Hunt for birds in the peaceful prairies and rolling hills of North Dakota, the Peace Garden State.
A lot of Americans look to well-tread paths like California for diversity and beautiful landscapes. Few people remember that states in the interior of the country, like North Dakota, boast oddities such as the Badlands and locales like the Red River Valley. West of the Red River Valley is the Drift Prairie. About half of the land is made up of the hilly Great Plains, good for bird hunting in North Dakota.
The annual PLOTS guide, available in print, locates which lands are available for bird hunting in North Dakota. Over 700,000 acres of that land is managed by the State Land Department. There are also national wildlife refuges which cover more than 200,000 acres — many of which are great for upland game hunting.
Residents pay a $30 fee for a license, including a habitat stamp. Nonresidents pay $122 for a 14-day license and habitat stamp. Additional 14-day periods cost $100.
Upland hunters have for generations enjoyed hunting the pheasant populations of America. Southeastern North Dakota in particular has had good pheasant populations. Check out Crosby, or Mott — a town considered by some to be “The Pheasant Capitol of the Nation.”
The season for pheasant runs from October 6 to January 6 with a daily bag limit of 3.
Sharp-tailed grouse are a pretty common bird in North Dakota, though they have experienced some declines in recent years. They are most common in the Missouri Slope region and are fond of the mixed and short grass prairies there.
The season for sharp-tailed grouse runs from September 9 to January 7 with a daily bag limit of 3.
Whether it’s the reason you’re in the field or you’re looking for a bonus bird while hunting grouse and pheasants, the Hungarian partridge is a great option for bird hunting in North Dakota. They are also known as the gray partridge, but many just call them Huns. This covey bird is common enough in places across the state and prefer areas with fertile soil, abandoned farmsteads, and native prairie.
The season opens September 8 and closes January 6. There is a daily bag limit of 3.
Other Species for Bird Hunting in North Dakota
There are other great species available for bird hunting in North Dakota. Depending on the population levels, North Dakota has seasons for prairie-chicken and sage grouse. In years past, seasons for these two birds were closed for conservation purposes. The season for dove begins September 1 and ends November 29 with a daily bag limit of 15. The common snipe season runs from September 16 until December 3. The daily bag limit is 8. On the rarer side, American woodcock have a season for bird hunting in North Dakota. The season runs from September 22 to November 6 with a daily bag limit of 3.
North Dakota, with Minnesota to the east of the Red River Valley, offers a unique chance to hunt ruffed grouse, too. The aspen forests in the Turtle Mountains and Pembina Hills are places to look for ruffed grouse while bird hunting in North Dakota. The season for ruffed grouse is open from September 9 to January 7 with a daily bag limit of 3.
Related Conservation and Non-Profit Organizations for North Dakota Bird Hunting
The North Dakota Hunter Safety Course and Dog Training
The state of North Dakota requires anyone born after 1961 to complete an approved hunter education course before applying for a hunting license. People under the age of 12 are exempt as long as they are licensed and accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is an apprentice hunter validation option for anyone over the age of 12, but they must also be accompanied by a licensed adult. For more information, see the hunter course.
From August 16 to May 31, you can train your dog for bird hunting in North Dakota on public land. If you train your dog on any Wildlife Management Area during closed season, you will be fined one hundred dollars.
The bird hunting season dates, game bird species available, and other information is subject to change. The article may not reflect this. Please visit the website for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for the most up to date information on bird hunting in North Dakota.
Last modified: August 22, 2018