NORTH DAKOTA OUTDOORS MAGAZINE
2022 Enforcement Division Review
By Chief Game Warden Scott Winkelman
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s enforcement division had another tremendous year in 2022.
The effort and professionalism exhibited by game wardens of this fine state are second to none, and I am extremely proud of the work they all do in protecting our wildlife, habitat, and those who enjoy it.
They truly are the “best of the best” in law enforcement.
The amount of work and responsibility game wardens of North Dakota are responsible for is really eye opening.
North Dakota has the third smallest number of wildlife law enforcement officers in the nation, with 38 full time game wardens, with each patrolling districts covering an estimated 2,438 square miles.
Only Delaware (30) and Rhode Island (32) have fewer game wardens.
When you consider that those states are about the same size as Cass and Grand Forks counties, it really is a testament to the amount of great work our game wardens do.
In the following pages you will see the citation and field contact information for the past year.
It is important to note that by state law all fines and fees collected due to convictions for these citations are paid to the county where the violation occurred and added to the state school fund.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department does not receive any funding from the fines or fees associated with citations issued.
I hope that you all find time in 2023 to safely enjoy the wildlife and waters that our game wardens have dedicated their careers and time protecting.
2022 Summary of Violations
|Illegal taking/possession of big game||42|
|Failure to wear fluorescent orange||14|
|Killing wrong species or sex||7|
|Shining big game||7|
|Other big game violations||26|
|Using gun able to hold more than 3 shells||56|
|Hunting before/after legal hours||30|
|Failure to leave identification or sex of game||53|
|Killing wrong sex or species||10|
|Other small game violations||52|
|Use of unlicensed or unnumbered boat||40|
|Failure to display boat registration||60|
|Operating without lights at night||45|
|Inadequate number of PFDs||268|
|Water skiing violations||13|
|Reckless or negligent operation||11|
|Operating vessel under influence/intoxicated||17|
|Other boating violations||219|
|Fishing in closed/restricted area||3|
|Fishing with illegal bait||10|
|Other fishing violations||130|
|Other Furbearer violations||3|
|Use of motor vehicle off established trail||61|
|Hunting on posted land without permission||38|
|Aid in concealment of unlawful game||5|
|Loaded firearm in motor vehicle||37|
|Hunting in unharvested field||4|
|Other general violations||9|
|Hunting/fishing/trapping without proper license||222|
|Failure to carry license on person||218|
|Misrepresentation on license or application||30|
|Other licensing violations||9|
|WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS/REFUGE|
|Failure to obey posted regulations||52|
|Tree stand violations||14|
|Possession of glass beverage containers||7|
|Prohibited use of motor vehicles||6|
|PLOTS access violations||19|
|Other WMA/refuge violations||9|
|Possession of controlled substance||30|
|Possession of drug paraphernalia||24|
|Minor in possession||30|
INCIDENTS 2022 – TOP 10 COUNTIES
(An incident is defined as any situation that requires a response from a game warden. It does not have to be a crime. The situation could be, for example, a stranded angler.)
- Ramsey – 235
- McLean – 165
- Williams – 181
- McKenzie - 146
- Burleigh - 124
- Cass - 112
- Mountrail - 110
- Stark - 100
- Ward - 90
- Stutsman - 87
- Total - 2,730
CITATIONS 2022 – TOP 10 COUNTIES
- Ramsey - 324
- Williams - 123
- McKenzie - 115
- Benson - 111
- Mclean - 110
- Bottineau - 93
- Burleigh - 92
- Stark - 84
- Kidder - 77
- Mountrail - 77
- Total - 2,389
“That’s an important statistic for us to keep. When you think about it, that’s a lot of people we are reaching. A field contact is any time one of our wardens has an interaction with somebody in the field, usually just checking a license, equipment, bag limits. We can answer questions and hopefully point them in the right direction. It’s a friendly interaction and it’s good all around,” said Scott Winkelman, Game and Fish chief warden, of the nearly 47,000 field contacts wardens made in 2022.