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TylerS

Only 180 NR bow tags this year

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A bigger story would be the drop in Mule deer numbers. Thats too bad about Mule deers, I know they are a popular target.

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That is a huge decrease to say the least.

I am fine with that until the deer herd and grow. Last winter and it looks like this winter will go a lon ways in helping to increase the deer herd.

I know in our area, the hunting last fall was much better than 2010. Still has a ways to go though.

I doubt the G&F will ever allow the herd to get as big as it was 8-12 years ago.

With one tough winter, simply not enough food to support such a large herd in a tough winter.

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Holy cow! I knew they'd make a significant cut, but that's big! I understand the reason they weren't cut this past year is because of the goofy way they determine the number of archery tags based on the past years number of tags given. That's a big cut though...

I have two buddies who planned on hunting ND this coming year for muleys with me. This may put a serious wrinkle in that plan. One question: can non-residents apply for ND archery tags as a group or is it individual only?

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I don't think that there should be a single one. It takes some of my buddies 6 plus years to get a rifle muley buck tag. I am not against NR hunting, but when residents can't draw rifle tags often it's kind of hard to stomach.

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I don't think that there should be a single one. It takes some of my buddies 6 plus years to get a rifle muley buck tag. I am not against NR hunting, but when residents can't draw rifle tags often it's kind of hard to stomach.

I don't follow your logic: because it takes your buddies six years to draw a tag there should be no NR archery tags? How does that make any sense?

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Thanks rattlereel. Does anyone know off the top of their heads when NR applications are due and when the results are available? I don't need exact dates (I'd take them of course), but approximate dates are good.

Thanks!

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Yes....this is a big decrease from last year.....but ND resident rifle tags were cut by about 90,000 tags from 3 years ago.Going from 150,000 tags to about 60,000 tags.Now that is a huge decrease.

At the recent GNF meeting I was at in Jamestown.....they said 30,000 rifle hunters did not receive a tag this past season.So not to much sympathy for NR getting less tags.

I did not receive a tag last season in 3 drawings.The first time I did not hunt deer in 50 years since I was 14.I was very disappointed in our GNF for not cutting bow tags when 90,000 rifle tags were cut.That is simply not fair for rifle hunters to take that huge cut and allow bow hunters same as usual.

They did say that most rifle hunters had better hunting that they thought it would be.So they might be able to increase rifle tags this year if we don't have a crushing winter.

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Ken, as I understand there was no "decision" on the number of bow tags for NRs- the number is determined by the number of rifle tags from the previous year. Unfortunately that means that the cuts in NR archery tags lags one year behind the cuts for the rifle tags. As far as a meaningful impact on deer numbers, it's very small given the absolute number of tags and the percentage of successful NRs with a bow. However, it sure doesn't feel fair for the one year lag when they don't cut the archery tags. I'd like to see that process changed so all cuts are implemented in the same year. I guess the G&F feel like there are bigger fish to fry...

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Personally, I feel there are only two ways to make a significant impact from tag numbers:

1) Put a cap on resident archery tags (currently anyone can buy an archery tag over the counter).

2) Reduce the number of rifle tags.

No. 2 already has been done, and likely will be done again if current trends continue (very likely scenario, given the amount of habitat being destroyed). That leaves No. 1...

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I didn't make it clear.....I was not talking about NR bow tags.I was talking about resident bow tags.If they can cut 90,000 rifle tags,then they should also put limits on bow tags.That has never been done,so I would guess there would be lots of screaming if bow tags went into a lottery and by units like rifle tags are.

I also think ND needs to do what I believe Minn does......1 buck per person.You can hunt whatever season you are licensed for with whatever weapon.....but you take a buck.....you are finished buck hunting.

Why should someone possibly take a buck with bow,rifle,and muzzleloader when 30,000 hunters get no tag at all?

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Gotcha Ken- now I know what you meant and I agree.

