North Dakota Deer News
Wildlife Impacted by Bakken Shale Play December 21, 2014 North Dakota, Examiner
... The bison, antelope and mule deer that once roamed the Badlands of the Dakotas are now replaced by trucks, roughnecks and outright general chaos, according to North Dakota Wildlife Federation Mike McEnroe...  one of the biggest short term impacts from the oil boom is habitat fragmentation... 

Game and Fish to Maintain Current Deer License System December 18, 2014 North Dakota, 
     The State Game and Fish Department has decided to not implement its proposal to limit deer hunters to only one license for the 2015 season... In 2014 Game and Fish allocated 48,000 deer gun season licenses, compared to more than 140,000 licenses as recently as 2008...  the decision involved several factors, including substantial public input both for and against the proposal, and significant costs needed to put the new system in place...

Dakota, Valley News Live 
... Game and Fish drafted the proposal based on public input and comments following eight special deer meetings held in February 2014. The meetings were set up to encourage public input on options for changing the way deer licenses are distributed, because of a significant reduction in the state's deer population...

It's not easy keeping up with cavalcade of fall outdoors data, mule deer December 10, 2014 North Dakota, In-Forum
... Biologists counted 1,969 mule deer in the survey this past October, up from 1,761 in 2013. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.50 (0.46 in 2013) was slightly above the long-term average, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.95 (0.74 in 2013) was the highest since 1999, and above the long-term average of 0.90 fawns per doe...

Hunters Weigh In on Deer Tags December 3, 2014 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune
... The new North Dakota Game and Fish Department one-tag-per-hunter proposal dominated discussion ... Harsh winters and decreased habitat have led to a decline in the deer population...

Deer licensing may draw lively debate December 2, 2014 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune
... A series of harsh winters and the loss of habitat has led to a major decline in the deer population ... Only 48,000 licenses were issued during this past deer guns season, leaving about 30,000 hunters who applied without a tag... [next year] roughly 23,000 deer licenses — close to half of this year’s total — not a part of the unitized management system. ...

Drayton, ND, family brings reindeer to Santa in Fargo December 2, 2014 North Dakota, Prairie Business
... the Hoselton Reindeer Ranch near Drayton, 36 miles south of the Canadian border ... the only reindeer farm in North Dakota ... “I consider them more as pets than anything else,” ...

A tradition continues, deer licenses fall November 16, 2014 North Dakota, Minot Daily News
... In 2008 the state issued 149,500 deer gun licenses. By 2010 the number had dropped to 117,000 and by 2012 to 65,000. Only 48,000 deer gun licenses were issued this year. Those 48,000 were further reduced by the issuance of 13,065 landowner gratis tags, leaving 34,945 licenses available by lottery to the state's deer gun hunters. It is the smallest number of deer licenses issued in 30 years...

One-deer proposal is questionable November 12, 2014 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune 
... the fewest hunters in the field since 1980 ... Three consecutive harsh and especially brutal winters on the Northern Plains, combined with 2 million acres previously in the Conservation Reserve Program now tilled and back into production agriculture, have significantly affected deer numbers...

Game and Fish to Recommend One Deer License in 2015 November 6, 2014 North Dakota, NDGF News
     A new plan under consideration by the State Game and Fish Department would allow North Dakota deer hunters only one license per year, starting with the 2015 season.  The preferred license distribution plan is the result of a declining deer population and continuing high license demand. “This year we had about 30,000 people who applied for a deer gun license and didn’t get one in the lottery,” said Game and Fish wildlife division chief Jeb Williams. “This new system will give more people an opportunity to hunt deer each year, compared to our current system.”

Fall Mule Deer Survey Completed November 5, 2014 North Dakota, NDGF News
 ... Biologists counted 1,969 (1,761 in 2013) mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.50 (0.46 in 2013) was slightly above the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.95 (0.74 in 2013) was the highest since 1999, and above the long-term average of 0.90 fawns per doe.  “Overall, this year’s fawn production is very encouraging, and with average-to-good survival should result in another increase in the spring,” said Bruce Stillings, big game management supervisor, Dickinson.
     While it is encouraging to see mule deer numbers increase for the short-term, Stillings said challenges remain for continued population growth, including changes in habitat quality due to fragmentation and disturbance, predators and weather.  The fall aerial survey, conducted specifically to study demographics, covers 24 study areas and 306.3 square miles in western North Dakota. Biologists survey the same study areas in the spring of each year to determine population abundance.

