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North Dakota Game and Fish Report

Fall Mule Deer Survey Begins

The state Game and Fish Department’s annual fall aerial mule deer survey is set to begin Oct. 14 in western North Dakota. Weather permitting, the survey takes a week to complete.

During the survey period, people could notice low-flying small airplanes over some parts of the badlands.

Game and Fish biologists have completed aerial surveys of the same 24 badlands study areas since the 1950s. The survey is used to collect mule deer population data for monitoring demographic trends, such as buck-to-doe and fawn-to-doe ratios.

Biologists counted 2,446 mule deer in 306.3 square miles during last year’s survey. The buck-to-doe ratio was 43 bucks per 100 does, while the fawn-to-doe ratio was 84 fawns per 100 does.

General Game and Habitat License Required for Deer Hunters

Deer hunters are reminded of a state law that requires hunters to purchase a general game and habitat license before receiving a deer license.

North Dakota Century Code 20.1-03-02 reads “a person may not acquire any resident or nonresident license to hunt, catch, take or kill any small game or big game animal unless that person first obtains an annual general game license.”

Just like last year, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is not mailing deer licenses until the recipient has purchased the general game and habitat license. Game and Fish recommends that deer hunters who do not yet have a general game license should get theirs well in advance of the planned hunt to allow for adequate delivery time to receive the deer license through the mail.

The general game and habitat license can be purchased online by visiting My Account at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov.

Also, it’s important to locate your deer license and check it for accuracy, making sure the unit and species is what is intended.

Deer hunters who can’t find their deer license and who have already purchased their general game and habitat license, can get a replacement license by printing out a duplicate (replacement) license application from the Game and Fish website, or can request an application by calling 701-328-6300.

The form must be completed and notarized, and sent back into the department with the appropriate fee.

Wildlife Viewing

Devices on

Private Land

Outdoor recreationists who install devices for viewing wildlife on private land should be aware of a state law that was passed during the 2019 legislative session.

House Bill 1503 requires an individual who enters private property and installs a device for observing, recording or photographing wildlife to receive written permission from the landowner. Otherwise, the device must be identified with a permanently affixed metal or plastic tag with either a registration number issued by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, or the individual’s name, address and telephone number.

An equipment registration number can be generated by visiting buy and apply at the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov. One registration number will be issued that can be used on all equipment that requires identification.

The equipment registration number does not expire.

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