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Early Canada goose hunting season opens in North Dakota August 15

An early hunting season intended to reduce local Canada goose numbers in North Dakota opens statewide Aug. 15.

Last year was the first time the early season opened in mid-August. Before, opening day was Sept. 1. The earlier opener is permitted under the framework provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which allows states to open what is considered a "management take" season on Canada geese as early as Aug. 1.

Despite liberalized Canada goose seasons the past several years, the statewide population remains high, with numbers well above population goals. The growing population has resulted in increased reports from landowners concerning depredation on crops and nuisance problems.

During the past decade, hunters have been able to take advantage of longer Canada goose hunting seasons, maximum bag limits and expanded shooting hours. While these strategies have resulted in considerable increases in harvest, the population remains above objective levels.

Any Canada goose hunting days added in August do not count against the 107-day federal framework. Therefore, the mid-August opening date does not affect the length of the early Canada goose or regular waterfowl seasons.

Normal licensing requirements for the regular season, including a federal duck stamp, apply to the early season. Nonresidents who hunt in Sargent and Richland counties during the early season may do so without counting against their 14-day regular season license.

Hunters should refer to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website,, for additional information and regulations, including Harvest Information Program certification and bag limits.