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The Hunt Starts with Habitat

White-tailed buck in velvet

North Dakota Habitats

Grasslands with cone flowers in foreground and hills in background


  • Sharp-tailed grouse nest in grasslands and shrublands.
  • Mule Deer use native prairie associated with rough terrain.
  • Dabbling ducks require large contiguous stands of dense upland grasses and forbs for nesting.

CRP with trees in background

CRP and other Planted Grasslands

  • The CRP has provided breeding habitat for grassland and wetland birds in the form of large tracts of upland nesting cover and wetland restorations.
  • CRP cover has been shown to be a driving factor for increased white-tailed deer populations.
  • Pheasant harvest numbers show parallels with the number of CRP acres on the landscape.

Duck brood feeding in wetland with coot in background


  • White-tailed deer use cattail wetlands for winter cover.
  • Mallards, gadwall and pintails, which primarily nest in grasslands, have been known to nest one mile or more from brood rearing wetlands.
  • Diving ducks generally build over-water nesting platforms from wetland vegetation.

Wooded area in NE ND


  • Woody browses are a food staple for wintering white-tailed deer.
  • Typical turkey habitat in North Dakota consists of riparian corridors and woody draws.
  • Typical ruffed grouse habitat in North Dakota is found in the aspen forests in the Turtle Mountains.

Sharp-tailed grouse displaying

Healthy grasslands have

  • -- Color --
  • -- Movement --
  • -- Noise --

In the past 50 years it is estimated that three billion birds have been lost. "Birds across the U.S. show downward trends in every habitat except in wetlands, where comebacks of waterfowl show the power of funding and policy investments. Conservation works when we give birds and nature a chance." - State of the Birds, The U.S. Committee of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative

Make a Difference

Everyone can make a positive difference for North Dakota's wildlife.

  • Support your favorite conservation organization
  • Plant a native flower garden for pollinators
  • Clean up litter
  • Participate in the legislative process
  • Support landowner assistance programs
  • Buy a hunting license - your purchase of a hunting license helps support habitat development and hunting access

Native flowers

Gardening for Pollinators

Whether you have hundreds of acres of land or just have a couple of planters on your deck, you can help wildlife


Prairie grass and flowers with cattle in background

Habitat Management

Guides that provide advice on managing different types of North Dakota habitats for fish and wildlife

Habitat Management Guides

Pheasant in grass with cattle in background

Landowner Programs

Technical and financial assistance for private landowners for habitat protection, enhancement and development

Landowner Programs

ND Capitol building in winter


Follow outdoor related bills during the legislative session and get involved in the legislative process


North Dakota Habitats 101

Interested in learning more about North Dakota's habitats? Check out some of these resources.