North Dakota Deer News

... 49,000 licenses are available to hunters, 5,725 more than last year...  population and harvest data indicate the state's deer population is stable to increasing, primarily due to seven years of reduced gun licenses combined with recent mild winters...

... “It was actually a grassroots effort by deer hunters -- by people who said, ‘You know, I don’t need my refund back. I’d just as soon donate it back to the department." ... The money will go toward the Private Land Open to Sportsmen program, called PLOTS...

Deer licenses reflect good management May 9, 2016 North Dakota, Bismarck Tribune
... After seven years of reduced licenses, last year saw the lowest number of licenses issued in 40 years, and with better weather, the deer numbers have rebounded... 

... during the 2015-2016 season, 37 deer were harvested, the second highest in the 10-year history of the bow hunt... 

Deer Season Set, Online Apps Available May 4 May 3, 2016 Nort Dakota, NDGF News
     North Dakota’s 2016 deer season is set with 49,000 licenses available to hunters this fall, 5,725 more than last year.  Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said population and harvest data indicate the state’s deer population is stable to increasing, primarily due to seven years of reduced gun licenses combined with mild winters....

North Dakota Mule Deer Survey. Reduced doe tags over the past four years have helped increase the deer population. - May 4, 2016


North Dakota's Western Treasure April 30, 2016 Minot Daily News
... Theodore Roosevelt National Park ... The list of wildlife includes elk, white-tailed and mule deer, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, wild horses ... Mule deer can often be seen browsing on vegetative growth throughout both units of the park ...

North Dakota Spring Mule Deer Survey Up 21% April 25, 2016 North Dakota
...  three consecutive years of good fawn production, and overwinter survival combined with milder winter weather conditions... Biologists counted 2,880 mule deer in 306.3 square miles during this year’s survey...

North Dakota Game and Fish big game biologist Bill Jensen talks about the 2015 deer harvest. April 25, 2016


Foundation working to increase mule deer habitat April 21, 2016 North Dakota, 
The Dickinson Press
... 
The population of the North Dakota mule deer has struggled over the past five years due to the climate, loss of habitat and predation, and because of that there have been increased efforts in maintaining the population.  
“We had about three winters in a row that just decimated the wildlife in western North Dakota ...

... Game and Fish develops its annual deer proclamation in April, with final license numbers established in late April or early ... Last fall, 39,470 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 26,700 deer during the 2015 hunting season.  Overall hunter success was 68 percent ...

Game and Fish, UND to Survey Deer Hunters April 11, 2016 North Dakota, NDGF News
     The State Game and Fish Department and University of North Dakota are collecting information from resident deer hunters who either applied for or received a 2015 hunting license.  UND will mail a questionnaire in mid-April to 4,000 randomly selected deer gun, archery, muzzleloader and gratis applicants. Questions will focus on hunter satisfaction and experiences, and public perception related to recent declines in deer numbers and corresponding licenses...

Deer issues dominate NDGF meeting April 10, 2016 North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald
...The proclamation with proposed regulations for this fall's deer season is due in the governor's office by the end of April, but in the meantime, Game and Fish has to complete its spring mule deer surveys ...

2015 Deer Season Summarized April 4, 2016 North Dakota, NDFG News
 ... a total of 39,470 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 26,700 deer during the 2015 deer gun hunting season, according to a post-season survey conducted by the State Game and Fish Department.  Game and Fish made available 43,275 deer gun licenses last year. Overall hunter success was 68 percent, with each hunter spending an average of 4.3 days in the field... [About 36,407 deer taken by 64,382 hunters in total]

Game and Fish Holding Advisory Board Meetings March 28, 2016 North Dakota, ksjbam.com
... public meetings, held each spring and fall, provide citizens with an opportunity to discuss fish and wildlife issues and ask questions of their district advisors and agency personnel....

New Fishing and Hunting Licenses Available Only Through Electronic Purchase March 14, 2016 North Dakota, NDGF News
... This year for the first time, paper license booklets are no longer available at license vendors since participating vendors will need to sell licenses electronically. Not all vendors that sold licenses in the past will still sell licenses ... Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased using a computer or smartphone by logging into the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or atlicense vendors that are linked to the department’s online licensing system...

No chronic wasting disease found in harvested deer March 7, 2016 North Dakota, Dickinson Press
... Since 2009, seven deer have tested positive for the disease in Unit 3F2, which encompasses all of Sioux County, and parts of eastern Adams County, and southern Grant, Morton and Hettinger counties...

