North Dakota Outdoors: Important news for North Dakota hunters
Hard to believe North Dakota’s hunting seasons opened more than a month ago with the early Canada goose season on Aug. 15. Other hunting openers have followed and more to come, and every hunter should know the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide for 2022 is available online on the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. In addition, the free printed PLOTS Guide is available at most license vendors and other locations throughout the state.
The 2022 guide features about 800,000 PLOTS acres. Because the guide was printed in mid-August, some PLOTS tracts highlighted in the guide may have been removed from the program since the time of printing. There will also be some PLOTS tracts where the habitat and condition of the tract will have changed significantly. Conversely, Game and Fish may have added new tracts to the program after the guide went to press.
To minimize possible confusion, Game and Fish will update PLOTS map sheets weekly on its website.
The PLOTS guide features maps highlighting walk-in areas, identified in the field by inverted triangular yellow signs, as well as other public lands. The guides are not available to mail, so hunters will have to pick one up at a local vendor or Game and Fish offices or print individual maps from the website.
Equipment Identification Numbers
Hunters, trappers and anglers are reminded that an equipment registration number, or the individual’s name, address and telephone number, must be displayed on all equipment requiring identification.
In addition, written permission is required from the owner of the property, or an individual authorized by the owner, for an individual to install camera/video equipment on private property, and the equipment must be identified.
While on state wildlife management areas, identification is required on items such as ground blinds, tree stands, cameras and traps.
Identification must be attached to cable devices set on either private or public land, and on fish houses left unattended on the ice. Owners can generate an equipment registration number by visiting Buy and Apply at the Game and Fish Department website. One registration number will be issued that can be used on all equipment requiring identification.
The equipment registration number does not expire.
Harvest Information Program number
Migratory bird hunters of all ages need to register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting ducks, geese, swans, mergansers, coots, cranes, snipe, doves and woodcock. Hunters must register in each state for which they are licensed to hunt. Hunters can HIP certify when purchasing a license by visiting the Game and Fish Department website.
Those who registered to hunt during the spring light goose conservation order in North Dakota do not have to register with HIP again, as it is required only once per year.
HIP registration is a cooperative program designed to determine a sample of hunters to measure the harvest of migratory birds for management purposes.
As hunting seasons continue to ramp up I’d encourage you to subscribe to the weekly North Dakota Game and Fish Department free news release and the text messages as well. The full details and subscriptions are available on the website.
Leier is a NDGF biologist and a Williston native. He began his career at Lostwood NWR and was a game warden in Bottineau.