North Dakota Deer News

GFP Commission Adopts Licenses for Special Buck Season January 16, 2015 GFP News
      The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission adopted the number of 2015 special buck licenses.  The number of resident licenses available for the West River deer season is 500. There are also 500 nonresident licenses available for West River. The number of resident-only licenses for the East River deer season is 556.  For more information on this hunting season, please visit: http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/big-game/deer/special-buck.aspx.

Looking back through the year of 2014 December 31, 2014 North Dakota,  Dickinson Press
... In early January, Game and Fish also announced a series of special “deer management” meetings across the state. The meetings were an effort to start a discussion on the state’s declining deer population and what options might be available to more fairly distribute available licenses ...

Reviewing 2014 with an outdoors twist December 31, 2014 North Dakota, INFORUM
... In 2014 Game and Fish allocated 48,000 deer gun season licenses, the fewest since 1980. That compares to more than 140,000 licenses available as recently as 2008...

Keeping things in perspective December 25, 2014 North Dakota, The Bismarck Tribune 
... deer numbers have dropped to the point where many hunters aren’t getting deer licenses... In 1941, it was estimated that North Dakota’s deer population was between 7,000-8,000 animals... The first year there was a huntable population of pronghorns afterward came in 1951...

Outcry causes Game and Fish to drop deer license proposal December 21, 2014 North Dakota, Northland Outdoors
... The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has dropped a proposal to limit deer hunters to one deer license next fall, in part because of an outcry of opposition during the public input process...

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...

North Dakota Data: About 12,000 mule deer and 105,000 whitetails in 2014.  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.  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 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 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.
     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 and with 2,900 taken by hunters.  The state issued 41,000 licences in 1951 then closed the season again in 1952.  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 5,700 pronghorn in 2014, hunting had been closed since 2009 due to the small population but reopened in some areas in 2014. Once abundant, only about 200 pronhorns in the 1920's.

North Dakota Game and Fish Department

North Dakota Game and Fish News