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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2006

Not everyone is following the hunting rules

The Bismarck Tribune
November 1, 2006

Call the roll for all of the citations issued by game wardens in our fair state between Oct. 14 and Oct. 24, and you might be surprised.

Although some late ones may trickle in, 59 citations were handed out.

"It's probably a typical week," said Bob Timian, the chief game warden for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. "We would expect to see an increase in citations during hunting months. Thousands of people are out there hunting, and not everyone is doing it right or following the rules."

How about game wardens issuing 27 citations for "exceeding limits?"

Ten of those people ticketed were residents.

Twenty-one of those tickets were classified as non-criminal, meaning a bird over the limit.

Scarier is that six were Class B misdemeanor citations, meaning the person cited had far more birds than the law allowed. Resident-nonresident breakdown was three each.

Eleven folks were cited for failing to leave identification on their birds. Five of those citations went to residents.

For pheasants and other upland birds, identification means a fully feathered head, wing or leg. For waterfowl, it's a fully feathered wing or head.

Regardless of which fully feathered appendage a hunter chooses, it must be attached to the bird.

Ten folks were cited for having a loaded firearm in the vehicle. Although a firearm's magazine may be loaded, a round in the chamber is considered a violation. Only three of those folks came from out of state.

Three people were cited for using shotguns capable of holding more than three shells. All were nonresidents. Whether they legally could hunt native game birds with an unplugged gun in their home state and failed to reinstall the plug for their North Dakota trip is unknown. North Dakota regulations limit shotgun capacities to three shells for native species as well as waterfowl, which is a federal requirement.

Three people, including two nonresidents, were cited for hunting before or after legal hours.

Two nonresidents were ticketed for not using nontoxic shot on waterfowl. Whether they think the law doesn't apply in North Dakota or they can ignore the law in North Dakota is unknown.

And there were various other citations issued, including ones for hunting without a license, killing the wrong species or sex, failure to carry license on person and misrepresentation in the license application.

Sometime in January, after the curtain closes on hunting seasons, NDGFD will put together annual reports on the violations and do year-to-year comparisons.

"We will see if there are any trends and if it tells us anything," Timian said.

(Reach outdoor writer Richard Hinton at 250-8256 or richard.hinton@bismarcktribune.com.)

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