Tag Archives: deer

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.

the usual questions

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I can’t find my deer license. What should I do?

You must obtain an application for a duplicate license from the Game and Fish Department – by calling (701) 328-6300 or printing it off the website at gf.nd.gov – or from a county auditor. Fill out the form, have it notarized and return it to the Department along with a fee. You may not hunt without the deer license in your possession.

I hunt with a bow. When do I have to wear orange?

During the regular deer gun season you must wear orange. During the muzzleloader season, however, bowhunters do not need to wear orange.

Can I hunt road rights-of-way?

Do not hunt on road rights-of-way unless you are certain they are open to public use. Most road rights-of-way are under control of the adjacent landowner and are closed to hunting when the adjacent land is posted closed to hunting.

Can I retrieve a wounded deer from posted land?

If the deer was shot on land where you had a legal right to be and it ran on posted land, you may retrieve it. However, you may not take a firearm or bow with you. The department suggests contacting the landowner as a courtesy prior to entering.

What if the landowner says I cannot retrieve a deer from posted land that was shot on land where I had a right to be?

Contact a game warden.

Can I drive off a trail on private land to retrieve a deer? Unless prohibited by a landowner or operator, you may drive off-trail on private land once a deer has been killed and properly tagged. You must proceed to the carcass by the shortest accessible route, and return to the road or trail by the same route. However, off-trail driving is prohibited in all circumstances on state wildlife management areas, Bureau of Land Management lands, national wildlife refuges, national grasslands, federal waterfowl production areas and state school land.

 

Can I use my deer gun license during the muzzleloader or archery season? No. The deer gun license is valid for only the regular deer gun season.

Can I use my gratis license to take a mule deer doe? Only if your license is valid in a unit other than 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F.

Can hunters age 14 or 15 (and qualifying 13 year olds) with a youth season license who did not harvest a deer during the youth season, hunt the regular deer gun season with this license? Yes, but you are subject to the restrictions listed on the license.

I was unsuccessful in filling my mule deer buck license in a restricted unit during the youth season. Can I hunt the remainder of the state during the regular gun season? No. You are restricted to the same unit as during the youth season.

I shot a deer, but it is rotten. What can I do? You must take possession of the animal by tagging it. A license only allows you the opportunity to hunt. It is not a guarantee to harvest a deer, or to the quality of the animal.

What should I do if I find a wounded deer? Contact a game warden. Do not shoot the deer unless you want to tag it, or are instructed by the warden to do so.

Can I use a bow to fill my regular deer gun license? Yes. You may use any legal firearm or bow during the regular deer gun season.

2013 mountain lion quota zone harvest update

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With nearly 60,000 deer hunters taking the field I’m always interested to see if the number of mountain lions sighted/taken spikes during the 16 ½ day deer season. Across the badlands, fields, sloughs and shelter belts there will be a spike in hunter activity. Just by share odds the chance of finding and taking a mountain lion increases. As it stands as last check the quota zone of the badlands has had 3 mountain lions taken. The early season quota is 14. The total is updated here: http://gf.nd.gov/news/mountain-lion-zone-1-early-season-quota-3-14

coming soon 2013 North Dakota deer season

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North Dakota’s 16½-day deer gun season opens at noon Friday and ends Nov. 24.

 The Game and Fish Department this year offered 59,500 tags, a decline of 5,800 from last year and the lowest since 1983. 44,000 hunters didn’t draw deer tags.

Hunters last year killed about 34,500 deer during the gun season for a success rate of 63 percent.10 years ago North Dakota had a record 145,250 deer gun licenses. North Dakota hunters killed 98,500 deer for an overall success rate of 74 percent.

 

corn harvest & deer harvest

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I truly wish I had more time to blog during deer week, but the phone doesn’t allow it. Regardless of that. Here’s something I need to take time to get out there as I’ve heard often this fall the corn needs to come off to give more access to the deer. Well I’m not an agronomist but here’s the latest stats as of the beginning of the week. I know the graph doesn’t copy perfectly but it shows the corn harvest is catching up to average. Now I don’t know how much corn was planted 5 or 10 years ago so being “almost done” with 2x the amount of corn on the landscape doens’t help much. But compared to last week(335) and the average (56) the corn is coming down.

