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North Dakota Hunting License

North Dakota hunting licenses are required for both novice and experienced hunters. In an effort to preserve the environment and public North Dakota wildernesses, the ND Game and Fish Department regulates the amount of hunting taking place by issuing hunting licenses based on the species of game an applicant wishes to pursue. Getting a license to hunt requires going through the hunting license application process and paying the hunting license fee. The Peace Garden State is home to a plethora of game species – both large and small. Though some hunters from across the world visit North Dakota to hunt sandhill crane and waterfowl, big game hunting licenses are what most avid sportsmen seek. To that end, the NDGF issues a limited amount of hunting licenses to winners of a lottery drawing. Therefore, licenses to hunt these animals cannot be purchased outright but must be applied for before the application deadline. Species that are highly coveted in this manner include elk, moose, bighorn sheep and turkey, among others. North Dakota hunting license purchases can be handled in a variety of ways. Online sales are available, as are telephone and in-person transactions. Most first-time hunters will not be able to just buy their hunting credentials right away. They must first find out if they are required to acquire a hunter education certification before applying for a license to hunt in North Dakota. To find out more about how and where to get hunting licenses in ND, read the frequently asked questions and their answers for the topics below:

  • Types of hunting licenses in North Dakota
  • How to buy hunting licenses in North Dakota
  • Hunter education in North Dakota
  • How to replace hunting licenses in North Dakota


What types of hunting licenses are available in North Dakota?

A variety of hunting licenses for both residents and nonresidents who would like to participate in state-sanctioned hunting activities is offered through the North Dakota Game and Fish Department (NDGF). In addition to an applicant’s residential status, hunting licenses in North Dakota are further classified by the type of game pursued. Available hunting licenses include:

  • Big game hunting licenses.
  • Small game hunting permits.
  • Early Canada goose hunting licenses.
  • Swan hunting licenses.

Prior to getting a hunting license, you must first purchase a Fishing, Hunting, Furbearer Certificate for a nominal fee.

How do I purchase hunting licenses in North Dakota?

You must have the proper license to hunt before heading out on a hunting expedition in North Dakota. The three methods available by which you can purchase North Dakota hunting licenses are: online, by phone and in person.

Online hunting license applicants may print their credential upon purchase through the web-based licensing system. Telephone sales are carried out through an automated service that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A service fee does apply to hunting licenses purchased over the phone. To buy a license to hunt in person, print and complete a hunting license application prior to visiting the NGDF office.

Before getting a hunting license, make sure to first purchase a General Game and Habitat License. Some hunting licenses (i.e. deer, turkey, elk/moose, pronghorn and tundra swan) are issued on a lottery basis and may not be purchased outright.

Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a North Dakota hunting license purchase?

All hunting permit applicants born after 1961 must take a hunter education course certified by the NDGF in order to apply for a license to hunt. Exceptions to this rule are made for applicants younger than 12 years of age.

NDGF offers two different types of hunting education courses, including a traditional hunter education course and a home-study hunter education course.

Home-study courses are split between online instruction and in-person instruction, while the traditional course is completely in-person instruction. Students 16 years of age and older are eligible to choose the home-study hunter course option.

Where can I find educational hunting material for kids in North Dakota?

Each year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department holds four different youth hunting seasons according to the species of game hunted. Children under 15 years of age may hunt game such as turkey, deer, waterfowl and pheasant.

Additional education opportunities are available, such as the Kid’s Korner webpage. Kid’s Korner includes a variety of resources such as the North Dakota Wildlife coloring book, hiking Bingo and annual contests with a variety of prizes.

The NDGF also sponsors the North Dakota Wildlife Federation Camp for children between 12 and 16 years of age. The Wildlife Federation Camp offers instruction in various areas of wildlife education, including science, environmental conservation and the skills necessary to survive outdoors.

Does North Dakota offer an apprentice hunter program?

For children eager and ready to get into the wilderness, NDGF does offer the Apprentice Hunter program. Under the apprentice program, children 16 years of age and older can apply for an apprentice hunter license along with an apprentice small game license. Apprentice licenses allow the holder to hunt small game and deer under the supervision of a properly licensed adult or supervisor who is 18 years of age or older. Interested individuals may complete an application for an apprentice license to hunt online.

How do I replace hunting licenses in North Dakota?

Lost ND hunting licenses must be replaced before you can engage in hunting activities in North Dakota’s wilderness. To apply for a duplicate hunting license, print and complete an Application for Duplicate Resident or Nonresident Hunting and/or Fishing Licenses form. Fees are listed on the application and vary based on the type of license you are replacing. A duplicate license applicant may also contact the NDGF by telephone to request that an application form be mailed to him or her.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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