2020 NORTH DAKOTA DEER HUNTING GUIDENorth Dakota Game and Fish Department100 North Bismarck ExpresswayBismarck, North Dakota 58501-5095Phone: 701-328-6300 Email: [email protected]: www.gf.nd.govSEASON DATES, TIMES, OPEN AREASDEER BOWOpens: September 4 (12 noon Central Time)Closes: January 3Areas: StatewideRestrictions: See Special Herd Reduction Deer Bow Seasons. During theregular gun season orange clothing is required of all bowhunters and anyone accompanying apprentice license holders. Nonresidents are restrictedto species of deer described on license. For residents, any deer is legal.DEER GUNOpens: November 6 (12 noon Central Time)Closes: November 22Areas: All unitsRestrictions: Restricted to type of deer and unit described on license. Typeof deer includes species and sex. See map on back for unit descriptions.Note exception for white-tailed deer hunters in units 4B, 4C, 4D and 4E (seebelow). Orange clothing required for all hunters, and for anyone accompanying apprentice and youth license holders.HUNTING HOURSHUNTING HOURS are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset except opening day. Hunters must cease any hunting activity, leave anystand or blind, and must be in the process of leaving the field at the close ofshooting hours.LICENSES AVAILABLE BY SEASONDeer Bow – Resident bow licenses are valid for any deer and are not limited. Nonresident bow licenses valid for any white-tailed deer statewide arenot limited. Nonresident any-deer bow licenses are limited to 780, a numberequal to 15 percent of the total mule deer gun season licenses made available during the previous year.Deer Gun – No more than 69,050 licenses, including gratis licenses, will beissued. Special permits designating type of deer and unit are a part of thegun license.Muzzleloader – State law allows 2 percent of the total number of whitetailed deer gun licenses available each year to be issued as muzzleloaderlicenses. For 2020, 1,276 muzzleloader licenses may be issued, one half(638) as antlered whitetail and one half (638) as antlerless whitetail. Muzzleloader licenses are valid statewide.CRAIG BIHRLEThis guide is provided for informational purposes and is notintended as a complete listing of regulations. For more specificinformation on regulations and laws, visit the Game and FishDepartment website (for season proclamations) or for NorthDakota state laws go to www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/T20-1.html.YOUTH DEEROpens: September 18 (12 noon Central Time)Closes: September 27Areas: StatewideRestrictions: Residents who turn age 11, 12 or 13 in 2020 – antlerless whitetailed deer only. Residents who turn age 14 or 15 in 2020 – any deer is legal.No unit restrictions, except in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F,a special license is required to hunt antlered mule deer. Those possessingrestricted antlered mule deer licenses may hunt only in their designated unitthe entire season. Orange clothing required for youth hunters and mentors.Each youth hunter must be under direct supervision (must be able to haveunaided verbal contact) of an adult who is prohibited from carrying a firearmor bow while accompanying the youth hunter during the youth season.MUZZLELOADEROpens: November 27 (12 noon Central Time)Closes: December 13Areas: StatewideRestrictions: Restricted to antlered or antlerless white-tailed deer only asdescribed on license. No unit restrictions. Orange clothing required for hunters, and for anyone accompanying apprentice license holders.Antlerless White-tailed Deer for Ages 11, 12 and 13 in 2020 – Restrictedto antlerless white-tailed deer. Valid statewide. The license is valid only during the dates of the youth season.Youth Deer – Ages 14 and 15 in 2020. Restricted youth (type I) antleredmule deer licenses are limited as follows: units 3B1-60, 3B2-30, 4A-25,4B-55, 4C-45, 4D-40, 4E-30 and 4F-20. Regular youth (type H) licenses arevalid statewide for any deer (except antlered mule deer in units 3B1, 3B2,4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F) and are not limited. If the licensee is unsuccessful in harvesting a deer during the youth deer season, the license isalso valid during the regular deer gun season. Restricted youth antleredmule deer licenses are valid only for the specific unit during either season.ELIGIBILITYWho May Apply – Residents and nonresidents are eligible for deer bow,deer gun and muzzleloader seasons. Residents who turn age 11, 12 or 13in 2020 are eligible to receive an antlerless white-tailed deer license. Resident deer gun hunters who turn age 14 or 15 in 2020 and who have neverreceived a youth season deer gun license (receiving a license at age 11, 12or 13 does not apply) are eligible to receive a youth deer license.ATTENTION WHITE-TAILED DEER HUNTERS IN UNITS 4B, 4C, 4D AND 4E White-tailed deer license holders for units 4B and 4C must hunt intheir assigned unit for the first 2-1/2 days (November 6-8). For theremainder of the season they may hunt either or both units. White-tailed deer license holders for units 4D and 4E must hunt intheir assigned unit for the first 2-1/2 days (November 6-8). For theremainder of the season they may hunt either or both units.
