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Waterfowl limits, rules set

North Dakota's 2009 waterfowl season has been set. Opening day for North Dakota residents is Sept. 26 for ducks, geese, coots and mergansers. Nonresidents may begin hunting waterfowl in North Dakota Oct. 3.

The three-year Hunter's Choice bag limit for duck hunting has ended. This year, hunters may take six ducks per day with the following restrictions: Five mallards of which two may be hens, three wood ducks, two scaup, two redheads, one pintail, one canvasback. For ducks, the possession limit is twice the daily limit, according to a press release from the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

The daily limit of five mergansers may include no more than two hooded mergansers.

The hunting season for Canada geese in the Missouri River zone will close Jan. 1, while the remainder of the state will close Dec. 24. The season for whitefronts closes Dec. 6, while the season on light geese is open through Jan. 1. Shooting hours for all geese are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m. each day through Oct. 31. Beginning Nov. 1, shooting hours are extended until 2 p.m. each day.

Extended shooting hours for all geese are permitted from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset on Saturdays and Wednesdays through Nov. 29, and on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays from Dec. 2 through the end of each season.

The daily bag limit for Canada geese during the regular season is three, with six in possession. The daily limit on whitefronts is two with four in possession, and light goose is 20 daily, with no possession limit.

A special youth waterfowl hunting season is Sept. 19-20. Legally licensed residents and nonresidents 15 years of age or younger can hunt ducks, coots, mergansers and geese statewide. Youth hunters must have a general game and habitat license and a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. A licensed adult at least 18 years of age must accompany them. The daily bag limit and species restrictions for the youth season are the same as for regular duck and goose seasons.

Nonresidents have the option of buying either a statewide waterfowl license or one with zone restrictions. Nonresidents who designate zones 1 or 2 may hunt that zone for only one seven-day period during the season. Nonresident hunters who chose to hunt in zone 1 or 2 and wish to use the full 14 consecutive days allowed, must use the other seven days in zone 3. Hunters in zone 3 can hunt that zone the entire 14 days, according to the NDGFD.

In accordance with state law, nonresidents are not allowed to hunt on NDGFD wildlife management areas or conservation Private Land Open To Sportsmen areas from Oct. 10-16.

All waterfowl hunters must register with the Harvest Information Program prior to hunting. Hunters purchasing a license from the Game and Fish Department can get a HIP number. Otherwise, hunters must call 888-634-4798, or visit, provide the registration information, and record the HIP number on their fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate. Those who HIP registered to hunt this spring's light goose season do not have to register again.