and habitat license.
Nonresidents, regardless of age, need a 2013 spring
light goose season license. The cost is $50 and the license is good
statewide. Nonresidents who hunt the spring season remain eligible to
buy a fall season
Availability of food and open water dictate when
snow geese arrive in the state. Early migrants generally start showing
up in the southeast part of the state in mid-to-late March, but
huntable numbers usually aren’t around until the end of March or early
April. If this winter’s mild weather conditions continue, light geese
could arrive earlier than normal. However, movements into and through
the state will depend on available roosting areas and the extent of the
Hunters must obtain a new Harvest Information Program
registration number before venturing out into the field. The HIP
number can be obtained online or by calling (888) 634-4798. The HIP
number is good for the fall season as well, so spring hunters should
save it to record on their fall license.
The Game and Fish Department will provide hunters
with migration updates once geese have entered the state. Hunters can
access the department’s website, or call (701) 328-3697, to receive
generalized locations of bird sightings in North Dakota until the
season ends or geese have left the state. Migration reports will be
updated periodically during the week.
The spring season is only open to light geese –
snows, blues, and Ross’s. Species identification is important because
white-fronted and Canada geese travel with light geese. The season is
closed to whitefronts, Canada geese, swans and all other migratory
Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30
minutes after sunset. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit.
Electronic and recorded calls, as well as shotguns capable of holding
more than three shells, may be used to take light geese during this
There are no waterfowl rest areas designated for
the spring season. Hunters should note that private land within
waterfowl rest areas closed last fall may be posted closed to hunting.
Nontoxic shot is required for hunting all light
geese statewide. Driving off established roads and trails is strongly
discouraged during this hunt because of the likelihood of soft, muddy
conditions, and winter wheat that is planted across the state.
To maintain good landowner relations, hunters are
advised to seek permission before hunting on private lands or
attempting any off-road travel during this season. Sprouted winter
wheat is considered an unharvested crop. Therefore, hunting or off-road
travel in winter wheat is not legal without landowner permission.
All regular hunting season regulations not
addressed above apply to the spring season. For more information on
regulations refer to the 2013 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations
and the 2012 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide.
Written By: Outdoors Weekly