Hunting Regulations Summary
The rules and regulations pertaining to hunting in the CNMI are summarized below for your convenience. Hunters are responsible to know and understand the full and authoratative Non-Commercial Fish and Wildlife Regulations.
Threatened or endangered species may not be harvested, captured, harassed or propagated (exceptions exist by permit for scientific needs).
- Sasangat (Sasangal, Micronesian Megapode, Megapodius laperouse laperouse)
- Pulattat (Ghereel Bweel, Common Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus G.c. guami, Mariana Islands sub-species)
- Chachaguak (Leghekiyank, Guam Swiftlet, Aerodramus)
- Aga (Mwii, Mariana Crow, Corvus kubaryi)
- Ga'ga' karisu (Malul ghariisu, Nightingale Reed-Warbler, Acrocephalus luscinia)
- Nosa (Littchogh, Rota Bridled White-eye, Z.c. rotensis)
- Fanihi (Marianas Fruit Bat, Pteropus mariannus)
- Payesyes (Sheath-tailed Bat, Emballonura semicaudata)
- Haggan (Green Sea Turtle, Chelonia mydas)
- Haggan Karai (Hawksbill Turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata)
- Gaali'ek (Micronesian Gecko, Perochirus ateles)
- Trongkon guafi (Fire Tree, Serianthes nelsonii)
- Cat's Tail or Disciplina (Lycopodium phlegmaria var. longifolium)
Protected species of wildlife may not be hunted without a license issued in advance by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
- Sambar deer (Binado) - Cervus unicolor
- Philippine Turtle-dove (Paluman apu) - Streptopelia bitorquata
- Precious corals - Corallim spp.
- Hermatypic and other hard corals, soft corals and stony hydrozoans
- Land crab (Panglao tunas) - Cardisoma hirtipes, Panglao echung - Cardisoma carnifex and other terrestrial crabs
- Coconut crab (Ayuyu) - Birgus lataro
Wildlife not listed listed as threatened or endangered or protected, are considered unprotected wildlife and may be taken at any time without a license. Protected wildlife may be taken with a license issued in advance by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
License Carrying and Inspection
A person must carry a valid CNMI hunting license while hunting. Anyone in possession of a game animal, or any part of a game animal must have a valid CNMI hunting license or a certificate of origin. A certificate of origin is a letter or statement signed by the valid CNMI license holder who killed the animal and which is certified by DFW. The certificate of origin must state:
- Species and sex of animal
- Date killed
- Hunting license number and date issued
- Person to whom given
- Animal part and amount given, and be attached to the animal or animal part where it can be readily seen by the conservation officer or others.
A person to whom a license has been issued may not permit any other person to carry, display or use the license in any way.
Wildlife Take Inspection and Survey Requirement
Hunters and any person in possession of wildlife taken in the CNMI must allow a conservation officer or other authorized CNMI officer to immediately inspect:
- any wildlife taken by or under control of the person
- any licenses and permits
- any articles or materials used in such hunting
Hunters and any person in possession of wildlife taken in the CNMI must allow a requesting DFW biologist or technician to collect data on taken wildlife.
Legal Hunting Age
Persons eighteen years of age and older may be issued a hunting license in the CNMI. Persons sixteen years of age and under may be issued a hunting license for wildlife that can be taken without the use of firearms or bows. Persons sixteen and seventeen years of age may be issued a hunting license that allows the use of firearms or bows if they successfully complete an apporoved rifel or bow training programs.
Eligibility and License Fees
A person who has resided in the CNMI for one year or longer may apply as a resident; all other persons must apply as non-resident.
|Sambar Deer||$10 (lottery)||Not allowed|
|Net: 0-50 feet||$10||$75|
|Net: 50-100 feet||$25||$100|
Duration of License
Licenses are valid January 1st or the date of issuance (whichever is later), until end of the same year. Licenses are valid to hunt only the species indicated on the license, only during the period covered by the license.
Hunter Report Cards
Each hunting license comes with a hunter report card to be completed by the hunter and turned in to DFW within ten days after the close of the season.