Corn Harvested – Selected States
[These 18 States harvested 93% of the 2012 corn acreage]
————————————————————————
:               Week ending               :
:—————————–————:
State     : November 3, : October 27, : November 3, :  2008-2012
:    2012     :    2013     :    2013     :   Average
————————————————————————
:                        percent
:

Minnesota ……:     100           48            73            72

North Dakota …:      97           33            47            56

South Dakota …:     100           49            63            65

fall mule deer survey

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s fall mule deer survey indicated production in 2013 was higher than in 2012.

Biologists counted 1,761 (1,224 in 2012) mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 0.46 (0.37 in 2012) is similar to the long-term average of 0.43 bucks per doe, while the fawn-to-doe ratio of 0.74 (0.59 in 2012) was the highest since 2009, but still below the long-term average of 0.91 fawns per doe.

Bruce Stillings, big game supervisor in Dickinson, said the combination of no antlerless harvest and milder winter conditions over much of mule deer range in 2011 and 2012 has provided conditions needed to begin mule deer population recovery in the badlands.

“In addition, substantial rainfall this spring provided much improved habitat conditions for fawning this year compared to 2012,” Stillings said.

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.

2013 deer season Q&A

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Every year the North Dakota Game and Fish Department receives questions from deer hunters who want to clarify rules and regulations. Some common questions are listed below.

 

I can’t find my deer license. What should I do?

You must obtain an application for a duplicate license from the Game and Fish Department – by calling (701) 328-6300 or printing it off the website at gf.nd.gov – or from a county auditor. Fill out the form, have it notarized and return it to the Department along with a fee. You may not hunt without the deer license in your possession.

 

I hunt with a bow. When do I have to wear orange?

During the regular deer gun season you must wear orange. During the muzzleloader season, however, bowhunters do not need to wear orange.

 

Can I hunt road rights-of-way?

Do not hunt on road rights-of-way unless you are certain they are open to public use. Most road rights-of-way are under control of the adjacent landowner and are closed to hunting when the adjacent land is posted closed to hunting.

 

Can I retrieve a wounded deer from posted land?

If the deer was shot on land where you had a legal right to be and it ran on posted land, you may retrieve it. However, you may not take a firearm or bow with you. The department suggests contacting the landowner as a courtesy prior to entering.

 

What if the landowner says I cannot retrieve a deer from posted land that was shot on land where I had a right to be?

Contact a game warden.

 

Can I drive off a trail on private land to retrieve a deer? Unless prohibited by a landowner or operator, you may drive off-trail on private land once a deer has been killed and properly tagged. You must proceed to the carcass by the shortest accessible route, and return to the road or trail by the same route. However, off-trail driving is prohibited in all circumstances on state wildlife management areas, Bureau of Land Management lands, national wildlife refuges, national grasslands, federal waterfowl production areas and state school land.
Can I use my deer gun license during the muzzleloader or archery season? No. The deer gun license is valid for only the regular deer gun season.

Can I use my gratis license to take a mule deer doe? Only if your license is valid in a unit other than 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F.

 

Can hunters age 14 or 15 (and qualifying 13 year olds) with a youth season license who did not harvest a deer during the youth season, hunt the regular deer gun season with this license? Yes, but you are subject to the restrictions listed on the license.

 

I was unsuccessful in filling my mule deer buck license in a restricted unit during the youth season. Can I hunt the remainder of the state during the regular gun season? No. You are restricted to the same unit as during the youth season.

 

I shot a deer, but it is rotten. What can I do? You must take possession of the animal by tagging it. A license only allows you the opportunity to hunt. It is not a guarantee to harvest a deer, or to the quality of the animal.

 

What should I do if I find a wounded deer? Contact a game warden. Do not shoot the deer unless you want to tag it, or are instructed by the warden to do so.

 

Can I use a bow to fill my regular deer gun license? Yes. You may use any legal firearm or bow during the regular deer gun season.