2015 Moose and Elk Harvests February 29, 2016 North Dakota, NDGF News
    Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2015 season was 96 percent for moose and 69 percent for elk. The bighorn sheep hunting season was closed due to significant sheep mortality in 2014 caused by bacterial pneumonia.
     The department issued 129 moose licenses last year. Of that total, hunters harvested 124 moose – 106 bulls and 18 cows/calves. One additional license was raffled by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the hunter was successful in harvesting a moose.
     The department issued 317 elk licenses last year. Of that total, 287 hunters harvested 197 elk – 128 bulls and 69 cows/calves. One additional license was raffled by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the hunter was successful in harvesting an elk.  Click for moose and elk units, hunters, harvest and success rates.

Help save the iconic mule deer February 11, 2016 North Dakota, Williston Herald
... “That’s what the muledeer foundation is all about, improving the habitat of the mule deer right now ...We are willing to help on most any project, whether it’s the pheasants or whatever, because if you improve habitat for pheasants, the mule deer comes back around, too...

ND lawmakers set sights on special hunting licenses February 4, 2016 North Dakota, INFORUM 
... Seven groups will receive one license each for raffle or auction this year, including a bill approved last year allowing the raffle of an elk license to support Annie's House at Bottineau Winter Park, an adaptive ski facility for disabled children and young adults...

MDF names new state co-chair February 4, 2016 North Dakota, Bismarck Tribune
... Al Gunwall, of Manning, has accepted the position of North Dakota volunteer state co-chair of the Mule Deer Foundation of North Dakota...

ND offers bow licenses to non-residents January 28, 2016 North Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... The number of nonresident any-deer bow licenses available is 15 percent of the previous year's mule deer gun license allocation...

... The number of nonresident any-deer bow licenses available is 15 percent of the previous year's mule deer gun license allocation...

Deer, pronghorn remain in rebuilding mode in 2016 January 10, 2016 North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald 
... Mule deer, in particular, have experienced steady population gains over the past few years, and big game biologists and wildlife managers are hoping the bottom is behind us for white-tailed deer... North Dakota simply has less habitat for wildlife than it did 10 years ago ...

How weather affects hunting January 7, 2016 North Dakota, Williston Daily Herald
... 43,275 licenses available to deer gun hunters, 4,725 fewer than 2014 and the lowest number since 1978.  That followed statewide hunter success of 60 percent in 2014, which is slightly higher than 2013 (55 percent), but was still well below the Department’s goal of 70 percent...

A look ahead to 2016 for deer and pronghorn populations January 6, 2016 North Dakota, INFORUM
... There are portions of the state where deer populations appear to have responded well to milder winters and reduced license numbers for antlerless deer.  Mule deer in particular have experienced steady population gains over the past few years ...

2016 North Dakota Non-Resident Any Deer Bow Licenses January 5, 2016 North Dakota, KFGO
... The number  ... available is 15 percent of the previous year’s mule deer gun license allocation...1,875 antlered mule deer licenses in the 2015 ...

Game and Fish Programs can Help with CRP Enrollment Offers January 4, 2016 North Dakota, NDGF News
... For the first time in more than two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened a general CRP enrollment period, which began Dec. 1 and runs through Feb. 26. Like the last general enrollment, applications received during the signup period will be ranked against others according to an Environmental Benefit Index... More information on those workshops will be available on the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.

DNR not charging Walter Palmer for alleged deer herding December 31, 2015 North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald
... Palmer ... is the infamous Twin Cities dentist who made international headlines after he was accused of killing Cecil the Lion ...  two pickups were blocking deer from leaving Palmer's property between Barnesville and Pelican Rapids. She claimed it was herding deer, a practice that is illegal ...

2015: The year in the outdoors December 27, 2015 North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald
... North Dakota deer hunters shot an estimated 26,300 deer for a success rate of 60 percent during the 2014 gun season, the Game and Fish Department reported. The success rate compared with 55 percent during the 2013 gun season.  Two mule deer taken during the 2014 deer gun season from unit 3F2 in southwest North Dakota tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the Game and Fish Department reported...

Mule deer recovering in Badlands December 10, 2015 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune
... Biologists counted 2,157 mule deer, up from 1,958 in 2014, in the aerial survey taken in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.42, which was 0.50 in 2014, is similar to the long-term average of 0.43... the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.84, as compared to 0.95 in 2014 ...long-term average of 0.90 ...

NDGF outlines deer license goals December 6, 2015 North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald
.... a series of mild winters in the mid-2000s resulted in deer populations that exceeded management goals ...we got real aggressive with our season structure ...  Then came a series of three hard winters ... about 13,000 landowners traditionally receive gratis tags... only about 30,000 of the 43,275 licenses available for this year's deer gun season were allocated to hunters who didn't own land...

