North Dakota deer season is set

Published: May. 16, 2020 at 6:52 PM CDT
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North Dakota's 2020 deer season is set, Mike Anderson gives us a preview in this week's North Dakota Outdoors.

Deer hunting is a popular pastime in North Dakota no matter the year, and for the 2020 deer gun season hunters will have more opportunities to pursue these big game animals.

"So for the fifth consecutive year, we are going to see an increase in the number of deer licenses allocated that's 69,050 licenses, which is an increase of 3,550 from last year," said NDGF Wildlife Division Chief, Jeb Williams.

Big game biologists review a number of factors when deciding how many deer licenses to make available each year.

"Aerial deer surveys, previous year hunter questionnaire, landowner tolerance, input from our department field staff, input from the public, all those different things look at the trend information that is very valuable to us as far as whether deer numbers in particular areas are going up or down. And then we can adjust those numbers with that year's deer license numbers," said NDGF Wildlife Division Chief, Jeb Williams.

White-tailed deer numbers are heading in the right direction.

"Most of the licenses that we're increasing this year are attributed to increased numbers of whitetail deer on the landscape. And the eastern part of the state has lagged behind a little bit over the last number years. And fortunately, this year we're seeing six units in the eastern part of the state where we're having an increase in licenses. And then the rest of the units in the eastern part of the state are at least staying the same from last year, where we also saw a nice jump in deer numbers," said NDGF Wildlife Division Chief, Jeb Williams.

Mule deer numbers are doing well, too.

"We did see a slight increase of mule deer numbers on the landscape with our spring mule deer survey. So at this point in time, pretty stable. We're staying conservative with our management approach. There are two units making adjustments, Unit 4B north of the interstate, increasing licenses and Unit 4D south of the interstate we're adjusting down due to the lower number of mule deer in that area," said NDGF Wildlife Division Chief, Jeb Williams.

The application deadline for 2020 deer gun season is June 3.

You can apply for a deer gun license at