By Doug Leier
I don’t remember the year I bought my first North Dakota fishing license online. I intentionally tried to block it out with respect to an ongoing tradition. Prior to that, my first initial trip of the spring included a stop at the gas station for some worms, Diet Mountain Dew, my fishing license and a stick of jerky.
That year I woke up and was running behind and the more time I saved the quicker I’d be fishing. So, I did it. I bought my license online. I didn’t stop with just one, I printed three of them. One for my wallet, one for the tackle box and another for the glove compartment.
Honestly, I felt a little bad about not making my annual spring shopping stop.
But convenience trumped tradition.
In short order I was on the bank casting sooner than ever before. The purist in me lamented the loss of tradition. Sure, I stopped back a few other times to pick up the usual supplies. But it wasn’t the same. There was just something comforting about the attendant pulling out the license book and filling out the form, getting my stamp and signing it. Those of you who remember are nodding your head with me.
Buying the license online became routine and many younger anglers have no idea what it was like to look for a license vendor in a small town on the way to wetting a line. But that was then and this now. Convenience is priority and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department has developed a new mobile app that allows outdoor enthusiasts instant access in the field to their licenses, hunting and fishing regulations and other important information.
To download the app, go to Google Play Store or Apple App Store and search NDGF or North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Brian Hosek, Department business operations manager, said for those who download the app to their phone or other mobile device, the first thing they should do is add a profile.
“It’s basically the same account information that you’ve added when using the online services, bringing in your first name, last name, date of birth, and adding that profile to the device,” he said.
And if users have multiple hunters and anglers in their household, they can add those profiles to the phone or other mobile device as well.
“The benefit of pulling the license information over to the device from other hunters and anglers in their household is that they’ll have that information available perhaps if they’re ever offline or need to access the license information,” Hosek said.
There are other valuable features on the mobile app that will certainly benefit outdoor users.
“We begin the homepage with sunrise, sunset times and some weather forecast information,” Hosek said. “This information is widely searched on our website, so it was important to bring this information over to the device.”
While users can view or download guides, regulations, proclamations and maps through the mobile app, there is also a buy and apply section, offering quick access to apply in Game and Fish lotteries, purchase licenses, register watercraft, the list goes on.
And like many mobile apps, it uses your location services to bring information back to the user.
“It could be hunting units, for example, that you’re based in depending on your location,” Hosek said. “Or it could be contact information for the warden in the area that you’re in or the location of the closest Game and Fish district office.”
Doug Leier is an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game & Fish Department.
Featured Photo: New & Improved. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has developed a new mobile app for hunters and anglers to use. NDG&F Image.