NDG&F Release

North Dakota’s 2021 deer season is set, with 72,200 licenses available to hunters, 3,150 more than last year.

In total, any-antlered licenses increased by 1,500 from last year, any-antlerless by 1,250, antlered whitetail by 100, antlerless whitetail by 100, antlerless mule deer by 200 and antlered mule deer licenses remained the same.

In addition, muzzleloader licenses increased by 60 and restricted youth antlered mule deer licenses remained the same.

As stated in the 2021-22 chronic wasting disease proclamation, hunters harvesting a deer in units 3A1, 3A2, 3B1, 3F2, 4B and 4C cannot transport the whole carcass outside of the unit, with the exception that hunters can transport the whole deer carcass between adjoining CWD carcass restricted units.

Also in the CWD proclamation, it is unlawful for an individual to hunt big game over bait, or place bait to attract big game for the purpose of hunting, in deer hunting units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3, 3A4, 3B1, 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1, 3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B and 4C.

A deer carcass or boned-out meat must be accompanied by the head to the final place of stor­age, with the following exception: tag as currently required, then take two pictures using a cell phone with location, date and time stamp turned on. One picture of the entire animal at the kill site with tag attached, and a second picture of a clo­seup of the tag so that tag information is readable. If you leave the deer head in the field at the kill site, after taking pictures and saving them, the ear or antler with the tag attached must be cut off and accompany the meat or carcass while in transport. The photographs of the tagged deer must be shown to any game warden or other law enforcement officer upon request.

North Dakota’s 2021 deer gun season opens Nov. 5 at noon and continues through Nov. 21.

Applicants for regular deer gun, gratis, youth and muzzleloader can apply online through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov.

The deadline for applying is June 2. 

Applicants should note that a general game and habitat license is required when applying for a deer license. If the applicant has not already purchased one for the 2021-22 season, the license will be added to their cart upon checkout. The applicant has the option of having the general game and habitat license refunded if their deer license is not drawn in the lottery.  

Gratis applicants who have previously applied online will automatically have their land description carried forward to this year’s application. However, any changes with land descriptions from last year’s application must be made prior to submitting the 2021 application.

Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline will qualify for an any-legal-deer license. As per state law, gratis applications received after the deadline will be processed based on licenses remaining after the lottery. Generally, only antlerless licenses remain.

Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

Featured Photo: Hunters will find more firearms hunting opportunities this fall, as more than 3,000 gun tags are added to the lottery. Applications close on June 2, 2021. Simonson Photo.

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