NDGF outlines deer license goals December 6, 2015 North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald
.... Department is hoping to increase deer populations to a level where it can offer 75,000 gun licenses in five years and maintain the benchmark hunter success rate of 70 percent,  ... "Hunter success is not just an index of satisfaction," Jensen said."It's also an index of how many deer are on the landscape."

... In an effort to start rebuilding the state's deer population, Game and Fish has significantly reduced whitetail doe licenses, and has not issued any mule deer doe licenses for several years..., the majority of the license cuts have been in the eastern part of the state because of some tough winters and the habitat conditions have changed ... In southwestern North Dakota, deer numbers continue to build...

EHD, CWD are two diseases that can influence deer populations November 11, 2015 North Dakota, INFORUM 
... epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD ... not received any reports of dead deer that would indicate active EHD this fall... spread by biting midges... chronic wasting disease ...  has had seven positive animals — six mule deer and one white-tailed deer — all from deer hunting unit 3F2, which is south and west of the Missouri River and borders against South Dakota...

Fewer deer, tags dampens excitement for N.D. deer opener November 6, 2015 North Dakota, INFORUM
... The North Dakota Game and Fish Department this year offered 43,275 deer gun licenses, the lowest number since 1978, which means thousands of hunters didn't draw tags in the lottery... previous seasons when tags—and deer—were more abundant...

Lowest Number of Deer Tags Given in 40 Years November 5, 2015 North Dakota, KVRR Fox News
... "Our population has been declining the last five to six years. Mainly due to tough winters and loss of habitat," says Assistant Chief North Dakota Game and Fish Department, Casey Anderson.  Of the 100,000 that applied in North Dakota 43,275 was given a deer hunting license...

Wildlife citations up sharply in North Dakota oil patch November 2, 2015 North Dakota, Billings Gazette
... In 2009, there were 123 outdoors-related citations issued in McKenzie and Williams counties. Five years later, there were 589, contributing to a state record of 2,712 citations in 2014...  population in the oil patch has soared ...

Fall Mule Deer Survey Completed November 2, 2015 North Dakota, NDFG News
     The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s fall mule deer survey indicated the population continues to recover in the badlands.  Biologists counted 2,157 (1,958 in 2014) mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.42 (0.50 in 2014) is similar to the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.84 (0.95 in 2014) is slightly below the long-term average of 0.90 fawns per doe.
    “The buck-to-doe ratio remains stable, and we had another year of good fawn production,” Stillings said. “Overall, the numbers are encouraging.”  While mule deer numbers look promising 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.
     
Deer Hunting: Fewer tags, better quality? November 1, 2015 North Dakota, Grand Forks Herald 
...  Game and Fish historically has aimed for a deer population that supports issuing about 100,000 deer licenses each year with a hunter success rate of 70 percent... severe winters, aggressive harvest strategies in the mid- to late 2000s and declining habitat, deer numbers have fallen to the point where hunter success the past five years has dipped to about 60 percent, Williams said, even with a steady reduction in licenses...

... Wildlife officials will sample hunter-killed deer from 17 hunting units in the western part of the state for both CWD and bovine tuberculosis...

Deer hunting season kicks off Sunday October 30, 2015 North Dakota, KEVN Black Hills Fox
... During the month of November – more than 3,500 licensed hunters are expected to flock to the Black Hills.   That's compared to about 7,000 who actually applied for a permit...

North Dakota Game and Fish chief game warden Bob Timian answers some frequently asked deer hunting questions. - October 29, 2015


Questions answered about rules of deer hunting October 29, 2015 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune
... What should I do if I find a wounded deer?  Contact a game warden. Do not shoot the deer unless you want to tag it or are instructed by the warden to do so....

North Dakota Game and Fish wildlife veterinarian Dan Grove talks about deer diseases in North Dakota. - October 22, 2015


2015 Trophy Deer Forecast: Great Plains October 21, 2015 North Dakota, Game & Fish
... the south/central portion of the state seems to have the highest density of whitetails.”  North Dakota’s northern and eastern sections have experienced several years of severe winters that have reduced the whitetail population...


Popularity of deer hunting remains king October 14, 2015 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune 
... Even with reduced deer gun hunting opportunities the past several years ... More than 70,000 prospective hunters apply for regular deer gun season licenses, even though fewer than half the hunters who applied this year received a license...

Motorists Warned to Watch for Deer October 6, 2015 North Dakota Game and Fish - State of North Dakota
... Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges...

All deer gun licenses issued in North Dakota for fall hunt September 21, 2015 North Dakota, KFGO
... The number of available deer licenses this year is the lowest since 1978, due to a low population of the animals...