Hunter Education Requirement – Hunters born after December 31, 1961,must have passed a certified state or provincial hunter education coursein order to purchase a North Dakota deer hunting license. Persons whohunt only on land they own or operate are exempt from this requirement. Inaddition, individuals who are 12 years of age and older who have not takenthe hunter education course can receive an apprentice hunter validationthat enables them to hunt deer for one license year. Contact the Game andFish Department for details.Minimum Age – There is no minimum age for purchasing a bow license.The minimum age to purchase an antlerless whitetail deer gun license isyouth who turn 11 in 2020. The minimum age to purchase a youth deer,deer gun or muzzleloader license is youth who turn 14 in 2020.Nonresidents – State law allocates nonresidents 1 percent of deer gunand muzzleloader licenses available in any unit (through the second deergun lottery). One half of the nonresident allocation of antlered white-taileddeer licenses, up to a maximum of 100 licenses, are available to licensedguides or outfitters. Nonresidents may apply for a deer gun license after thesecond lottery at a fee of 50. Nonresident full-time students living in NorthDakota, who are attending a state or tribal college or a private institution ofhigher education, may qualify for nonlottery resident licenses. Contact theGame and Fish Department for details.Military – North Dakota residents who were on federal active duty with theU.S. Armed Forces under Title 10 stationed outside of the state during the2019 deer gun season and received the expeditionary medal or campaignbadge, and apply during the application period are eligible to purchaseone white-tailed deer gun license in a unit of their choice. Applicants arerequired to include documentation showing their award or qualification forthe award with their application. Applications received after the applicationdeadline will be issued licenses based on availability.LICENSESGeneral – No person may transfer, give away, barter or sell an issuedlicense.Deer bow – All resident licenses, and nonresident licenses for white-taileddeer only, are issued by the Department’s Bismarck office, website or by calling 800-406-6409, or at participating license vendors. Nonresident any-deerlicenses are issued only from the Department’s website. It is illegal to buymore than one regular deer bow license per season.Antlerless white-tailed deer – Ages 11, 12 and 13 in 2020. Licenses areissued online through the Department’s website.Youth deer – Ages 14 and 15 in 2020. Licenses are issued online throughthe Department’s website.Deer gun – Licenses are issued by a weighted lottery. Any remaininglicenses are also issued by lottery, or on a first-come, first-served basis.Muzzleloader – Licenses are issued by a weighted lottery.Resident Gratis and Nonresident Landowner – Licenses are available toresidents and nonresidents who own, or residents who lease for agriculturalpurposes and actively farm or ranch, at least 150 acres of land located in anopen hunting area. These licenses are valid only upon land described on thelicense. The license consists of the tag and the copy of the application returnedto the landowner/lessee (both need to be in possession while hunting). Theresident gratis or nonresident landowner license may be used during the deerbow, deer gun or muzzleloader seasons until the license is filled. Resident gratis and nonresident landowner licenses are issued only through the Department’s Bismarck office and are subtracted from the maximum number of deergun licenses available (nonresident landowner from the 1 percent allocation),for each unit. A resident who holds a valid lottery license to hunt deer mayhunt the same species and sex of deer, for which that person’s license is valid,on land in an adjoining unit for which that person would be eligible for a resident gratis deer license. A person, that person’s spouse, and their children whohave a gratis deer license may hunt together on any qualifying land describedon any of their licenses provided they hunt within the same unit in which theirdescribed land is located. No other licenses are required for resident gratislicensees. Applications received by the application deadline were issued anany-legal-deer license. Applications received after the deadline will be issuedlicenses based on availability after the initial lottery.License Fees:Resident Deer Bow (16 years of age and older). 30Resident Deer Bow (under 16 at time of purchase) . 10Nonresident Deer Bow. 250Youth Deer (residents 15 and younger at time of application). 10Resident Deer Gun or Muzzleloader (16 years of age and older) . 