North Dakota’s 2012 small game and furbearer regulations have been set and most season structures and bag limits are similar to last year. The only significant changes involve an increase in limits for the early Canada goose, mountain lion and fisher seasons.

The early Canada goose season will open Wednesday, Aug. 15, and have a daily limit of 15 and a possession limit of 30. 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.

The mountain lion season in Zone 1 will have a quota of 21 lions, split into an early and late season. The early season opens Aug. 31 and continues until the early season quota of 14 is filled, or through Nov. 25. The late season opens Nov. 26, and will run until seven lions are taken, or through March 31, 2013.

As in past years, the mountain lion season in Zone 2 (Aug. 31 – March 31) does not have a quota.

Continued expansion of fishers in eastern North Dakota has allowed the Game and Fish Department to increase the season quota to 15. Fishers can only be taken by traps and cable devices. A limit of one fisher per person is allowed during this season.

Prairie chicken and sage grouse seasons will remain closed due to low populations.

Other small game and waterfowl licensing details are similar to last year.

Only North Dakota residents are permitted to hunt waterfowl from Sept. 22-28. Nonresidents are allowed to hunt waterfowl in North Dakota beginning Sept. 29. 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. 13-19.

Hunters should refer to the North Dakota 2012-13 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.

SpeciesOpensClosesDaily LimitPoss Limit
Crows (fall)Aug. 11Oct. 21No limitNo limit
Early Canada GooseAug. 15Sept. 15 (Sept. 7 Missouri River Zone)1530
Mountain lion zone 1 early (zone quota 14)Aug. 31Nov. 25 (or when zone quota is reached)Season limit of 1 per hunter
Mountain lion zone 1 late
(zone quota 7)
Nov. 26March 31 (or when zone quota is reached)Season limit of 1 per hunter
Mountain lion zone 2Aug. 31March 31Season limit of 1 per hunter
DovesSept. 1Oct. 301530
Hungarian partridgeSept. 8Jan. 6312
Sharp-tailed grouseSept. 8Jan. 6312
Ruffed grouseSept. 8Jan. 6312
Tree squirrelsSept. 8Jan. 6412
Sandhill crane unit 1Sept. 15Nov. 1136
Sandhill crane unit 2Sept. 15Oct. 2124
SnipeSept. 15Dec. 2816
WoodcockSept. 22Nov. 536
Tundra swanSept. 29Dec. 30Season limit of 1 per hunter
PheasantsOct. 13Jan. 6312
Weasel trappingOct. 27March 15
Mink, Muskrat trappingOct. 27April 30
Fisher trapping (season quota 15)Nov. 26March 15Season limit of 1 per trapper

Logo courtesy of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department

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