Sea Turtle CNMI

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Contact Us:

DFW Lower Base
PO Box 10007
Saipan, MP 96950
Tel: (670) 664-6000/04
Fax: (670) 664-6060


Hunting Regulations

Please note: the following regulations are out of date. Please visit the DFW main office in Lower Base for the most up to date hunting regulations.

Hunting Regulations in PDF Format

Game Season and Limits


10.1 Legal Hunting Hours

Legal Hunting Hours for game animals shall be from one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise to one-half (1/2) 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.

10.2 Hunting License Required

A person may take a game animal only if that person has been issued a hunting license authorizing the taking of that species of game animal. Hunting licenses may be obtained from the local office of the Division of Fish and Wildlife, or from an authorized agent.

10.3 License or "Certificate of Origin" Letter to be in Possession

A person must carry a valid CNMI hunting license while hunting. Any person in possession of a game animal, mounted specimen, antlers, skin, meat or any part of the 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 the Director, Resident Director or Enforcement Section Supervisor. The Certificate of Origin must state: 1) Species and sex of animal; 2) date killed; 3) hunting license number and date issued; 4) person to whom given; 5) 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.

10.4 Inspection of License and Hunter's Bag

Upon request, every person engaged in hunting or transporting a game animal or parts thereof must surrender for inspection his or her license or "Certificate of Origin" letter and all game in his/her possession to any Conservation Officer or other CNMI officer authorized to inspect under CNMI laws.

10.5 Legal Hunting Age

The legal hunting age for CNMI is sixteen (16) years of age or older. Only persons who may legally possess firearms, bows or cross bows may hunt game with firearms, bows or cross bows. A valid gun registration number is required on the license of all hunters who intend to use firearms to take wildlife. Individuals sixteen (16) years of age or under may be issued hunting licenses for species that may be legally taken without the use of firearms or bows. Hunting licenses for persons under the age of eighteen (18) years may be conditioned on successful completion of Department sponsored or sanctioned rifle or bow training programs.

10.6 Hunter Report Cards

Every person issued a hunting license will also be issued a hunter report card. Hunters must provide all information required on the report card. Completed hunter report cards must be turned in to the Division within ten (10) days after the close of the season. Every person who is issued a license to hunt deer will also be issued a 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 the check station staff, the Director, or the Resident Director, or the Enforcement Section Supervisor. The Hunter must present the Certificate of Origin to Custom or Quarantine officials upon entering another CNMI island.

10.7 Prohibited Activities

The following activities are prohibited. It is illegal for a person to:

a. Hunt while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic or other disabling drug.

b. Take wildlife while riding or on any motorized vehicle including automobiles, motorized bikes, motor powered boats, helicopters or airplanes.

c. Take or pursue wildlife while riding on an animal.

d. 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.

e. Discharge a gun, bow and arrow, or cross bow in an attempt to take a game animal within a village or within two hundred (200) meters of a human dwelling. It is likewise illegal to discharge such weapons across a public road, or within twenty-five (25) meters of a road.

f. Use dogs to hunt anything except game birds.

g. Sell or barter game animals or game animal products with the exception of feral goats, feral pigs or feral cows.

h. 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, as defined in Part 3, Section 10.3.

i. Hunt, kill or possess any threatened, endangered, or protected species, or any part thereof, without a valid scientific permit.

j. Start a fire in a designated Wildlife Area or Wildlife Sanctuary.

k. Hunt while on official CNMI government travel unless specifically authorized in writing by the Secretary prior to travel.

l. Discharge any weapon within five hundred (500) meters of a known, occupied bat roost. This will be enforced even in the event of a bat season being opened.

m. Hunt in closed areas.

10.8 Hunting Areas and Access

Hunting may only be conducted on public lands designated by the Director or on private lands with permission from the landowner.


The species of wildlife listed in Table 2 below are game animals in the CNMI and may be legally hunted during the hunting seasons specified by individuals in possession of a valid hunting license unless otherwise stated. Consult Table 1 for information on hunting seasons and harvest limits.




Season Limit


Sambar Deer (Rota only) 1 1 9/1 - 11/30
Wild Goat/Pig/Cow No Limit No Limit Open all year
Philippine Turtle-Dove 5




4/15 - 5/31

10/1 - 11/30

Coconut Crab 5 10 9/15 - 11/15
Land Crab No Limit No Limit 4/1 - 6/30


10/1 - 12/31

NOTE: Unprotected Wildlife may be taken year round without a hunting license.


30.1 Deer

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, the Director will determine the number of deer licenses that will be made available for that season. The Division will 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.

30.2 Coconut Crabs

a. A coconut crab which measures less than three inches wide across the back may not be taken at any time.

b. A female crab, regardless of size, may not be taken when it is carrying eggs beneath the abdomen (berried).

c. The only legal means of taking coconut crabs is by hand.

d. The sale of coconut crabs captured in the CNMI is strictly prohibited.

d. The preserving or mounting of coconut crabs for display purposes or the sale of such crabs within the CNMI is strictly prohibited.

