Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Deer Season for Young Hunters Opens Sept. 13

Friday, Sept. 13 at noon Central Time signals the start of a nine-and-a-half-day deer hunting season for youth, and hunters are reminded that a 2019 general game and habitat license must be purchased before the state Game and Fish Department mails the youth deer license.

 

Hunters are encouraged to purchase the required license early, since it takes a couple of days to receive the deer license in the mail.

 

Licensed residents ages 11, 12 and 13, and 10-year-olds who turn age 11 in 2019, are allowed to hunt statewide, but only for antlerless white-tailed deer.

 

Resident deer gun hunters age 14 or 15, and 13-year-olds who turn age 14 in 2019, with a “youth season” license, can hunt statewide for any deer, except a special license is required to hunt antlered mule deer in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F.

 

After opening day, hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Solid daylight fluorescent orange vests or coats, and hats, are required for all young hunters and their adult mentors.

 

Each youth deer hunter must be under direct supervision of an adult while in the field.

 

The youth deer season closes Sunday, Sept. 22.

Applications for Remaining Deer Licenses due July 24

North Dakota residents who were unsuccessful in the initial deer lottery are reminded the deadline to submit an application for a remaining license is July 24.

Unsuccessful applicants must apply online by visiting the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. More than 6,000 deer gun licenses remain in 19 units.

In addition, hunters should note that Game and Fish will not mail deer licenses to successful applicants until after they purchase a valid 2019-20 hunting license. All deer hunters, regardless of age, are required to have a general game and habitat license in addition to their deer license. Hunters who have already purchased this 2019-20 license do not have to purchase another one.

Deer Lottery Held, Licenses Remain

North Dakota’s deer gun lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

Chief of administrative services Kim Kary said moving to an online lottery has resulted in reducing the time between the application deadline and the lottery run date.

“It’s a major benefit in moving to an all online lottery application process,” Kary said.

The Game and Fish Department will mail deer licenses to successful applicants after they purchase a valid 2019-20 hunting license. All deer hunters, regardless of age, are required to have a general game and habitat license in addition to their deer license.

More than 6,000 deer gun licenses remain. Only resident applicants who were unsuccessful in the lottery can apply for remaining licenses.

More than 78,000 individuals applied for a deer gun lottery license, in addition to about 13,500 gratis applicants. The 2019 deer gun proclamation allows for 64,500 deer gun season licenses.

Unsuccessful applicants can apply online for remaining licenses beginning July 10. The deadline for applying is July 24.

Remaining Deer Gun Licenses

(B = Any Antlerless   C = Antlered Whitetail   D = Antlerless Whitetail   F = Antlerless Mule Deer)

Unit

Type

Available

2H

B

172

2L

B

30

3A1

B

399

3B1

D

107

3B1

F

122

3B2

D

98

3B2

F

201

3B3

D

267

3C

D

360

3D1

B

86

3D1

D

219

3D2

D

149

3E1

D

217

3E2

B

48

3E2

D

181

3F1

B

175

3F1

D

459

3F2

B

893

3F2

C

73

3F2

D

778

4A

D

23

4B

D

115

4C

D

100

4D

D

141

4E

D

155

4F

D

350

4F

F

185

Deer Application Deadline is June 5

Hunters are reminded the deadline for submitting applications for the 2019 deer gun season is Wednesday, June 5.

 

Applicants for regular deer gun, youth and muzzleloader can apply online through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov, or call 800-406-6409. A service fee is charged for applications made through the 800 number.

 

Gratis applicants must apply online – the toll-free licensing telephone number is not set up to receive gratis applications.

 

Applicants who do not have access to a computer or smartphone can submit the application at a public service location such as a public library, stop at a Game and Fish office, or request help from a friend, relative or neighbor.

 

Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline will qualify for an any-legal-deer license. As per state law, gratis applications received after the deadline will be processed based on licenses remaining after the lottery – and generally only antlerless licenses remain.

Deer Season Set, Apply Online

North Dakota’s 2019 deer season is set, with 65,500 licenses available to hunters this fall, 10,350 more than last year.

In total, antlered mule deer licenses increased by 450 from last year, antlerless mule deer by 700, antlered whitetail by 700, antlerless whitetail by 1,250, “any antlered” by 3,150 and “any antlerless” by 4,100.

In addition, muzzleloader licenses increased by 184 and restricted youth antlered mule deer licenses increased by 45.

Mule deer doe licenses are available in unit 4A for the first time since 2011.

As stated in the 2019-20 chronic wasting disease proclamation, hunters harvesting a deer in units 3A1, 3B1 and 3F2 cannot transport the whole carcass, including the head and spinal column, outside of the unit, with the exception that hunters can transport the whole deer carcass between units 3A1 and 3B1 during any open deer season.

Also in the CWD proclamation, it is unlawful for an individual to hunt big game over bait, or place bait to attract big game for the purpose of hunting, in deer hunting units 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 3B1, 3A1, 3A2 and north of N.D. Highway 2 in unit 3A3.

North Dakota’s 2019 deer gun season opens Nov. 8 at noon and continues through Nov. 24.

Applicants for regular deer gun, youth and muzzleloader can apply online through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov, or call 800-406-6409. A service fee is charged for applications made through the 800 number.