All Deer Gun Licenses Issued September 21, 2015 North Dakota, North Dakota Game and Fish Department
   The 43,275 deer gun licenses that were allocated by proclamation for the 2015 hunting season have all been issued, according to Randy Meissner, licensing manager for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

A Moose in North Dakota? Yep. Really. September 16, 2015 Montana Outdoor Radio Show
... spotted something unusual for the area just south of Stanley–a cow moose! ...

Predicting mule deer recruitment from climate oscillations for harvest management on the northern Great Plains S Ciuti, WF Jensen, SE Nielsen, MS Boyce - The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2015, North Dakota
...  Large-scale Pacific-based climatic indices (>2,000 km to the Pacific coast) were correlated with local weather and helped explain variability in autumn recruitment. Higher values of the multivariate el niño southern oscillation and Pacific decadal oscillation were correlated with warmer and drier winters in the North Dakota badlands, whereas the North Pacific Index was correlated with colder and snowy winters...

Demand for pronghorn hunting licenses high in North Dakota August 31, 2015 North Dakota, Wahpeton Daily News
... about 6,500 people applying for just 410 licenses ...  a big reason for the increase in licenses this year is a jump in the buck-to-doe ratio... estimated 44 bucks for every 100 does — about double the ratio during years in which hunting was closed...  estimated North Dakota's pronghorn population at 5,500 animals, up 53 percent from the recent low point in 2012...

Hunters must deal with chronic wasting disease August 27, 2015 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune
... during North Dakota’s 2009 deer season, a hunter shot a mule deer in Sioux County that was later confirmed to have CWD. That set into motion some transportation rules for deer taken in that part of the state ... Hunters harvesting a big game animal this fall in North Dakota deer unit 3F2 cannot transport a carcass containing the head and spinal column outside of the unit ...

More North Dakota land being dedicated to wildlife habitat August 20, 2015 Bakken.com
... The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting an additional 25,000 acres of land in the state into programs under the Conservation Reserve Program ... protects water quality and restores significant habitat for ducks, pheasants, turkey, quail, deer ...

Small number of North Dakota deer licenses remain August 7, 2015 North Dakota, The Dickinson Press
... received 95,000 applications for deer licenses during the first part of its lottery process ... 51,000 of those applications were unsuccessful...

Hunters Reminded of Big Game Transport Rules August 2, 2015 South Dakota, NDGF News
     Big game hunters are reminded of requirements for transporting deer, elk and moose carcasses and carcass parts into and within North Dakota as a precaution against the possible spread of chronic wasting disease.  Hunters harvesting a big game animal this fall in North Dakota deer unit 3F2 cannot transport a carcass containing the head and spinal column outside of the unit unless it’s taken directly to a meat processor. The head can be removed from the carcass and transported outside of the unit if it is to be submitted to a State Game and Fish Department district office, CWD surveillance drop-off location or a licensed taxidermist...

North Dakota Data: About 12,000 mule deer and 105,000 whitetails in 2014.  About 13,250 mule deer in the Badlands, the primary range, in 2015.  A 2015 spring survey of western North Dakota showed a 24 percent increase in the mule deer population of the Badlands after a few mild winters bringing the count to 2376, or 7.8 per square mile of the 306.3 square miles in the Badlands where the survey was conducted.  Mule deer anterless tags continue to be restricted in an effort to increase the population.  Hard winters from 2010 to 2015.  In 2015 about 36,407 deer were taken by 64,382 hunters.
     Although the deer population rose to a recent record level in 2007, the deer population is near 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.  More than 140,000 deer licenses were issued in 2009.  Habitat loss has 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.  Western mule deer populations rebounded in 2013, but declined in the east.
    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 43,275 deer licenses in 2014, the fewest since 1978.  About 90,000 deer hunters in the state.
    The number of licenses issued is typically targeted to provide a 70 percent hunter success rate.   Deer gun hunter success was 60 percent in 2014, was 55 percent in 2013 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 badlands is 6.3 per square mile in 2014, 5.3 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, two in 2013.  A total of seven in 2016.
     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.  In 1941, 7,000 to 8,000 deer with 2,900 taken by hunters.  The state issued 41,000 licences in 1952 then closed the season again in 1953.  The Conservation Reserve Program helped the herd grow.  During the early 2000's the state issued 140,000 licenses.
     Elk were hunted to extinction in the early part of the 1900's, reintroduced from other states in 1942.
     An estimated 5,500 pronghorn in 2015;  5,700  in 2014, hunting had been closed since 2009 due to the small population but reopened in some areas in 2014. About 2,800 in 2012. Once abundant, only about 200 pronghorns in the 1920's.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department

North Dakota Game and Fish News