30Resident Deer Gun or Muzzleloader (under 16 at time of application). 10Nonresident Deer Gun, Muzzleloader or Landowner. 250(Nonresident deer gun applicants also pay a nonrefundable application fee of 5.)Other Licenses Required – In addition to the deer license, hunters mustalso possess a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate ( 1 for residentsand 2 for nonresidents) and a general game and habitat license ( 20) orcombination license ( 50).ORANGE CLOTHING REQUIREMENTSAll big game hunters, including bowhunters, are required to wear orangeclothing while the regular deer gun season is in progress. All youth deerseason and muzzleloader season hunters are required to wear orangeclothing. Legal orange clothing is a head covering and outer garmentabove the waistline of solid daylight fluorescent orange color, totalingat least 400 square inches.HUNTING BIG GAME OVER BAITIt is unlawful for an individual to hunt big game over bait, or place bait toattract big game for the purpose of hunting, in deer hunting units 3A1, 3A2,3A3 north of U.S. Highway 2, 3B1, 3C west of the Missouri River, 3E1,3E2, 3F1, 3F2, 4A, 4B and 4C. Hunting over bait is defined as the placement and/or use of bait(s) for attracting big game to a specific location forthe purpose of hunting. Baits include but are not limited to grains, seed,minerals, salts, fruits, vegetable nut, hay, any naturally derived scent orlure (e.g. urine), or any other natural or manufactured foods. Baits do notinclude water, food plots, standing crops or livestock feeds used in standard practices.Placing of bait for any purpose is prohibited on all department wildlife management areas. However, the use of scents and lures is permitted onWMAs outside the above-mentioned deer hunting units.Hunting over bait is also not allowed on all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicenational wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas; U.S. Forest Service national grasslands; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managed lands;and all North Dakota state school, state park and state forest service lands.TRANSPORTATION AND STORAGEHunters harvesting a deer in units 3A1, 3B1, 3F2, 4B and 4C, cannot transport the whole carcass including the head and spinal column outside of theunit (the entire city limit of a city that shares a boundary with one of theseunits is included in the unit). However, hunters can transport the whole deercarcass between adjoining CWD carcass restricted units. Exceptions totransporting outside of units 3A1, 3B1, 3F2, 4B and 4C: meat that has beenboned out; quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached; meat that is cut and wrapped either commercially orprivately; hides with no heads attached; skull plates with antlers attachedhaving no hide or brain tissue present; intact skulls with the hide, eyes,lower jaw and associated soft tissue removed, and no visible brain or spinalcord tissue present; antlers with no meat or tissue attached; upper canineteeth, also known as buglers, whistlers or ivories; and finished taxidermyheads. Hunters in 3A1, 3B1, 3F2, 4B and 4C are encouraged to take thetagged head to a chronic wasting disease drop-off location within the unit.Otherwise, tag the deer in the field and leave the tagged head. Keep thecarcass tag with the meat when leaving the field.License holders must accompany their own game animal, or parts thereof,(excluding hide) during transportation, except that a permit for the transportation of game may be issued by the Department upon request. Gamemay be shipped by common carrier in receipt of proper bill of lading. Adeer carcass or boned-out meat must be accompanied by the head to thefinal place of storage (except in units 3A1, 3B1, 3F2, 4B and 4C as statedabove). No resident of the state may ship big game or parts thereof (otherthan hides) out of the state without a permit from the Department. It is illegal to possess or transport another’s big game animal or parts thereof(excluding hide) without the license holder accompanying or as otherwisepermitted. Processed and packaged meat (cut, ground and wrapped meat)of legally harvested game may be gifted to another (but not sold, traded orbartered). Unprocessed, unpackaged meat of legally harvested game maybe gifted (but not sold, traded or bartered) as follows: 1) Prior to reaching the licensee’s permanent residence a transportation permit must beobtained and accompany the game meat; 2) After reaching the licensee’spermanent residence if accompanied by the carcass tag of the person whoharvested the game. Commercial processors and common carriers (shipping companies, commercial meat processors and taxidermists) may possess any person’s legally taken possession limit of game. The carcass tagfrom the individual’s license shall accompany the carcass through processing and must be returned to the individual to be kept until the meat is consumed or until March 31, 