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To help North Dakota hunters prepare for hunting seasons in 2016, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department annually provides its best estimate for opening dates for the coming year.

Dates become official when approved by governor’s proclamation. Tentative opening dates for 2016 include:


Spring Turkey

April 9

Early Canada Goose

August 15


The next guide and outfitter written examination is Aug. 13 at 1 p.m. at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department office in Bismarck. The test is given periodically to anyone interested in becoming a hunting guide or outfitter in the state.

In addition to passing a written exam, qualifications for becoming a guide include a background check for criminal and game and fish violations; certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and standard first aid; and employment by or contract with a licensed hunting outfitter.


Adults and children looking to take a hunter education class in 2016 are reminded to enroll at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website,


North Dakota’s 2016 pronghorn hunting season is set, with 730 licenses available in seven open units, according to Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department.

Along with units 3B, 4A and 4C, which were the only open units in 2015, units 1A, 2A, 2B and 3A will hold a limited number of licenses.


The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will host thousands of visitors to its free Conservation and Outdoors Skills Park July 22-30 at the State Fair in Minot.


An experimental antlerless deer archery season will open this fall on the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation land south of Bismarck.

Interested hunters must apply for an access permit from NDDOCR at (under the Archery Hunt header) before receiving a license. The deadline for applying is Aug. 1 at 4 p.m. Only 25 access permits will be issued.


With North Dakota’s recent growth in walleye fisheries, a record 150-plus lakes across the state were stocked with nearly 11 million walleye fingerlings earlier this summer.


The Beaver Bay boat ramp located east of Highway 1804 on Lake Oahe will be closed July 11-15 for road repairs and construction.

The main ramp at Beaver Bay will remain open. 


North Dakota’s spring pheasant population index is up slightly from last year, while sharp-tailed grouse numbers are down slightly, according to recent surveys conducted by State Game and Fish Department biologists.


The North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently paid more than $581,900 in taxes to counties in which the department owns or leases land. The 2015 in-lieu-of-tax payments are the same as property taxes paid by private landowners.

The Game and Fish Department manages more than 200,000 acres for wildlife habitat and public hunting in 51 counties. The department does not own or manage any land in Traill or Renville counties.

Following is a list of counties and the tax payments they received.


The State Game and Fish Department will lift the Tuesday-Wednesday no-camping restriction during the week of July 4 on those wildlife management areas in western North Dakota and along Lake Sakakawea that otherwise prohibit camping during those two days of the week.


North Dakota Game and Fish Department law enforcement personnel will participate in a national campaign designed to reduce the number of boaters operating under the influence.


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