... We have a declining deer population and an increasing human population of individuals that would like to participate in the outdoors, and a lot would like to participate in the deer gun lottery ... Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department in Bismarck ...

Disease monitor in deer continues October 30, 2014 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune
... The Game and Fish Department will continue its hunter-harvested surveillance program this deer season by testing for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis... the focus of the surveillance will be in the central part of the state ...  with the downturn in the state’s deer population, Grove said it’s possible there have been other deer that have died as a result of CWD, but not reported...  the deer density in that part of the state is about eight animals per square mile ...

... five deer have been shot, killed, and abandoned.  Four were found near Strasburg a couple weeks ago, and the most recent was found Tuesday night southwest of Streeter ... $500 reward for information ... 

2010-2014 Deer Population Information October 29, 2014 North Dakota, RoundupWEB 
... The new five-year goal is for a statewide deer population that would provide 124,800 deer gun licenses... The new five-year goal is about a 25 percent increase over the goal established in 2005 ... Game and Fish wildlife managers determined that a somewhat higher deer population could still strike a balance between hunter interest, landowner tolerance and public acceptance...

All Deer Gun Licenses Issued October 29, 2014 North Dakota, NDGF News
     The 48,000 deer gun licenses that were allocated by proclamation for the 2014 hunting season have all been issued, according to Randy Meissner, licensing manager for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.  Meissner said according to state law, the number of deer gun licenses issued, including those licenses issued as gratis, cannot exceed the number of licenses authorized by the governor’s proclamation.  “This is the first time in more than a decade that all licenses were issued before opening day,” Meissner said...

State can celebrate 125 years of wildlife October 23, 2014 North Dakota, Bismarck Tribune
... In 1915 ...  North Dakota’s deer were nearing extinction...  after many years of closed seasons, the first official deer gun season was held in North Dakota in 1931. In the 20 years after that, there were several interruptions as the state allowed just 13 seasons ...  more than 140,000 licenses per year during the early 2000s...

A 'normal' deer season? October 23, 2014 North Dakota, Bismarck Tribune
... This season, only 48,000 licenses were available before the gratis tags came out of the pool. Last year, there were 59,500 licenses available. It’s the lowest number of deer licenses available in North Dakota since 1980... the population is still recovering from three straight brutal winters and the loss of CRP as well as other grassland acres in the state...

Emmons County Deer Poaching Still Under Investigation October 23, 2014 North Dakota, KFYR-TV 
...  "Taking big game illegally, the penalties can be fairly severe. You can be facing some serious jail time, serious fines, loss of equipment, hunting privileges for several years." ...
Four White-tailed Deer Shot in Emmons County October 22, 2014 North Dakota, fishingbuddy.com
... found in a bean field 1.5 miles east of Strasburg. A doe and fawn were found in a stubble field 5 miles southwest of Linton... shot late evening Oct. 11, or early morning Oct. 12... 800-472-2121 ... $1,000 reward...

Deer Season Preview October 16, 2014 North Dakota Game and Fish
    Tom Jensen interviews Jeb Wilson, new wildlife division chief, who discusses the trend in fewer deer licenses issued over the last several years as the deer population trends down.

4 Places Where Hunters Are Working to Protect Game Animals October 15, 2014 North Dakota, National Geographic
... the oil-and-gas boom is fragmenting habitats of mule deer ... That's why the Mule Deer Foundation is collaborating with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, the University of Missouri, and the North Dakota Petroleum Council to conduct an impact study to better understand what effects oil drilling may have on the state's mule deer...

Watch out for deer October 6, 2014 North Dakota, Devils Lake Journal 
... October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents... Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around...

