Tag Archives: deer

deer management meetings recap

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North Dakota’s 2014 deer seasons will look pretty much the same as in previous years.

Through a series of public meetings and an open comment period that ran through March 17, however, deer hunters have provided a lot of input for the State Game and Fish Department to consider for 2015 and beyond.

“We told people at the meetings that it was very unlikely any major changes would take place this year,” said Game and Fish wildlife chief Randy Kreil. “Aside from some possible adjustments to the total number of deer gun season licenses, we won’t be recommending any changes in season structure or the number of licenses any one deer hunter can have.”

Game and Fish wildlife managers will analyze the hundreds of written and verbal comments received, before deciding whether to pursue changes for 2015.

More than 800 people attended the eight deer meetings held around the state the last two weeks in February. Several hundred additional hunters either watched the final meeting broadcast online, or viewed a recorded version. Game and Fish received about 400 written online comments and many other direct emails and phone calls.

“We expected high interest in this process and the response we got was even above that,” Kreil said. “North Dakota hunters are passionate about our deer hunting tradition. Our long-term hope is that habitat trends will allow us to rebuild the deer population from where it is now to a level that is satisfactory to the deer hunting public. Most people seem willing to make some type of short-term licensing-related changes to help us do that. Because of the great response we’ve had, we have a lot of ideas to evaluate, some of which are new or variations of the current system.”

Game and Fish set up the meetings and public comment process to explore some ideas for changes in deer license allocation the agency has received in recent years, in response to a declining deer population and fewer available licenses. In 2008 Game and Fish allocated nearly 150,000 licenses and in 2013 the total fell to 59,500.

While even at 150,000 licenses not every hunter could get a preferred license in a preferred unit, Kreil said the number of hunters who applied for a gun season license and didn’t get one has increased significantly over the past years.

As with all issues, Game and Fish is open to continuing public input. The general department email address is ndgf@nd.gov; and phone is 701-328-6300

2014 deer season success

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2013 Deer Gun Season Summarized

North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 28,600 deer during the 2013 deer gun hunting season.

The State Game and Fish Department made available 59,500 deer gun licenses in 2013, and more than 98 percent were issued. Overall hunter success was 55 percent, and each hunter spent an average of 4.6 days in the field.

Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 62 percent, and antlerless whitetail was 55 percent.

Mule deer buck success was 82 percent. No mule deer doe licenses were issued in 2013.

Hunters with any-antlered or any-antlerless licenses almost exclusively harvest white-tailed deer. Buck hunters had a success rate of 57 percent, while doe hunters had a success rate of 54 percent.

The department is in the process of determining recommendations for licenses in the 2014 deer proclamation. These recommendations will be discussed at the upcoming spring Game and Fish public advisory board meetings, scheduled for March 31 and April 1, and April 7-8. The proclamation will be sent to the governor’s office for approval in late April.

In addition to harvest rates and winter aerial surveys, the department monitors a number of other population indices to determine license numbers, including depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

deer management meetings

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Eight public meetings to discuss deer management in North Dakota are scheduled to begin in mid-February.

 

State Game and Fish Department officials will present an overview of current deer population and prospects for the future, and look for input on possible options for changes in the way deer licenses are allocated.

 

 

 

Each meeting will begin at 7 p.m. local time.

 

  • Feb. 17 – Devils Lake, Lake Region Community College Auditorium
  • Feb. 17 – Casselton, City Fire Hall
  • Feb. 18 – Dickinson, Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge
  • Feb. 18 – Anamoose, VFW Club
  • Feb. 24 – Tioga, Farm Festival Building
  • Feb. 24 – Fordville, Community Center
  • Feb. 25 – Bismarck, North Dakota Game and Fish Department
  • Feb. 25 – Jamestown, The Bunker

special deer management meetings set

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The State Game and Fish Department has scheduled eight public meetings in February to discuss deer management in North Dakota.

Department officials will present an overview of the current deer population and prospects for the future, and look for input on possible options for changes in the way deer licenses are allocated.

“We’re all aware that the state’s whitetail and mule deer populations have declined considerably in recent years,” said Game and Fish Department wildlife chief Randy Kreil. “In 2013 we had approximately 40,000 hunters who applied for a deer gun license and didn’t get one. We’re looking at some ideas that might help get more hunters in the field if deer populations remain similar to what they are now.”