2021.It is illegal to possess any deer, or “parts thereof,” without first obtaininga license or permit issued through the Department. Natural sheds are notconsidered “parts thereof.” Therefore, a license or permit is not required topossess natural sheds.TAGGING REQUIREMENTSIMMEDIATELY after an animal has been killed, the hunter must indicatethe date of kill by cutting out the appropriate month and day from the tagprovided with the license, and attach it to the base of the antler on antlereddeer, or in a slit in the ear on antlerless deer. The tag, when properly placed,shall remain with the antlers or head until March 31, 2021. After the antlers,head or hide have been removed from the carcass, the carcass tag shallremain with the carcass or processed meat until consumed or until March 31,
2021. No person may reuse or attempt to reuse any tag issued. When anypart of an animal is mounted, if the tag is removed from the antlers or ear, thetag must be securely fastened to the back or bottom of the mount and remainthere. Tags are not transferable.BAG LIMIT Party hunting is not allowed.Any deer with at least one visible antler is considered an antlered deer.Resident deer bow license holders may take and possess one deerof any type per season, except as stated for special deer bowhuntingareas.Nonresident deer bow license holders may take and possess one deerof the type described on their license.Residents ages 11, 12 and 13 in 2020 may take and possess one antlerless white-tailed deer.Youth deer license holders ages 14 and 15 in 2020 may take and possess one deer of any species, sex or age, except in units 3B1, 3B2,4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F where a special license is required to huntantlered mule deer.Deer gun license holders may take and possess one deer of the typedescribed on their license.Muzzleloader license holders may take and possess one white-taileddeer of the type described on their license.Resident gratis and nonresident landowner license holders may takeand possess one deer as described on their license. However, they maynot take a mule deer during muzzleloader season.FIREARMS AND ARCHERY EQUIPMENTDeer Bow Season – A bow must be pulled, held and released by hand.Any release aid may be used providing it is hand operated, the shooter supports the draw weight of the bow, and the release is not attached to any partof the bow other than at the bowstring. A compound bow used for huntingdeer must have at least 35pounds of draw at 28 inchesor less draw length. Recurveand long bows used for hunting deer must have at least 35pounds of draw at 28 inches.Arrows must be at least 24inches long, tipped with ametal broadhead, with atleast two sharp cutting edges,LEGALILLEGAL – BARBEDand have a cutting diameter of at least 3/4 inch (i.e.,not able to pass through a 3/4 inch ring). It is illegal to hunt big game withbarbed arrows (barbed refers to an arrowhead with any fixed portion of therear or trailing edge of the arrowhead forming an angle less than 90 degreeswith the shaft). Broadheads with mechanical or retractable blades are legal.Telescopic sights, range finding devices, battery-powered or electronicallylighted sights or other electronic devices attached to the bow, or the arrow,are not permitted (exception: lighted nocks and recording devices which donot aid in range finding, sighting or shooting the bow are permitted). Handheld range finding devices are legal. Arrows capable of causing damage orinjury in excess of that inflicted by the cutting edges of the broadhead areprohibited (e.g., explosive arrow points, arrows tipped with drugs or chemicals, and pneumatic or hydraulic shafts are illegal). No firearms, excepthandguns, may be in the hunter’s possession while hunting with a deer bowlicense. However, handguns may not be used in any manner to assist in theharvest of a deer with an archery license. Crossbows are not legal, exceptwith a permit from the Game and Fish director. When permitted, crossbowsmust: a) have a minimum draw weight of 75 pounds; b) be equipped with aworking safety to prevent accidental firing; c) use bolts or arrows at least 14inches in length. Crossbows equipped with pistol grips and designed to befired with one hand are illegal. Telescopic sights attached to a crossbow witha maximum power of 8x32 are legal.Deer Gun and Youth Deer Seasons – Centerfire rifles of .22 to .49 caliber,and muzzleloading rifles of .45 caliber or larger, are legal for deer. Magazinecapacity is unlimited. Centerfire rifles of .50 caliber or larger using smokeless powder with a case length of greater than 3.5 inches are prohibited.Rifled slugs or patched round balls of 20 gauge or larger are legal for shotguns and muzzleloaders. Minimum barrel length of shotguns is 18 inches.Handguns must have a minimum barrel length of 4 inches and be .35 caliber or larger. In addition, any centerfire handgun designed to fire a legal riflecartridge is legal. Muzzle