The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Enforcement Division tallied the number of hunting, angling and boating citations for 2021, and failure to hold a license was the number one violation.
Game wardens issued more than 2,600 citations last year. The counties with the most violations were Ramsey (399), Williams (132) and Benson (125).
The most common violations and number issued were:
Recreational boating (846): insufficient number of personal flotation devices (247); failure to display vessel registration (92); and the use of a boat without a licence/number (63).
License (493): failure to carry license (256) and hunting/fishing/trapping without proper license (213).
Fishing (406): Nuisance aquatic species violations (137) and exceeding the limit (81).
Small game (243): use of a shotgun that can hold more than three cartridges (70) and failure to leave identification of game (62).
General (209): hunting on posted land without authorization (58); using an established off-trail motor vehicle (55); and loaded firearm in the vehicle (48).
Miscellaneous (182): criminal intrusion (71); minor in possession (30); and possession of a controlled substance (30).
Big game (170): CWD violations (20); tagging violations (18); and not wearing fluorescent orange (17).
Wildlife Management Areas/Refuge (82): Violation of posted regulations (50).
Fur (18): Shiny (using artificial light) (7).
While the Guardians issued more than 2,600 citations in 2021, that number barely compares to the number of people contacted by the Guardians without citations issued. Those permit checks, boating safety inspections, public safety calls, wildlife issues, the list goes on, are as important as the number of citations issued.
In total, game wardens made 51,100 contacts in the field in 2021. This number does not include public contacts at sports shows, state fair, local wildlife club meetings, programs schools, hunter safety courses and other community events.
A summary of the 2021 violations is printed in the February issue of the North Dakota OUTDOORS Department of Fish and Game.