Gratis applicants must apply online – the toll-free licensing telephone number is not set up to receive gratis applications.

The deadline for applying is June 5.

Applicants should note that those who miss two consecutive years of applying in the lottery will lose accumulated bonus points.

Applicants who do not have access to a computer or smartphone can submit the application at a public service location such as a public library, stop at a Game and Fish office, or request help from a friend, relative or neighbor.

Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline will qualify for an any-legal-deer license. As per state law, gratis applications received after the deadline will be processed based on licenses remaining after the lottery – and generally only antlerless licenses remain.

Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

2018 Deer Season Summarized

A total of 48,717 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 31,350 deer during the 2018 deer gun hunting season, according to a post-season survey conducted by the state Game and Fish Department.

Game and Fish made available 55,150 deer gun licenses last year. Overall hunter success was 64 percent, with each hunter spending an average of 4.4 days in the field.

Hunter success for both antlered and antlerless white-tailed deer was 64 percent.

Mule deer buck success was 81 percent, and antlerless mule deer was 83 percent.

Hunters with any-antlered or any-antlerless licenses generally harvest white-tailed deer, as these licenses are predominantly in units with mostly whitetails. Buck hunters had a success rate of 69 percent, while doe hunters had a success rate of 65 percent.

Game and Fish issued 13,098 gratis licenses in 2018, and 10,785 hunters harvested 5,832 deer, for a success rate of 54 percent.

A total of 1,022 muzzleloader licenses were issued in 2018, and 900 hunters harvested 349 white-tailed deer (176 antlered, 173 antlerless). Hunter success was 39 percent.

A record 28,824 archery licenses (26,318 resident, 2,506 nonresident) were issued in 2018. In total, 22,666 bow hunters harvested 8,914 deer (7,927 whitetails, 987 mule deer), for a success rate of 39 percent.

The department is in the process of determining recommendations for licenses in 2019. In addition to harvest rates and winter aerial surveys, Game and Fish staff monitor other population indices to determine license numbers, including depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

Deer Found Near Williston Tests Positive for CWD

A white-tailed deer found dead just south of Williston in late February has been confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease, according to Dr. Charlie Bahnson, wildlife veterinarian for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

“This is unfortunate news because it means CWD is much farther south than the positive deer harvested this past fall in the northwest corner of deer unit 3A1 in Divide County,” Bahnson said.

CWD is a fatal disease of deer, moose and elk that can cause long-term population declines if left unchecked. Since 2009, 14 other deer have tested positive for CWD in North Dakota – 13 from Grant and Sioux counties in hunting unit 3F2 in the southwest, and the other taken last fall from the northwest in Divide County.

The deer found near Williston is the first documented case of a mortality due to CWD in North Dakota.

“All 14 previous detections were perfectly healthy-looking deer that were hunter-harvested before they got sick,” Bahnson said. “This deer was severely emaciated and had an empty digestive tract, which is unusual even in starvation cases that can occur in harder winters like this one. This deer stopped trying to forage some time ago.”

Bahnson said this deer was probably not the first to die of CWD in North Dakota, especially since the disease has been documented in 3F2 for a decade. “But this animal happened to die in an area where it was highly visible, and the carcass could be recovered in time for testing,” he said.

The Game and Fish Department will collect additional samples for testing through targeted removal over the next week or so. In addition to the targeted removal and testing, Game and Fish will review the need to amend the current CWD proclamation to reflect the new CWD positive.

“In other areas of the country where CWD has reached a tipping point, finding sick or dead CWD-infected deer has become common,” Bahnson said. “We need to do everything in our power to ensure that doesn’t happen in North Dakota.”

More information about CWD and regulations regarding CWD are available on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.

Hunters Reminded of Big Game Transport Rules

Hunters harvesting a big game animal in deer gun unit 3F2 are reminded they cannot transport the whole carcass, including the head and spinal column, outside of the unit.

In addition, hunters are prohibited from transporting into or within North Dakota the whole carcass of deer, elk, moose or other members of the cervid family from states and provinces with documented occurrences of CWD in wild populations, or in captive cervids. As a reminder, Montana is now included in the 2018-19 CWD proclamation as a state that has had free-ranging deer, moose or elk diagnosed with CWD and therefore now has big game transport restriction.

Only the following portions of the carcass can be transported:

  • Meat that has been boned out.
  • Quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached.
  • Hides with no heads attached.
  • Meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially or privately.
  • Clean (no meat or tissue attached) skull plates with antlers attached.
  • Antlers with no meat or tissue attached.
  • Upper canine teeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories.
  • Finished taxidermy heads.

Hunters should also note that hunting big game over bait, or placing bait to attract big game for the purpose of hunting, is prohibited in deer units 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.

Donate Deer to Sportsmen Against Hunger

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding deer hunters to keep in mind the Sportsmen Against Hunger program this fall.

 

While this year’s deer proclamation allows only one deer gun license per hunter, families with more than one license might want to consider donating a deer to this worthy cause. In addition, hunters with an archery and muzzleloader license can help as well.

 

The list of participating processors is available on the Community Action Partnership of North Dakota website, capnd.org.

 

Sportsmen Against Hunger is a charitable program that raises money for processing of donated goose and deer meat, and coordinates distribution of donated meat to food pantries in North Dakota. It is administered by CAPND, a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families across the state.