Regional Reports-Midwest

North Dakota

The Eastern population of tundra swans and the state of North Dakota might not seem synonymous to many waterfowl hunters, but the Rough Rider State ranks second in the nation in swan harvest behind North Carolina. Since 1988, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service first issued the state 400 licenses, the popularity of swan hunting has steadily grown. Now, even with 2,000 licenses available, securing a tag is no longer a sure bet. If you do get one, consider one of these six counties, which led the state in tundra swan harvest in 2000: Ward, McLean, Kidder, Mountrail, Ramsey and Stutsman. Rankings vary from year to year, but those counties remain quite popular for swan hunting, says state waterfowl biologist Stan Kohn. Contact: North Dakota Game and Fish Department (701-328-6300).