Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Deer Gratis Applications Online

North Dakota landowners who are interested in applying for a 2018 deer gratis license can fill out their application online starting April 2 by visiting the state Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. The general deer lottery and muzzleloader applications will be online in early May. The deadline for applying is June 6.

Chief of administrative services Kim Kary said the Game and Fish Department decided to open the deer gratis application period a month earlier than in past years, to provide additional time for landowners to get accustomed to the new online-only licensing system.

“Online applications is part of the plan that was initiated by the state legislature in 2015, which required Game and Fish to develop an all-electronic licensing system that went into effect two years ago,” Kary said. “When you factor in that more than 90 percent of regular lottery applications, and nearly 75 percent gratis, were already submitted online, it was the right time to eliminate paper applications and go completely online.”

Gratis applicants who have previously applied online or by paper will already have their land description entered into the system. Kary said applicants will be able to copy the land description from the previous year into this year’s application. “Landowners will still need to bring up their land description and add the number of acres for each tract,” Kary added. “In addition, any changes to the land description from the previous year will have to be made.”

Kary suggest landowners who do not have access to a computer should contact a friend, relative or neighbor who does, or find a public service location such as a public library, or stop at a Game and Fish office. “We will have a computer set up to use,” Kary said, while mentioning that the electronic system at vendors is not set up to handle lottery/gratis applications.

Spring turkey, moose, elk and bighorn sheep applications were all submitted online in 2018, and Kary said the process worked extremely well. “We will continue to require all electronic applications as we move forward, which includes pronghorn, swan and fall turkey,” she said.


New State Law Repeals Eagle Language, Still Protected Under Federal Regulation

A new law passed by the North Dakota State Legislature removes language from state law pertaining to the protection of eagles. However, eagles remain protected under federal regulation.

House Bill 1204, signed into law April 14, repeals language that read “no person may take, kill, hunt, possess, sell, purchase, pursue, shoot at, disturb, capture or destroy any golden eagle, bald eagle, or any nest or egg thereof, within North Dakota.”

Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand said some legislators received calls in opposition, thinking that people would now be able to shoot/hunt eagles if the language was repealed. “Nothing really changes,” Steinwand said. “Eagles are still protected under federal law.”

In addition to the eagle language, House Bill 1204 reduces the age from 16 to 12 for individuals to qualify for an apprentice hunter validation license, and allows youth who turn age 11 before the end of the calendar year to receive a whitetail doe license valid for only the youth deer hunting season.