Department Evaluates 2005 Deer Gun Season
A record number of licenses translated into a record number of deer harvested during the 2005 deer gun hunting season.
The North Dakota Game and Fish Department allocated 145,600 deer gun licenses for the 2005 season, and more than 97 percent were issued to hunters. Harvest survey data reveals nearly 99,600 deer were taken during the gun season, and combined with bow, muzzle-loader and youth seasons, the harvest was more than 100,000 deer, according to Randy Kreil, wildlife chief.
The overall hunter success rate of 76 percent during 2005 was 2 percent higher than in 2004, and about average over the past 15 years.
Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 75 percent, and antlerless whitetail was 74 percent.
Mule deer buck success was 78 percent, while mule deer doe hunters had a success rate of 83 percent.
Youth deer season hunters had an overall success rate of 44 percent, and muzzle-loader season hunters had a success rate of 49 percent.
Department biologists are in the process of determining the number of deer licenses that will be recommended in the 2006 deer proclamation, which will be sent to the governor's office for approval the end of April. "Since the winter was easy on the deer herd in much of the state we anticipate low winter mortality and high reproduction in 2006," Kreil said. "License numbers should remain high in many units, although some areas in the northwestern and southeastern parts of the state have reduced deer numbers and lower harvest success."
Game and Fish Department biologists determine deer license numbers by evaluating hunter harvest data, deer survey data, deer-vehicle collision reports, depredation reports, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.