Predators & Small Game
Season Dates: Archery season opens on Aug. 31 and runs through Jan. 6. Gun season comes in on Nov. 9 and continues through Nov. 25. Muzzleloader season is held Nov. 30 - Dec. 16.
The Grade: B
North Dakota is a particularly tough state to grade. It has all of the ingredients for big bucks and plentiful deer -- good food, big country and relatively light hunting pressure. Unfortunately, the state is also prone to outbreaks of EHD and winter losses. A severe occurrence of EHD happened a year ago and combined with several tough winters in a row to drop the state's deer population considerably. The result was a 40 percent decrease in the number of available deer tags. How long it takes for the numbers to rebound is anyone's guess -- but that is the only reason the state didn't receive an "A" grade.
That said, North Dakota is still an outstanding place to hunt. It features a terrific public land program called PLOTS (Private Lands Open To Sportsmen) that allows access on thousands of acres of private land across the state. Much of the PLOTS land is located in country better known for mule deer but you will also find whitetails there.
North Dakota's deer tags are issued in a lottery system and a rifle tag is extremely difficult to draw -- even for residents. Archery tags for whitetails are unlimited. The state boasts one of the earliest archery openers in the nation and offers a chance to chase velvet-antlered bucks.
Antler Nation Knowledge: North Dakota has an unusual way of opening its deer seasons. Both the archery and gun seasons open at noon. No opening morning in this state.
Realtree’s Rack Report
Record B&C Typical
Taken by Kevin Brune in Pierce County in 1994, ranks No. 50 all-time.
Total B&C Typical Entries
Record B&C Non-Typical
Taken by Roger Ritchie in Stanley County in 1968. Ranks No. 61 all-time.
Total B&C Non-Typical Entries
Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Deer to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit