Tag Archives: deer

Game and Fish to maintain current deer license system

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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.

 

While it is still months before the 2015 season is set, that means deer hunters will again be able to apply for deer gun and muzzleloader lottery licenses, and also purchase an archery license.

 

Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand said 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.

 

“One of our goals is to increase the deer population statewide, and we can still work toward that under the current system,” Steinwand said.

 

Under the proposal that Game and Fish offered in early November, in 2015 deer hunters who received a lottery deer gun or muzzleloader license, or a gratis license, would not have been able to purchase an additional archery license.

 

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.

 

In 2014 Game and Fish allocated 48,000 deer gun season licenses, compared to more than 140,000 licenses as recently as 2008.

 

In addition, Game and Fish used the recent fall round of district advisory board meetings to further discuss the resulting proposal. “Over the past year,” Steinwand said, “we’ve had a thorough and healthy discussion on the Department’s role in providing opportunity.”

 

For instance, in 2013 about 10,000 hunters had both gun and bow licenses, while just over 20,000 prospective hunters who applied for a gun license did not receive any type of deer license.

 

“This was a social issue more than it was a biological issue,” Steinwand said, “but it is Game and Fish’s responsibility to address how our policies and regulations affect hunters as well as wildlife. We will continue to look at all feasible alternatives for future years that will provide opportunity for the most hunters possible.”

have you seen?

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Have you seen?

This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. NDGF wildlife division chief Jeb Williams talks about the 2015 Deer Licensing Preferred Option, which would limit North Dakota deer hunters to only one license per year.  Click here to Watch! 

Game and Fish to recommend one deer license in 2015

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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.”

To gather input on possible changes, Game and Fish held a series of public deer management meetings across the state last winter. Hundreds of people attended these meetings, and many more interested hunters and landowners also provided written or verbal comments on how Game and Fish might manage deer license distribution, given the low population of both whitetail and mule deer in much of the state.

Following the deer management meetings, potential changes were also discussed at the spring round of public Game and Fish advisory board meetings held around the state.

“After evaluating all the input we received last winter,” Williams said, “the general feedback we heard is that hunters understand there is no longer enough licenses so that everyone can get one for the gun season, but at the same time, they don’t feel the current system is equitably distributing licenses, since some hunters can get two or even three licenses when thousands of hunters get none.”

To begin to address that inequity, Game and Fish’s preferred option for 2015 is to limit each hunter to one deer license per year. Williams said that still doesn’t guarantee that every gun hunter who applies in the lottery will get a deer license, but it will eliminate the possibility of someone getting multiple licenses.

If deer populations rebound substantially, Williams said the way licenses are allocated could return to the current system. “However, we are dealing with two dynamics that will make it difficult to do so anytime soon,” Williams added. “We have a deer herd that has been trending downward for several years, and we also have a growing population of people who possibly are interested in North Dakota’s hunting and fishing opportunities.”

In the preferred option, a hunter who is successful in the deer gun lottery would not be able to purchase a bow license or receive a muzzleloader license. However, as a way to provide additional bowhunting recreation, a hunter with a lottery gun license could also hunt with a bow any time during the open archery season, but only for the deer and unit specified on the license.

Resident hunters who apply in the deer gun lottery and do not receive a license, will still be able to purchase a bow license that is valid statewide for any deer.

“This is one of those things that we heard from people who like to hunt with both gun and bow,” Williams said. “They wanted to be able to apply for a gun license, and if they didn’t get one, they could still get a bow license. At the same time, if they did draw a gun license, they wanted a chance to hunt that deer with a bow during the archery season as well.

“We know it’s not the same as having both a gun and a bow license,” Williams added, “but we feel it’s a fair compromise while we work toward rebuilding our deer herd.”

Another part of the preferred option is that hunters would be able to apply simultaneously for the deer gun and muzzleloader lotteries. The application would allow choice of a preference, so if the hunter’s name is drawn and both muzzleloader and deer gun licenses are available at that time, the computer would issue the hunter’s preferred license.

In such cases, the computer would then remove the hunter’s name from the other lottery. Also in that case, Williams said a hunter would maintain the accumulated bonus points for the application that was removed from the lottery.

In addition, Williams said hunters will not lose any bonus points if they choose not to apply for a particular license.

Youth hunters under age 16 would be exempt under the preferred option, and could get a bow license as well as a deer gun or youth season license.

