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Sandhill cranes flying

Sandhill Crane Hunting

Has Youth Season
No
ND Resident Only
No
Lottery
No
The dates listed below are tentative until the season's proclamation is signed.

Season Dates

Season Dates
Season Hunting Units Opens Closes Season Dates Status
Regular Unit 1 Tentative
Regular Unit 2 Tentative

License Requirements

Residents must possess the following licenses:

  • Harvest Information Program registration
  • Fishing, Hunting, and Furbearer Certificate
  • Small Game License (Not required of residents under age 16) and General Game and Habitat License
    or
    Combination License (includes Small Game, General Game and Habitat, Furbearer, and Fishing licenses)
  • Sandhill Crane Permit

Nonresidents must possess the following licenses:

  • Harvest Information Program registration
  • Fishing, Hunting, Furbearer Certificate
  • General Game and Habitat License
  • Valid Nonresident Small Game License (good for two 7-day periods or one 14-day period) or a Valid Nonresident Waterfowl License 
  • Sandhill Crane Permit

Regulations

--- The following is from the 2020 season. This information will be updated for 2021 after the 2021 proclamation has been signed. ---

Species Specific Regulations - Unit 1
Daily Limit 3
Possession Limit 9
Open Area That portion of North Dakota west of U.S. Highway 281.
Shooting Hours 30 minutes before sunrise to: 1 p.m. CDT September 19 through October 31; 2 p.m. CST November 1 through November 15.
Species Specific Regulations - Unit 2
Daily Limit 2
Possession Limit 6
Open Area That portion of North Dakota east of U.S. Highway 281.
Shooting Hours 30 minutes before sunrise to: 1 p.m. CDT September 19 through October 31; 2 p.m. CST November 1 through November 15.

A hunter may take up to 3 cranes in one day, provided all 3 birds are taken from Unit 1, or no more than 2 birds are taken from Unit 2. Nonresident sandhill crane hunters must possess either a small game license or a waterfowl license. Nonresident sandhill crane permits are valid for use within the dates and zones of nonresident waterfowl or small game licenses selected during purchase. Sandhill cranes may be taken from a floating craft, excluding a sink box, if such a craft is beached, or fastened within or tied immediately alongside any type of fixed hunting blind, or from such craft resting at anchor.

Additional Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations

WARNING – Know your crane species BEFORE you hunt. Endangered whooping cranes occasionally fly with sandhill cranes. Adult whoopers are snow white and young whoopers are white with some rusty brown feathers; black wing tips show on both. If you see a whooping crane, contact a Game and Fish official or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Whooping identification graphic