Welcome to the 2015 Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide. This informative publication has been available for the hunting public for a number of years and we are again pleased to provide this booklet that assists in your search for lands open to public hunting across the great state of North Dakota.
One of the many goals in our PLOTS program is to provide access for hunters, with habitat of the highest quality to attract and hold animals that we love to hunt.
North Dakota is known for its variable weather patterns. Along with habitat, the unpredictable climate is one of the largest factors affecting wildlife populations. We had a fairly mild winter across much of the state and most areas didn’t receive substantial snowfall, which seems to have been a blessing for most wildlife.
The state also received adequate rain in most areas in spring and summer so grasslands across North Dakota appear to be in good condition.
Spring and early summer is a critical time for upland birds and, like last year, there were some anxious moments when strong thunderstorms and hail hit parts of the state.
Providing quality PLOTS acres is an important aspect of the program, but equally important is working with landowners who enter into those agreements. As with many other accomplishments we have seen, partnerships are extremely important. These PLOTS acres are provided as a true partnership between landowners and hunters, as it is their fees that provide these acres, with Game and Fish simply coordinating those partnerships.
The PLOTS program remains popular and, based on past surveys, there are some people who wouldn’t hunt if it weren’t for PLOTS or other readily available lands.
With a consistent approval rating of nearly 90 percent, it’s apparent that most people responding to the surveys are satisfied with how the program is administered.
We constantly strive to provide a better product and continue to have a goal of providing 1 million PLOTS acres across the state. Some people have said that this goal is unreasonable, but I believe in the Game and Fish staff who administer the program and the partners who help deliver the acres. It likely won’t happen overnight, but unless something dramatically changes, this remains our goal.
As I’ve said before, we can’t forget about the opportunities on other private lands. North Dakota is primarily privately owned and that means many of the animals are on private property that may not be in the PLOTS program. In many instances, simply asking to hunt may open up more opportunities. So I encourage everyone to get out and meet those people in rural North Dakota.
I always emphasize how important it is to respect the land on which you hunt and the game you pursue. Also respect your fellow hunters. The individuals who have entered into PLOTS agreements with the Game and Fish Department are doing so willingly, but also expect you to treat their land with respect.
I anticipate another great fall of hunting in North Dakota, but to me a big part of the hunt is the experience and not necessarily the harvest. We have a strong hunting heritage in North Dakota, but it’s up to us how we treat it now and in the future.
I wish everyone great hunting success this fall, but most importantly, simple enjoy all the outdoor experiences that North Dakota has to offer.