Additional Requirements for Deer
A license to hunt deer comes with a single registered deer tag. If the hunter kills a deer, he or she must immediately attach the deer tag to the carcass in the manner prescribed on the tag instructions. After gutting the deer, the hunter must immediately bring the deer to the DFW designated deer check station and allow check station staff to weigh and inspect the deer, and to record the tag number. Possession of an untagged or unregistered deer is prohibited. Any hunter who brings any part of that deer to another CNMI island must obtain a certificate of origin from DFW. The hunter must present the certificate of origin to custom or quarantine officials upon entering another island.
Hunting for game animals is only allowed from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset, and only during the designated hunting season. Coconut crabs may be hunted during any time of day or night during the designated hunting season.
It is illegal for a person to:
- Hunt while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic or other disabling drug.
- Take wildlife while riding or on any motorized vehicle including automobiles, motorized bikes, motor powered boats, helicopters, or airplanes.
- Take or pursue wildlife while riding on an animal.
- Use fire or artificial light as an aid in taking wildlife, except that artificial light may be used to hunt coconut and land crabs during the specified season.
- Discharge a gun, bow and arrow, or cross bow in an attempt to take a game animal within a village or within two hundred meters of a human dwelling. It is likewise illegal to discharge such weapons across a public road, or within twenty-five meters of a road.
- Use dogs to hunt anything except game birds.
- Sell or barter game animals or game animal products with the exception of feral goats, feral pigs, or feral cows.
- Possess any game animal, mounted specimen, antlers, skin, meat, or any part thereof without having a hunting license valid at the time of kill or a "certificate of origin" letter.
- Hunt, kill, or possess any threatened, endangered, or protected species, or any part thereof, without a valid scientific permit.
- Start a fire in a designated wildlife area or wildlife sanctuary.
- Hunt while on official CNMI government travel unless specifically authorized in writing by the DLNR Secretary prior to travel.
- Discharge any weapon within five hundred meters of a known, occupied bat roost. This will be enforced even in the event of a bat season being opened.
- Hunt in closed areas.
Hunting may only be conducted on public lands designated by the Director or on private lands with permission from the landowner.
Only the wildlife listed below are game animals in the CNMI. They may be legally hunted during their respective hunting seasons. The hunting season ends at midnight on the last day of the season. Individual hunters must be in possession of a valid hunting license for each game species to be taken and must abide by the respective bag limit, season limit and the season.
|Game Animals||Season||Bag Limit (Total/CNMI)||Season Limit (Total/CNMI)|
|Sambar Deer (Rota only)||9/1 - 11/30||1||1|
|Wild Goat/Pig/Cow||Open all year||No Limit||No Limit|
|Philippine Turtle-dove||4/15 - 5/31||5||20|
|Philippine Turtle-dove||10/1 - 11-30||10||20|
|Coconut Crab||9/15 - 11/15||5||10|
|Land Crab||4/1 - 6/30 and 10/1 - 12/31||No Limit||No Limit|
A certificate of origin issued by DFW is required to transport game animals in whole or part between CNMI islands after the end of the season. Certificates of origin are valid for up to fifteen days after the end of the season.
(Also see Additional Requirements for Deer above under "Licenses".)
- Only antlered, male deer may be taken. Visible evidence of the sex of the deer must accompany the carcass while in the field and during transportation to the check station and the hunter's residence.
- Before the beginning of the hunting season, DFW will determine the number of deer licenses that will be made available for that season and announce a period during which people may register for deer hunting licenses. Licenses for deer hunting will be allocated based on a random drawing from among those people who have registered. A new registration file will be created each year.
- A coconut crab which measures less than three inches wide across the back may not be taken at any time.
- A female crab, regardless of size, may not be taken when it is carrying eggs beneath the abdomen (berried).
- The only legal means of taking coconut crabs is by hand.
- The sale of coconut crabs captured in the CNMI is strictly prohibited.
- The preserving or mounting of coconut crabs for display purposes or the sale of such crabs within the CNMI is strictly prohibited.
The taking of eggs from any species of land or sea bird is prohibited with a special permit from DFW.
