North Dakota Deer Season Set May 8, 2013

North Dakota Deer Population, Management News and Information Archive

North Dakota Deer Season Set May 8, 2013 NDGF News Release
North Dakota’s 2013 deer season is set, with 59,500 licenses available to hunters this fall, 5,800 fewer than last year and the lowest since 1983.  Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said after a significant reduction in gun licenses in 2012, harvest and survey data revealed deer populations are still below management objectives in most units.
     “The statewide hunter success rate in 2012 was 63 percent, which is higher than in 2011 (52 percent), but is still lower than our goal of 70 percent,” Kreil said. “The decrease of licenses in 2013 is necessary to allow deer populations to increase toward management goals.”Winter aerial surveys showed deer numbers were down from 2011 levels in the northern and eastern portions of the state, specifically units 1, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2K1, 2K2, and 3A1. Kreil said although deer are still below management objectives in 2A, 2F1 and 2F2, aerial surveys showed numbers were slightly above levels recorded in 2011 or 2012.
     “The winter of 2012-13 was severe in the northern and eastern portions of the state, which will impede population recovery in those areas,” Kreil said. “Furthermore, high quality deer habitat continues to be lost statewide and will limit the potential for population recovery.”  Currently, all hunting units in the state are below management objectives except in 3E2, 3F1, 3F2 and 4F.  Out west, mule deer licenses in the badlands will decrease slightly this year. As was the case last year, no antlerless mule deer licenses are available in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. This restriction applies to regular gun, resident and nonresident any-deer bow, gratis and youth licenses.
     According to Kreil, the spring mule deer survey did show positive trends, with numbers up 15 percent over last year. “This modest increase indicates the mild winter of 2011 and no doe harvest in 2012 might be having a positive effect on the mule deer herd,” he added. “With the no-doe-harvest regulation remaining in place for 2013, there may be some reason for optimism concerning mule deer.” ... The number of licenses available for 2013 is 1,150 antlered mule deer, a decrease of 50 mule deer licenses from last year; 1,166 for muzzleloader, down 116 from last year; and 115 restricted youth antlered mule deer, a decrease of five from last year...
     HB 1131 also allows residents who turn age 12 in 2013 to receive an antlerless white-tailed deer license, and allows an individual who turns 14 this year to receive one deer license valid for the youth deer season. Previously, a young hunter had to turn the appropriate age prior to the end of the respective big game season.

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