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Archery Hunting Starts Soon; Plots Guides & Baiting Laws

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Here's an update from the ND GNF on these topics:

Deer, Pronghorn Archery Seasons Open Sept. 4

North Dakota’s deer and pronghorn archery seasons open Friday, Sept. 4 at noon, and hunters should refer to the 2009 deer and pronghorn hunting guides for season information and regulations.

The pronghorn archery season runs through Oct. 4, while the archery deer season is open through Jan. 3, 2010.

Bowhunters are reminded to follow all regulations of the managing agency when using tree stands on public hunting areas. A new regulation requires tree stands that are left unattended on state Game and Fish Department wildlife management areas to have an identification tag displaying the owner’s name, address and telephone number.

In addition, bowhunters should not erect or use tree stands on private property without landowner permission; should not use the tree stand of another hunter without that hunter’s permission; and should not remove or tamper with a tree stand without the owner’s or landowner’s permission.

Tree stands are private property, and theft constitutes a criminal violation that should be reported to the local sheriff's department.

Bowhunters are reminded that additional concurrent season deer gun licenses can be used with a bow during the archery season in the designated hunting unit.

PLOTS Guides Available at Vendors Early September

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guides can be found at most license vendors throughout the state in early September.

The PLOTS Guide will be similar to 2008 and feature about 1 million PLOTS acres. However, because the guide is printed in August and distributed in early September, there will be some PLOTS tracts highlighted in the guide that have been removed from the program since the time of printing. There will also be some PLOTS tracts that will remain in the program, but the habitat and condition of the tracts will have changed significantly.

To minimize possible confusion, the Game and Fish Department will update PLOTS map sheets weekly on its HSOforum at

Hunters can also view the guide, and find a list of vendors where guides are available, on the HSOforum.

The PLOTS Guide features maps highlighting these walk-in areas, identified in the field by inverted triangular yellow signs, as well as other public lands.

The guides are free, and available at county auditor offices and license vendors in the state; by walk-in at the Game and Fish Department’s Bismarck office; and at district offices in Riverdale, Harvey (Lonetree), Williston, Dickinson, Jamestown and Devils Lake.

The guides are not available to mail, so hunters will have to pick one up at a local vendor, or print individual maps off the HSOforum.

Agencies Prohibit Hunting over Bait

With some big game seasons opening in early September, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds hunters that hunting big game over bait on state wildlife management areas is prohibited.

In addition, hunting over bait is also not allowed on all U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas, U.S. Forest Service national grasslands, and all North Dakota state school, state park and state forest service lands.

Hunting over bait is defined as the placement and/or use of baits for attracting big game and other wildlife to a specific location for the purpose of hunting.

Baits include but are not limited to grains, minerals, salts, fruits, vegetables, hay or any other natural or manufactured foods. It does not apply to the use of scents and lures, water, food plots, standing crops, or livestock feeds being used in standard practices.

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