30.3 Bird Eggs

The taking of eggs from any species of land or sea bird is prohibited unless a special permit is issued by the Director. Any special permit is subject to the conditions on that permit as specified by the Director.

30.4 Other Species of Birds, Reptiles, Mammals and Plants

Hunting for any species listed in Table 3 is prohibited.


Protected Wildlife Order, Family, Species Common Names
Seabirds (including, but not exclusive to:) Order Procellariiformes

--Family Diomedeidae-

--Phaethon lepturus

--Sula leucogaster

--Sula sula

--Sula dactylatra

--Frigata minor


White-tailed Tropicbird

Brown Booby

Red-footed Booby

Masked Booby

Great Frigatebird

Long-legged, long-necked Waders Order Ciconiiformes

--Egretta sacra

--Bubulcus ibis

--Egretta intermedia

Pacific Reef-Heron

Cattle Egret

Intermediate Egret

Waterbirds Family Rallidae

--Rallus owstoni
--Gallunula chloropus

Guam rail

Mariana Common Moorhen

Shorebirds Order Charadriiformes

--Anous minutus

--Anous stolidus

Black Noddy

Brown Noddy

Native Forest


Megapodius laperouse

Gallicolumba xanthonura

Ptilinopus roseicapilla

Aerodramus vanikorensis

Corvus kubaryi

Monarcha takatsukasae

Rhipidura rufifrons

Acrocephalus luscinia

Aplonis opaca

Zosterops conspicillatas rotensis

Cleptornis marchei

Micronesian Megapode

White-throated Ground-

Mariana Fruit Dove

Island Swiftlet

Mariana Crow

Tinian Monarch

Rufous Fantail

Nightingale reed-warbler

Micronesian Starling

Rota Bridled White-eye

Golden White-eye

Reptiles Chelonia mydas

Eretmochelys imbricata

Perochirus ateles

Green Sea Turtle


Hawksbill Turtle

(Haggan Karai)

Micronesian Gecko


Marine Mammals Cetaceans Whales and Porpoises
Plants Serianthes nelsonii

Lycopodium phlegmaria

Osmoxylon mariannense

Tabernaemontant rotensis

Fire tree (Trongkon

guafi, Hayun lago)

cat's tail or discipina fern

(no common name)

(no common name)


40.1 Only firearms meeting current CNMI caliber/gauge and registration requirements and bows of forty (40) pound draw or more may be used to harvest game animals with the exception of live captures as otherwise provided herein for specific species.

40.2 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 (7/8) inch across at the widest point and have no fewer than two cutting edges.

40.3 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.


50.1 Moratorium on Hunting

a. The Secretary, after consultation with the Director, may suspend the legal hunting of any or all wildlife species if the Director finds:

1. Wildlife populations have declined in numbers such that they cannot support hunting; or,

2. Hunting presents a threat to human safety; or,

3. Circumstances prevent reasonable compliance with or enforcement of hunting regulations.

b. All moratoria must be announced through public media at least fourteen (14) days prior to the effective date. A moratorium on hunting will remain in effect until the Secretary, in consultation with the Director, determines that hunting is again warranted.

50.2 Subsistence Hunting

The Secretary, after consultation with the Director, may in certain cases make exemptions in the seasons, harvests and regulations for individuals engaged in subsistence hunting, provided however that no exemption to the regulations will be made in the case of threatened or endangered species. Examples of valid subsistence hunters include permanent residents living on the remote northern 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 meal time. 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. Permanent resident is defined by 1 CMC Section 6201, or amending legislation.


60.1 The Secretary, after consultation with the Director, may authorize special hunting permits only for the following reasons:

a. To prevent wildlife from causing significant economic damage. Example: Special hunting permits to control wildlife depredation of agricultural crops.

b. To mitigate any adverse impact that wildlife may have on the environment. Example: Special hunting permits for the reduction of feral animals to prevent damage to wildlife habitat caused by over grazing or over browsing.

c. To avert any danger or safety hazard to humans or domestic animals. Example: Special hunting permits to eliminate diseased or dangerous wildlife that pose a threat to humans or livestock.

60.2 Each request for a special hunting permit must be investigated and evidence supporting the request must be gathered by the Division before a permit can be issued. Personnel from the Department of Public Safety and the Division of Plant Industry shall supply, upon request, written justification for special hunting permits.

60.3 Wildlife control actions may be carried out by Division personnel, without a special permit.

60.4 Special permits will be issued free of charge by the Director for a specified period of time. A full report including the measures taken, personnel involved and the number and kind of wildlife killed or captured must be submitted within thirty (30) days following the expiration of the special hunting permit. Compliance with reporting requirements will be a significant consideration in future renewal or extension of special permits.


70.1 The Secretary, after consultation with the Director, may acquire and designate land and/or aquatic habitats or easements as Wildlife Sanctuaries. Wildlife Sanctuaries are created to protect important wildlife populations and their habitat. It is illegal to take or attempt to take wildlife in designated sanctuaries.

