Deer Hunting in North Dakota

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  • B
  • N/A

    Est. Whitetail Population

  • 49,000

    No. Licenses Sold Annually

  • N/A

    Deer to Hunter Ratio

  • $51

    ($30 deer permit, $20 hunting permit and $1 hunting certificate)

    Resident hunting license and deer permit

  • $272 (archery) and $277 (gun)

    ($250 archery deer permit or $255 gun deer permit, $20 hunting permit and $2 hunting certificate)

    Non-resident hunting license and deer permit

  • 195 2/8"

    Taken by Kevin Bruner in Pierce County in 1994, and it currently ranks 57th.

    Record B&C Typical Stat

  • 80

    Total B&C Typical Entries

  • 254 6/8"

    Taken by Rodger Ritchie in Mountrail County in 1968 and currently ranks 78th.

    Record B&C Non-Typical Stat

  • 49

    Record B&C Non-Typical Entries

North Dakota has good deer hunting, especially in the hill country. (Photo courtesy of Brent Larson)

Season Dates (2020):

Archery season opens on September 4 and runs through January 3. Gun season comes in on November 6 and continues through November 22. Muzzleloader season opens on November 27 and closes December 13. These dates were set as tentative when published. Please check the state DNR's website to confirm.

The Grade: B

Unfortunately, whitetail numbers are still virtually unknown throughout North Dakota. But NoDak hunting has a lot going for it. It has a low hunter density, high success rates, lots of public hunting opportunities, affordable licenses and good numbers of trophy bucks.

North Dakota's deer tags are issued in a lottery system, though. Bowhunters enjoy higher odds of getting the green light. Rifle tags are extremely difficult to draw, even for residents. Muzzleloader tags are moderately difficult to obtain. With season dates beginning in early September for archery hunters, North Dakota offers excellent opportunities to bag a heavy velvet-antlered buck. Fortunately for North Dakota hunters, it is legal to enter legally posted land (without a firearm or bow) to recover game shot on land where the hunter had a lawful right to hunt.

Antler Nation Knowledge:

Once you have that tag, diversity is the key, and North Dakota offers it. From prairies to rolling hills, this state offers solid opportunity. This season, whitetail license holders in units 4B and 4C, as well as 4D and 4E, must hunt in their assigned unit for the first 2 ½ days. After that, they may also hunt in the unit paired with their own.

Regarding trophy potential, the west-central portion of the state cranks out the most Booners. Burleigh, McHenry, McKenzie, McLean, Mountrail, Ward and Williams counties are some of the best. Public-land hunters should definitely take advantage of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department PLOTS program. This is private land open to sportsmen. There are other types of public too, all totaling about 2 million acres. In the eastern region of the state, it’s hard to beat the Sheyenne National Grassland.

 


North Dakota Harvests

  • Sgt Jeremy Trigleth

    Stanley , North Dakota

From the Realtree Trophy Den