ND: Spring Light Goose Licenses Available
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. 18 and continues
through May 6.
Residents can hunt during the spring season by having last fall’s
2011-12 bird licenses. Otherwise, hunters will need to purchase
either a 2012-13 combination license; or a small game, and general
game and habitat license.
Nonresidents, regardless of age, need a 2012 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 license. The spring season does not count against the
14-day fall hunting season regulation.
A federal duck stamp is not required for either residents or
Licenses are available only from the Game and Fish Department’s
Bismarck office, the department’s website at gf.nd.gov, or by
calling (800) 406-6409.
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 snow line.
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
The statewide season is open through May 6. 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 season.
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
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 oroff-road
travel in winter wheat is not legal without landowner
All regular hunting season regulations not addressed above apply to
the spring season. For more information on regulations refer to the
2012 Spring Light Goose Hunting Regulations and the 2011 North
Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Guide.