In the long term, Kreil said Game and Fish’s strategy is to build deer numbers to a point that would provide a reasonable chance for anyone who wants to hunt to be able to get some kind of license. “Right now we have a high public interest in deer hunting in North Dakota,” he said. “We’re hoping to come up with some solutions to help us maintain that.”

Each meeting will begin at 7 p.m. local time.

  • Feb. 17 – Devils Lake, Lake Region Community College Auditorium
  • Feb. 17 – Casselton, City Fire Hall
  • Feb. 18 – Dickinson, Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge
  • Feb. 18 – Anamoose, Community Center
  • Feb. 24 – Tioga, Farm Festival Building
  • Feb. 24 – Fordville, Community Center
  • Feb. 25 – Bismarck, North Dakota Game and Fish Department
  • Feb. 25 – Jamestown, The Bunker

 

2014 non-resident deer bow tags

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will have 172 any-deer bow licenses available to nonresidents in 2014.

 

The deadline for applying is March 1. A lottery will be held if more applications are received than licenses available. Any remaining licenses after March 1 will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants can apply together as a party. A separate check is required for each application.

 

The nonresident any-deer bow application is available at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. The application must be printed and sent in to the department.

 

The number of nonresident any-deer bow licenses available is 15 percent of the previous year’s mule deer gun license allocation. The Game and Fish Department issued 1,150 antlered mule deer licenses in the 2013 deer gun lottery.

positive CWD test

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A second deer taken from unit 3F2 during the 2013 deer gun season has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

 

A hunter shot the adult whitetail buck in western Grant County and submitted the head for testing as part of the hunter-harvested surveillance program. Testing was performed at Michigan State University, and verification of initial tests results are pending from a national lab in Ames, Iowa. In addition, results from the remaining 3F2 samples, as well as all samples from the eastern third of the state, should be known in another month.

 

This is the fifth deer to test positive for CWD since 2009, and all were from the same general area within unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota.

 

The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. In addition to unit 3F2, samples during the 2013 deer gun season were collected from units in the eastern third of the state.

 

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.

positive CWD test

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mule deer taken from unit 3F2 during the deer gun season has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.

Dr. Dan Grove, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife veterinarian, said a hunter shot the adult buck in western Grant County and submitted the head for testing as part of the hunter-harvested surveillance program. Testing was performed at Michigan State University. Game and Fish is awaiting verification of initial tests results from a national lab in Ames, Iowa. The MSU lab still has some 3F2 samples to test, as well as all samples from the eastern third of the state.

Grove said according to the hunter, the animal looked healthy, with no visible signs of having any health issues.

This is the fourth deer, and first buck, to test positive for CWD since 2009, and all were from taken from unit 3F2 in southwestern North Dakota. All four were within the same general area.

The hunter-harvested surveillance program annually collects samples taken from hunter-harvested deer in specific regions of the state. In addition to unit 3F2, samples during the 2013 deer gun season were collected from units in the eastern third of the state.

CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. Scientists have found no evidence that CWD can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.

 

deer harvest

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Here’s a quick look over the shoulder of past deer harvest estimates  in North Dakota

2002 81,500

2003 91,900

2004 95,500

2005 99,600

2006 100,000

2007 98,000

2008 91,000

2009 75,000

2010 67,000

2011 57,000

2012 34,500

corn harvest & deer harvest

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I’ve noted often in the past 10 years the huge increase in corn and the hunters frustrated with deer holding out in the standing corn crops. So I keep tabs on the updated harvest statistics. Here’s the latest from the Ag Statistics Service.
ND corn crop is 64% complete compared to last weeks 47% and the longterm average of 63%. Last year it was done. What I don’t have is how many more acres of corn we have in North Dakota compared to 5 or 10 years ago. Essentially even if we would be 75% done but had 200% more corn acres..there’d still be more standing corn vs 10 years ago.
We’ll see how things play out in the final 10 days of the season.

ND deer season is 24 hours old

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Early returns favor the deer, but it’s a 16 1/2 day season not 24 hours. As it stands the wind and corn are the biggest obstacles. Standing corn gives plenty of food/cover for deer. The wind holds deer movement down a bit. The wind won’t blow for 2 weeks straight and the corn should come off more every day.