Tag Archives: deer

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.

can’t find your deer tag?

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If you don’t know where your deer tag is right now. I’m guessing you won’t be able to find it by the opener..so..

 

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) 328-6300 to 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.

2013 CWD surveillance

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The State Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2013 hunting season, by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis from 13 units in North Dakota. In addition, all moose and elk harvested in the state are eligible for testing.

Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken in the eastern portion of the state will be tested from units 1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F1, 2F2, 2G, 2G1, 2G2 and 2L. In addition, deer will be tested from unit 3F2 in the southwest.

Every head sampled must have either the deer tag attached, or a new tag can be filled out with the license number, deer hunting unit and date harvested.

Hunters are encouraged to drop off deer heads at the following locations:

  • ·         Aneta – Aneta Meats Service
  • ·         Bottineau – Mattern Family Meats
  • ·         Cando – K&E Meats
  • ·         Carrington – Barton Meats
  • ·         Casselton – Casselton Cold Storage
  • ·         Devils Lake – Game and Fish Department
  • ·         Dunseith – Wayne’s Food Pride
  • ·         Edgeley – Edgeley Meat Processing Plant
  • ·         Enderlin – Maple Valley Lockers
  • ·         Fargo – J&K Taxidermy, Jer’s Wildlife Taxidermy
  • ·         Fordville – Dakota Prairie Wildlife Club
  • ·         Grand Forks – Bob’s Oil, Ted’s Taxidermy
  • ·         Great Bend – Manock Meats
  • ·         Gwinner – Stoppleworth Taxidermy
  • ·         Jamestown – Game and Fish Department, Real Look Taxidermy
  • ·         LaMoure – LaMoure Lockers
  • ·         Langdon – Hickory Hut
  • ·         Larimore – Glenn’s EZ Stop
  • ·         Milnor – Milnor Locker
  • ·         New Rockford – Risovi Taxidermy
  • ·         Oakes – Butcher Block
  • ·         Park River – Jim’s Super Value Inc.
  • ·         Reynolds – Weber’s Meats
  • ·         Rolette – The Meat Shack
  • ·         Sheyenne – Brenno Meats
  • ·         Valley City – Valley Meat Supply
  • ·         Wahpeton – J&R Taxidermy, Auto Value Parts Store
  • ·         Walhalla – Walhalla Co-op
  • ·         Wyndmere – Bridgemart Meats LLC

Drop off locations for deer taken from unit 3F2:

  • ·         Bismarck – Game and Fish Department, Call of the Wild Taxidermy, M&M Sausage and Meats, West Dakota Meats
  • ·         Elgin – Gunny’s Bait and Tackle, Melvin’s Taxidermy
  • ·         Glen Ullin – Kuntz’s Butcher Shop
  • ·         Hettinger – Dakota Packing
  • ·         Mandan – Butcher Block Meats
  • ·         New Leipzig – Hertz Hardware

Moose and elk heads should be taken to a Game and Fish office.

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.

 

feeling like deer season?

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The calendar say’s we’re day’s not really weeks until the 12noon Nov 8, 2013 North Dakota deer opener. I’ll be honest personally and professionally it still feels like early October. Not sure why…the only excuse I can come up with is the fact the majority of the waterfowl migration doesn’t seem to be into a typical late fall (read early deer season) type of a migration pattern yet. Even more is that in much of my travels I haven’t really tasted winter yet. I know the SW has had snow and more is on the way…but the fact is. It’s all relative.

Undeniable is the deer movement on the edges of the day is picking up, the harvest is moving along (slowly but surely) and without more precipitation hopefully fields and roads dry out over the next few days. And when the World Series wraps up…indeed the next 10 days’ it will feel like deer season. It’ll be here before we know it. May as well start getting ready.

yes it’s roosters, ducks and geese

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But today also marks the opening of the 2013 North Dakota bighorn sheep season, tomorrow mink, muskrat and weasel trapping opens as well. About the only thing we’re waiting for is the deer gun season which opens 2 weeks from today at 12noon. With all the activity in the field please be safe. It’s not just hunting, but farmers/ranchers are busy as well. Which reminds me, the roads havent dried out much in the last 5 days. If you don’t have to travel down a muddy, soft township road.  Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Park and walk.

 

 

hunters keep an eye out

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

Game and Fish personnel have been monitoring the deer population in the southwest since late August, 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 slightly more than 1,000 antlerless deer licenses that were still available in units 3F1, 3F2 and 4F in the southwestern part of the state.

Dr. Dan Grove, Game and Fish wildlife veterinarian, said information received from pheasant hunters is helpful in evaluating the magnitude of an EHD situation.

“The area of the state where EHD traditionally occurs is covered with hunters,” Grove said. “With only a minimal number of dead deer sightings, combined with recent overnight low temperatures below freezing, it appears the worst of the EHD outbreak may be behind us.”

EHD is a naturally occurring virus that is spread by a biting midge. It is almost always fatal to infected white-tailed deer, and is most noticeable in western North Dakota when high whitetail populations combine with a hot and humid late summer and early fall. Most deer that die from this are infected before the first hard frost, which kills the biting midges that spread the disease. Mule deer do not usually die from the disease.

EHD causes dehydration and a high body temperature, causing deer to seek water prior to death. Other clinical and behavior symptoms may include respiratory distress; swelling of head, neck, and tongue; lesions on tongue and roof of mouth; indifference to humans; and in later stages, hemorrhaging from body orifices.

Most often cattle act as the reservoir host for the virus. Although it is rare for cattle to develop the clinical disease, during a wide scale outbreak such as in 2011, or a localized outbreak like this fall, it is not uncommon for a handful of cattle in affected areas to develop the disease. Unlike in deer, it is almost never fatal in cattle, but can lead to production losses.

EHD is not a danger to humans. Hunters do not have to worry about handling or consuming meat from infected deer. However, hunters should not shoot or consume a deer if it appears sick.

More information on EHD is available by visiting the Game and Fish website atgf.nd.gov, and in the department’s North Dakota OUTDOORS October magazine.

roosters, ducks and deer this weekend

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Mid-October traditionally is high time for hunters with about every season imaginable OPEN-the exception is deer gun-and weather and field conditions typically overlap peak duck & goose migration along with optimal rooster chasing not to mention the build up of archery deer hunting. My point? Lots of field activity.
But unlike last year. This fall is wet. Across North Dakota I’m not sure if anyone is praying for a 1/2 inch of rain (or snow for that matter) but the prairie trails and backroads are soft, muddy and won’t be drying out anytime soon.
Trust me I know and see all the farm, energy and school bus traffic across the state. But my job is to let hunters & anglers know we don’t want to be the ones stuck off the edge of an approach looking for a toe rope and tractor to get you out.
Steer clear, park on the hard surface and just don’t be that guy. Enjoy your weekend outdoors

keep an eye out for deer this time of year

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Last week was quite active with moose, elk and even a mountain lion involved in vehicle-critter accidents. Let’s keep vigilant:

 

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, a new 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.

verify your 2013 deer tag

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Find it. Now. If you can’t. Do you really think you’ll be able to find it by the opener? Neither did I ;)

 

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) 328-6300 to 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.