Gratis license holders could hunt in any open season on their own land, but may only get one license per year.

permit to posses dead deer

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North Dakota Game and Fish Department enforcement personnel are issuing a reminder that a permit is required before taking possession, or any part, of a dead deer found near a road or in a field, including the skull with antlers. Only shed antlers can be possessed without a permit.

Permits to possess are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices.

In addition, hunters are reminded to properly dispose of dead deer. Harvested deer cannot be left on the side of a roadway or in a ditch, and deer parts cannot be discarded in commercial dumpsters.

where is your deer tag?

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department urges deer hunters to find their license and check it for accuracy.

Every year the Game and Fish Department’s licensing section receives last-minute inquiries from hunters who can’t find their license. When that happens, it’s difficult to try to get a replacement license in time for the season opener.

Another reason to check the license now is to make sure the unit and species is what was intended.

Deer hunters in need of a replacement license can print out a duplicate (replacement) license application from the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, or can call 701-328-6300to have an application mailed or faxed.

The form must be completely filled out and notarized, and sent back in to the department with a fee.

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deer tags sold out

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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.

 

The deer gun season opens Friday, Nov. 7 at noon central time.

 

Archery licenses can still be purchased through the end of the bow season on Jan. 4.

Sportsmen Against Hunger

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding deer hunters to keep in mind the Sportsmen Against Hunger program this fall.

While this year’s deer proclamation allows only one deer gun license per hunter, families with more than one license might want to consider donating a deer to this worthy cause. In addition, hunters with an archery and muzzleloader license can help as well.

The list of participating processors is available on the Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov, and at the North Dakota Community Action Partnership website, www.capnd.org.

Sportsmen Against Hunger is a charitable program that raises money for processing of donated goose and deer meat, and coordinates distribution of donated meat to food pantries in North Dakota. It is administered by NDCAP, a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families across the state.

For more information, visit the NDCAP website, or contact program coordinator Sarah Hasbargen at 701-232-2452.

have you seen?

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This week’s North Dakota Game and Fish Department webcast, Outdoors Online, is now online at http://gf.nd.gov. NDGF wildlife veterinarian Dan Grove talks about big gamediseases and chronic wasting disease surveillance. Click here to Watch! More details on CWD here: http://www.gf.nd.gov/wildlife/fish-wildlife/wildlife-diseases/chronic-wasting-disease

watch out for deer this time of year

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Motorists are reminded to watch for deer along roadways, especially this time of year, because juvenile animals are dispersing from their home ranges.

October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents. Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk when deer are most often moving around.

Motorists should be aware of warning signs signaling deer are in the area. When you see one deer cross the road, look for a second or third deer to follow. Also, pay attention on roadways posted with Deer Crossing Area caution signs.

Deer-vehicle accidents are at times unavoidable. If an accident does happen, motorists are reminded that a law passed by the 2013 state legislature eliminates the need for the driver involved in an accident to notify law enforcement authorities, if only the vehicle is damaged. Deer-vehicle accidents that involve injury or other property damage still must be reported.

In addition, a permit is still required to take parts or the whole carcass of a road-killed deer. Permits are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement offices.

A few precautions can minimize chances of injury or property damage in a deer-vehicle crash.

  • Always wear your seat belt.
  • Don’t swerve or take the ditch to avoid hitting a deer. Try to brake as much as possible and stay on the roadway. Don’t lose control of your vehicle or slam into something else to miss the deer. You risk less injury by hitting the deer.
  • If you spot deer ahead, slow down immediately and honk your horn.

2014 youth deer season opener

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Friday, Sept. 19 at noon signals the start of a nine-and-a-half-day deer hunting season for youth ages 12-15.

Licensed residents ages 12 and 13, and 11-year-olds who turn age 12 in 2014, are allowed to hunt statewide, but only for antlerless white-tailed deer. Resident deer gun hunters age 14 or 15, and 13-year-olds who turn age 14 in 2014, with a “youth season” license, can hunt statewide for any deer, except antlerless mule deer in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. In addition, a special license is required to hunt antlered mule deer in those same units.

After opening day, hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. Solid daylight fluorescent orange vests or coats, and hats are required for all young hunters and their adult mentors.

Each youth deer hunter must be under direct supervision of an adult while in the field.

In addition to the deer license, hunters must possess a general game and habitat license and hunting certificate.

The youth deer season closes Sunday, Sept. 28.