Hunters Exempt from Nat’l Grassland Firearm Restrictions

NDG&F Dept. Press Release

With elk season opening Sept. 1 and grouse and partridge seasons to follow starting Sept. 9, the State Game and Fish Department and U.S. Forest Service remind hunters that use of firearms is allowed on the Little Missouri National Grasslands by legally licensed hunters.

Earlier this summer the USFS, which manages the Little Missouri, Cedar River and Sheyenne national grasslands in North Dakota, established a number of restrictions, on the Little Missouri only, designed to minimize the likelihood of starting or spreading of wildfires because of extreme dry conditions. Discharging a firearm is one of those restrictions, but the USFS provided an exemption to that rule for people who are legally hunting.

“We have received some questions from elk and bird hunters who weren’t aware of the exemption,” Craig Bihrle, Game and Fish Department communication supervisor said. “While hunting is allowed, people still need to be extremely careful to not start inadvertent fires.”

While legal hunting is allowed, the fire restriction order does still prohibit campfires, smoking and driving vehicles off trail on the Little Missouri Grasslands. A complete copy of the Little Missouri National Grasslands fire restrictions is available at the USFS Dakota Prairie Grasslands website.

Throughout the state, hunters should keep track of the daily fire danger index, which restricts off-trail vehicle use and recreational fires when the index is in the Very High, Extreme and Red Flag Warning categories. Some counties may also still have localized restrictions in place.

(Featured Photo: Licensed hunters, including those pursuing elk on the Little Missouri National Grasslands are exempt from the restrictions in place pertaining to the discharge of  firearms.  With dry conditions persisting, bans on fires and off-trail motor vehicle travel still remain. NDG&F Photo)

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