Deer declining in state October 4, 2014 North Dakota, Jamestown Sun 
... Deer numbers are continuing a declining trend due to loss of habitat, and the deep subzero temperatures from December through March helped apply pressure to that trend ... NDGF released 48,000 deer licenses this year, 11,500 less than last year and the lowest number since 1980...

Game and Fish Reduces Deer Licenses September 16, 2014 North Dakota, KFYR-TV 
...  12,000 fewer deer gun licenses than it did a year ago.  Jeb Williams, assistant chief of the wildlife division, says deer numbers are devastatingly low.  "We've experienced some really tough winters ...

2014 North Dakota archery deer season opener August 28, 2014 Times Record 
... North Dakota’s deer archery season opens Friday, Aug. 29 at noon ... licenses and accompanying tags are only available through electronic purchase... The archery season is open through Jan. 4, 2015.

2014 archery deer season August 21, 2014 North Dakota, Times Record 
... North Dakota’s deer archery season opens Friday, Aug. 29 at noon ... open through Jan. 4, 2015 

... Field & Stream magazine announced that one of the six finalists for its annual Hero of Conservation Award is a Mule Deer Foundation volunteer from Bismarck, North Dakota - Ryan Krapp... MDF's North Dakota state chair ...

... Two deer killed in the area western Grant County's 3F2 deer][ during the 2013 hunting season tested positive for CWD in January...

Deer lottery held; more than 2300 doe tags remain August 4, 2014 North Dakota, Bismarck Tribune
... The first lottery application process — deer gun, muzzleloader, youth and landowner — had more than 94,000 applicants and 46,000 were unsuccessful... More than 2,300 antlerless deer gun licenses remain...

Limited Pronghorn Season to Open July 15, 2014 North Dakota, NDGF News
...North Dakota will have a limited pronghorn hunting season this fall for the first time since 2009... Game and Fish biologists surveyed more than 11,000 square miles, 100 percent of the 21 survey units in the state, in early July. Statistics indicate a statewide population estimate of 5,700 pronghorn, with 1,650 in the area open to hunting.  “The number of pronghorn observed in Unit 4-A falls within our regional population objective of having a limited season, while all other units do not,” Kreil said...

North Dakota mule deer on the rise June 29, 2013 Grand Forks Herald
... Wildlife analysts covered about 300 square miles of land for the survey... 19 percent more mule deer from the same time last year ... The mule deer population peaked in the 2000s from 2005 to 2008 ... Biologists calculated 6.3 deer per square mile in the badlands, which is up from 5.3 deer per square mile last year...  below the long-term average of 6.8 deer per square mile... 

NDDOCR to offer archery hunt June 18, 2014 North Dakota, Devil's Lake Daily Journal (blog)
... An experimental antlerless deer archery season will open this fall on the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation land south of Bismarck...

Another year of choices for deer hunters, decline of deer population May 29, 2014 North Dakota, Bismarck Tribune
... The watershed year for deer and deer hunters was 2007 ... The strategy to reduce the number of deer was an aggressive approach to harvest more does.  Then the perfect storm hit. Three consecutive brutal winters knocked fawn production back significantly as deer struggled to survive the harsh conditions...  it may take years — if ever — before the deer herd numbers see a significant increase...

... North Dakota's deer population has now reached lows not seen in approximately 40 years... The reason for these population declines is simple – habitat loss...  support the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment ... 

Deer licenses decline in 2014 May 2, 2014 North Dakota, Mandan News
... Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the Game and Fish Department, said despite reducing the number of gun licenses in each of the past five years, deer populations are still below desired levels in all but three hunting units ... “Harvest and survey data indicate deer numbers are still declining, especially in the eastern part of the state,” ...

Wildlife faces major hurdles May 1, 2014 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune 
... Overall, mule deer density in the Badlands was 6.3 deer per square mile, which is an increase from 5.3 deer per square mile in 2013, but still slightly below the long-term average of 6.8 deer per square mile...  three consecutive bad winters ... fragmentation of habitat, disturbance from energy exploration, predators and habitat loss are primary hurdles facing the mule deer...