Other Species of Birds, Reptiles, Mammals and Plants
Hunting for protected wildlife and plant species is prohibited.
|Protected Wildlife||Order, Family, Species||Common Names|
|Seabirds (including, but not exclusive to:)||Order Procellariiformes|
|-Phaethon lepturus||White-tailed Tropicbird|
|-Sula leucogaster||Brown Booby|
|-Sula sula||Red-footed Booby|
|-Sula dactylatra||Masked Booby|
|-Frigata minor||Great Frigatebird|
|Long-legged, long-necked Waders||Order Ciconiiformes|
|-Egretta sacra||Pacific Reef-Heron|
|-Bubulcus ibis||Cattle Egret|
|-Egretta intermedia||Intermediate Egret|
|-Rallus owstoni||Guam rail|
|-Gallunula chloropus||Mariana Common Moorhen|
|Anous minutus||Black Noddy|
|Anous stolidus||Brown Noddy|
|Native Forest Birds||Megapodius laperouse||Micronesian Megapode|
|Gallicolumba xanthonura||White-throated Ground-Dove|
|Ptilinopus roseicapilla||Mariana Fruit-Dove|
|Aerodramus vanikorensis||Island (Gray) Swiftlet|
|Corvus kubaryi||Mariana Crow|
|Monarcha takatsukasae||Tinian Monarch|
|Rhipidura rufifrons||Rufous Fantail|
|Acrocephalus luscinia||Nightingale Reed-warbler|
|Aplonis opaca||Micronesian Starling|
|Zosterops rotensis||Rota White-eye|
|Cleptornis marchei||Golden White-eye|
|Reptiles||Chelonia mydas||Green Sea Turtle (Haggan)|
|Eretmochelys imbricate||Hawksbill Turtle (Haggan Karai)|
|Perochirus ateles||Micronesian Gecko (uali'ek)|
|Marine Mammals||Cetaceans||Whales and Porpoises|
|Plants||Serianthes nelsonii||Fire tree (Trongkon guafi, Hayun lago)|
|Lycopodium phelgmaria||cat's tail or discipina fern|
|Osmoxylon mariannense||(no common name)|
|Tabernaemontant rotensis||(no common name)|
- Only firearms meeting current CNMI caliber/gauge and registration requirements and bows of forty pound draw or more may be used to harvest game animals with the exception of live captures as otherwise provided herein for specific species.
- If bows and arrows are used to hunt deer, goats, or pigs, the arrows must be fitted with arrow-heads that are at least seven-eighths inch across at the widest point and have no fewer than two cutting edges.
- Unless authorized under this section, firearms, devices, nets, explosives, traps, snares, chemicals, etc. may not be used to take game animals. However, wild goats, pigs, or cows may be captured alive in nets, traps, and leg hold snares.
The Divison of Fish and Wildlife allows exemptions in the seasons, harvests, and regulations for individuals engaged in subsistence hunting. There are no exemptions to the regulations in the case of threatened or endangered species. Currently the only valid subsistence hunters are permanent residents of the Northern Islands (those islands north of Saipan).
Wildlife taken under subsistence conditions must be utilized as a personal food source and not sold or traded. Permanent residents of the Northern Islands may legally offer game species taken as subsistence to legitimate off-island guests during mealtime. Such game must be consumed by the guest on the permanent resident's premises and may not be transported off island. Off-island residents may not legally take game in the northern islands except in accordance with normal season and license provisions.
Hunting is illegal in Wildlife Conservation Areas as are:
- being in possession of any firearm, slingshot, bow and arrow, shot or any instrument that could be used for the purpose of hunting,
- being in possession any animal, carcass, nest, egg, in part or in whole,
- damaging, destroying, or removing a plant except those plants used for traditional medical purposes,
- destroying or molesting animals or carcasses, nests, or eggs
Exceptions may exist by DFW special permit.
All vessels, including CNMI government vessels, traveling from any port to the Northern Islands must:
- Notify the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) prior to departure.
- Allow DFW to inspect the vessel prior to departure if anyone on the vessel is traveling to the Northern Islands for purposes of hunting.
- Notify DFW upon docking or landing at a CNMI port, if during normal business hours; otherwise, all vessels must contact DFW by radio or other form of communication before arrival to ensure inspection of the vessel upon arrival in Saipan, Tinian or Luta (Rota).
The captain and the owner of the vessel are responsible for compliance with rules and regulations pertaining to hunting and fishing in the Northern Islands. See Non-Commercial Fish and Wildlife Regulations for full and authortative rules and regulations.
- Hunting Permit Application (Bring completed application to your island's Division of Fish and Wildlife office)