North Dakota’s 2017 deer season is set with 54,500 licenses available to hunters this fall, 5,500 more than last year.
The number of licenses available for 2017 includes 2,750 for antlered mule deer, an increase of 200 from last year; 1,022 for muzzleloader, an increase of 94 from last year; and 245 restricted youth antlered mule deer, an increase of 20 from last year.
Game and Fish will issue mule deer doe licenses in units 4B and 4C for the first time since 2011. However, for the sixth consecutive year there are no mule deer doe licenses available in unit 4A, due to higher winter mortality which caused a slight decline in numbers from 2016.
North Dakota’s 2017 deer gun season opens Nov. 10 at noon and continues through Nov. 26.
Online applications for regular deer gun, youth, muzzleloader and resident gratis licenses are available through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov. Also, paper applications will be at vendors throughout the state by mid-May. The deadline for applying is June 7.
Nonresidents may apply for North Dakota deer licenses only through the Game and Fish website.
A new law passed by the North Dakota State Legislature allows youth who turn age 11 before the end of the calendar year to receive a whitetail doe license valid for only the youth deer hunting season. Therefore, 10-year-olds who turn age 11 in 2017 are eligible to receive an antlerless whitetail license. Hunter education is not required until the youth turns age 12.
State law requires residents age 18 or older to prove residency on the application by submitting a valid North Dakota driver’s license number or a North Dakota nondriver photo identification number. Applications cannot be processed without this information.
Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline (June 7) will be issued 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.