Lowest number of deer tags offered in more than 30 years April 29, 2014 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune
... One of the messages heard at the winter meetings was that hunters want the Game and Fish Department to take the necessary steps to rebuild the deer herd.  From a biological standpoint, one of the ways to do that is to reduce the number of doe licenses... 

Deer Season Set, Online Apps Available May 5 April 29, 2014 North Dakot, NDGF News
     North Dakota’s 2014 deer season is set, with 48,000 licenses available to hunters this fall, 11,500 fewer than last year, and the lowest number since 1980.  Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said even after five years of reducing gun licenses, deer populations are still below management objectives in most units. Currently, only units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F meet or exceed management goals.  “Harvest and survey data indicate deer numbers are still declining, especially in the eastern part of the state,” Kreil said.  The statewide hunter success rate in 2013 was 55 percent, which is lower than in 2012 (63 percent), and well below the department’s goal of 70 percent.
     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.

Mule deer population rebounds in western ND April 29, 2014 North Dakota, Washington Times 
... A spring survey has concluded that western North Dakota’s mule deer population has increased 19 percent from last year...

N.D. wildlife faces challenge to reproduce April 26, 2014 North Dakota, Jamestown Sun
... “One of the biggest impacts of a bad winter is not the loss of adults during the winter but the lack of reproduction next spring,” he said. “In order to survive, they’ll actually reabsorb the fetuses for the energy and they just won’t have fawns the next spring...  People need to be very concerned about the loss of habitat that’s ongoing in this state ... "

Tracking mulies April 24, 2014 North Dakota, Bismarck Tribune
... About 90 mule deer in western North Dakota have been captured and radio-collared to determine the effects of oil and gas development on their numbers...The five-year study is in the early stages of data gathering, said Jesse Kolar, a research assistant at the University of Missouri...

North Dakota Data: Although the deer population rose to a recent record level in 2007, the deer population is now at a 30 year low.  The number of deer tags have been reduced to 48,000 in 2014, also a 30 year low,  and 59,500 n 2013  to help the herd rebound. The state issued 150,000 deer tags in 2007 to reduce the population. Harsh winters and habitat loss have further reduced the deer herd, particularly in the northern Red River Valley.  Two million acres of land has been lost from the Conservation Reserve Program, the oil boom has disrupted habitat.  
    The continuing loss of habitat will put downward pressure on deer populations into the future.  Grasslands are needed for nesting.  Mild winters have supported deer populations in the southwest, but epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) reduced white-tail populations in the Bowman to Bismark area.. Mule deer doe tags have been restricted in an effort to boost the population.  Deer populations are below target in most of the state. The state issued the fewest licences in 2013 since 1983.  
      The number of licenses issued is typically targeted to provide a 70 percent hunter success rate.   Deer gun success in 2013 was 55 percent and archery success was 33 percent.  The new five year plan calls for increasing license sales to provide 124,800 deer gun licenses, about 25 percent over the 2005 goal.
   White-tail deer in North Dakota migrate an average of 3.8 miles from winter to summer habitat. Some migrate very little.  Mule deer density in the data is 5.3 per square mile in 2013, up from 4.6 in 2012, but below the long-term aveage of 6.8. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.46 in 2013, 0.37 in 2012, and the long-term average is 0.43 -- a higher ratio and more robust herd than in some states to the west such as California. Deer populations had been rising in the early to mid 2000's. Hunting data  Chronic Wasting Disease has been identified in a few deer in western Grant County since 2009.
     In 1915 deer populations in North Dakota were nearly extinct, due to over hunting.  The state suspended deer hunting to preserve the herd until 1931.  During seven years over the next 20, seasons were closed.  The state issued 41,000 licences in 1951 then closed the season again in 1952.  The Conservation Reserve Progam helped the herd grow.  During the early 2000's the state issued 140,000 licenses.
     An estimated 5,700 pronghorn in 2014, hunting had been closed since 2009 due to the small population but reopened in some areas in 2014. 

North Dakota Game and Fish Department

North Dakota Game and Fish News