70.2 The island of Guguan, Uracus, Maug and Asuncion are designated as wildlife sanctuaries. Landing on these islands is prohibited without prior approval from the Director, except in the case of actual emergency.

70.3 The following wildlife conservation areas have been established on Saipan and Rota under the management of the Department:

Saipan: Kagman Wildlife Conservation Area

Bird Island Wildlife Conservation Area

Saipan Upland Mitigation Bank (northern portion of the Marpi Forest)

Rota: I Chenchon Bird Sanctuary

Sabana Protected Area

Liyo Conservation Area

All hunting in these areas is prohibited except as provided for in specific regulations developed for the particular conservation area.


80.1 All wildlife in the CNMI is held in public trust by the CNMI government. Game and non-game animals belong to the citizens of the CNMI.

80.2 With the exception of feral goats and feral pigs, it is illegal to sell or barter wildlife which is alive or dead or parts thereof including meat, antlers, mounted specimens, skins or hides.


90.1 Possession of wildlife listed as threatened, endangered, or protected under Part 2 and Section 30.4 of these regulations is prohibited except in cases where the wildlife was being kept prior to designation of the species as threatened, endangered, or protected, and where a permit for possession has been issued by the Director.

90.2 The possession of captive local wildlife or domesticated wildlife without a specific permit issued by the Division is prohibited. The Division is prohibited from issuing permits for certain species of wildlife that are regulated under federal law and appear on the U.S. List of Threatened and Endangered Species or in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

90.3 Within the CNMI, it is illegal to keep any of the species listed in Table 3 without a permit issued by the Director.

90.4 Permits to keep captive wildlife or domesticated wildlife and all progeny from captive wildlife must be applied for annually and will be issued only for species that can be easily and successfully kept in captivity. The Division is authorized to inspect all domesticated and captive wildlife and all progeny at any time in order to insure proper and humane treatment. Permits will be renewed upon evaluation of the captive animal enclosure subject to reasonable and necessary permit conditions, including the right to inspect such enclosures by Conservation Officers at any reasonable time. The Division maintains the right to mark captive wildlife/domesticated and all progeny with a numbered tag if deemed necessary. All tags must remain on the original animal. The sale of captive wildlife and domesticated wildlife is strictly prohibited except by permit and as allowed in section 90.6 below.

90.5 Captive Wildlife Permit holders are required to submit a report to the DFW at the time of permit renewal. This report should include the following information:

1. Number of animals being kept, the DFW tag number for each animal (if applicable), and the sex of each animal

2. Name and address of the permit holder

90.6 Sambar Deer: All captive or domesticated deer and all progeny must be marked with a numbered tag issued by the Division. Captive or domesticated deer may be sold or may transfer ownership provided that the deer has been tagged with a numbered tag issued by the Division prior to sale or transfer, and that the following information on the sale or transfer is provided to the Division within ten (10) days of sale or transfer:

1. Tag Number

2. Sex

3. Name and address of the person to whom the deer was sold or transferred

4. Date of sale/transfer


The Director, after consultation with the Secretary, shall have the authority to direct Division staff to destroy feral animals such as: cattle, pigs, goats, deer, dogs and cats which are damaging threatened or endangered species or habitat essential for the survival of endangered and threatened species or of species of significant value for sport, recreational, subsistence, commercial or cultural purposes. The Division will not reimburse anyone for destroying cattle, pigs, goats, deer, dogs and cats that are causing damage to the environment.


The Secretary, after consultation with the Director, shall have the authority to limit the number of hunters by selecting among eligible hunters through a random selection method. The selection procedure shall include the following criteria: 1) the abundance of game species and population estimates; 2) equitable distribution of the harvest; 3) public safety; 4) the requirements of private landowners who permit public hunting through agreement with the Department.


120.1 All vessels, including CNMI government vessels, traveling from any port to the Northern Islands must:

a. Notify the Division prior to departure;

b. Allow the Division to inspect the vessel prior to departure if anyone on the vessel is traveling to the Northern Islands for purposes of hunting;

c. Return to CNMI for inspection by the Division at a CNMI port in Saipan, Tinian or Rota;

d. Notify the Division of Fish and Wildlife upon docking or landing at a CNMI port, if during normal business hours; otherwise, all vessels must contact the Division by radio or other form of communication before arrival to ensure inspection of the vessel upon arrival; and,

e. Be inspected by the Division to determine whether the vessel is transporting any fish, game or wildlife.

120.2 The captain and the owner of the vessel shall be responsible for compliance with this Section.

120.3 Failure to comply with any requirements of Part 4, Section 20 will be deemed a violation.

120.4 Bag limits as promulgated in Part 4, Section 20 shall be in effect for the Northern Islands.

120.5 Season limits as promulgated in Part 4, Section 20 shall be in effect for the Northern Islands.

120.6 Taking or hunting of any animals or plants on Uracas, Guguan, Asuncion, Sarigan and Maug is prohibited unless specifically authorized in a scientific research permit issued by the Director.