BISMARCK, N.D. - The 2017 North Dakota deer season is shaping up to be a good one for hunters according to the state Game and Fish Department.
The Game and Fish Department distributed 54,000 tags across the state. That is 5,000 more than last year, giving local hunters more of a shot to get a deer.
Rhet Mavity shot his deer during opener weekend. Although it wasn't a buck, he was glad he got a tag this year.
"Last year I didn't get a deer tag because of the lottery, but I was lucky this year that my parents signed me over their gratis tag," said Rhet Mavity.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says half of the people that applied for a license received one, and they hope the trend continues.
"Giving out more licenses would get more people in the field and then more people able to hunt deer across the state," said Casey Anderson, Assistant Chief of Wildlife Division.
All the deer being taken is resulting in more business for butcher shops.
"Well we got the holidays coming up so we got a lot of orders coming in for the holidays. We've got Thanksgiving, we got fresh turkey's, hams. We're just trying to keep up with all that stuff too," said Tony Anderson, 3BE co-owner.
Deer hunting is a tradition for some, while for others it's just a chance to get the fresh air and spend time with friends and family.
"It was a lot of fun this year. I got to bring my girlfriend with this time, and it was a good successful hunt," said Mavity.
For those who haven't filled their tag, there's still 12 days until the season is over.
The Game and Fish Department is already sending out Harvest Surveys. They're asking hunters to fill them out honestly because it will help determine how many licenses will be distributed next year.