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Game and Fish Violations Tallied

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s enforcement division has tallied the number of hunting, angling and boating citations for 2020, and failure to carry a license was the number one violation.

Game wardens issued more than 2,600 citations last year. Counties with the most violations were Ramsey (320), Williams (163) and McKenzie (128). 

The most common violations and number issued were:

  • Boating (659): inadequate number of personal flotation devices (261); use of unlicensed/unnumbered boat (138); and failure to display boat registration (108).
  • Licensing (515): failure to carry license (306) and hunting/fishing/trapping without proper license (182).
  • Small game (377): using shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (96) and exceeding limit (68).
  • Fishing (315): aquatic nuisance species violations (84) and exceeding limit (65).
  • Miscellaneous (227): criminal trespass (76); minor in possession (46); and possession of a controlled substance (33).
  • General (226): hunting on posted land without permission (72); loaded firearm in vehicle (59); and use of motor vehicle in restricted area (47).
  • Big game (170): illegal taking/possession of big game (72); tagging violations (17); and failure to wear fluorescent orange (15).
  • Wildlife management areas/refuge (165): PLOTS access violations (60) and failure to obey posted regulations (57).
  • Furbearer (21): use/possession of illegal snares (8) and harassing with motor vehicle (6).

While wardens issued more than 2,600 citations in 2020, that number hardly compares to the number of people who were contacted by wardens and no citations were issued. These license checks, boating safety inspections, public safety calls, wildlife issues, the list goes on, are as important as the number of citations issued.

For instance, between Sept. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020, there were nearly 12,000 contacts made by game wardens and about 1,000 citations issued.

A summary of 2020 violations is printed in the Game and Fish Department’s February issue of North Dakota OUTDOORS.