2013 Year in Review, Deer Numbers Licenses Fall January 2014 North Dakota, NDGF

North Dakota Deer Population, Management News and Information Archive

2013 Deer Numbers, Licenses Fall
     Beginning in 2004, the Game and Fish Department made available more than 145,000 deer licenses for a string of six hunting seasons.  
A combination of factors, including three consecutive tough winters starting in 2008-09, loss of habitat across the landscape, and the aggressive harvest of antlerless deer for several years to meet landowner, motorist and hunter tolerance levels, sent deer numbers the other way.  The Game and Fish Department made available fewer than 60,000 licenses for the 2013 deer gun season. The last time license numbers reached this level was 30 years ago.  In 2012, Game and Fish reduced the number of deer licenses 65,300, and then cut the number to just 59,000 licenses in 2013, the lowest number since 1983. And for the second time in as many years, hunters in 2013 could receive only one license for the gun season.

More than 40,000 applicants in the 2013 license lottery did not receive a deer gun license.  On another note, Game and Fish personnel closely monitored the deer population in southwestern North Dakota starting in late summer when the first reports of dead deer, attributed to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, came in from Bowman, Grant and Burleigh counties.  Isolated deer deaths continued into mid-September, prompting the Department to suspend the sale of about 1,000 antlerless deer licenses that were still available in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F in the southwestern part of the state.

With thousands of hunters in the field during the opening week of pheasant season, Game and Fish received only a few additional reports from hunters who found dead deer in southwestern North Dakota.

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