I'm of two minds regarding Tyler's point #1. On one hand, it's fair that they have a draw for archery given that they have a draw for rifle. On the other hand, the reason there hasn't been a draw is because archery hunters aren't very successful in taking muleys. The total number of muleys shot with a bow each year, even if you include both NRs and Rs, is a drop in the bucket compared to rifle. Shooting a muley with a bow is dang hard and the perctage of successful muley bowhunters is quite low. While the percentage of successful archery hunters has gone up in the last number of years, it's still quite low and the absolute number of bowhunters is also low compared to rifle hunters. The G&F can give a boatload of archery tags and really have a negligible impact on the muley population. I think that's what drives their lack of an archery draw. That may be something they rethink in the future though...

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I don't disagree that bow hunters take a lower % of deer than rifle hunters do.But to me that isn't the point.I don't bow hunt.So my only choice is to rifle hunt.

I was not allowed the opportunity to get out and hunt deer this past year.ALL bow hunters had the opportunity to hunt deer.

I am not always successful with a rifle.In fact I had a mule deer buck tag in 2011.It took me 5 years to draw one.I did not fill the tag.Had a few chances,but didn't connect.But to me the main thing is just being out hunting in our badlands.Was I disappointed,sure,a little.But it was awesome just to be out in that country.

Why shouldn't bow hunters have the same chances as I do?Especially when the deer numbers went down as drastically as they did.

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I was unaware that deer numbers (white-tails) had dropped so low over the last few years.

We have family land south of Harvey, and when I was last there, 4 years ago, there were bijillions of deer out there. Hundreds of does and fawns, but we also kicked up at least a dozen nice bucks over the few days we hunted. I'd wager we saw more deer than pheasants.

Have deer numbers really dropped that low statewide, or is this primarily just an effort to bring back Mule Deer numbers in the Badlands?

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They are trying to bring back deer numbers statewide. Probably some areas more than others.

My opinion: if say 30% of rifle hunters cannot get tags in a given year, then 30% of bowhunters should have to sit-out the season.

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I totally agree.Bow hunters should take the same cuts rifle hunters do.

3 bad winters in a row really hurt the deer population.Antelope were hit even harder.The GNF said the population went from around 15,000 to 5,000.Antelope and mule deer are much slower to rebound than whitetails thus no antelope season for anyone.Could be that way for a few more years yet.When it finally opens again,there will be some really big antelope bucks out there.

Plus there were no mule deer does allowed at all.Will probably be the same again this coming fall.Hopefully the whitetails will come back enough to allow more tags.

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Personally, I feel there are only two ways to make a significant impact from tag numbers:

1) Put a cap on resident archery tags (currently anyone can buy an archery tag over the counter).

2) Reduce the number of rifle tags.

No. 2 already has been done, and likely will be done again if current trends continue (very likely scenario, given the amount of habitat being destroyed). That leaves No. 1...

Everything I have read or been told is that even Non-residents could buy an archery tag over the counter. I did so the last two years while working out in Dakota. $215 for the tag, and you even could tag a buck as long as it was a whitetail. I hunt central ND. I'll be really bummed if I cant purchase a whitetail Non Resident tag next year. I have been chasing a particular buck 2 years, even passed on him in a low light scenario at 38 yards last season.

Honestly I'll make ND my place of residence if this is needed, thats where I grew up.

I agree with Scoot , you do have an option to start bow hunting but if youve been hunting ND 50 years that puts you in your 60's and maybe thats up there for being a bow hunter. You could always head to Mn , non resident deer here is pretty affordable. If you want to hunt whitetail bad enough there is always an option !

Id also like to add that there is no shortage of whitetail in central ND. Maybe they need to clarify where/what populations are up or down. I know western ND was hit hard with Blue tounge and of course the oilfield.

I have access to a section of land and there are well over 100 whiteatil in that section, with about 20% being bucks. I even saw a GIANT bull elk pass through a bean field last year. Another mild winter this year, I WILL find a way to get out there next year.

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Everything I have read or been told is that even Non-residents could buy an archery tag over the counter. I did so the last two years while working out in Dakota. $215 for the tag, and you even could tag a buck as long as it was a whitetail.

Chad, the OTC tag is for whitetail only. The 180 available NR tags being talked about here are for "any deer", currently both muley bucks and any whitetail.

There definitely are some pockets that have adequate to good whitetail numbers still. Some places were hit very hard though. The muley numbers have been hit really hard almost everywhere, but even with that there certainly is some variability in the impact of the tough Winters with some areas being hit harder than others.

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I totally agree.Bow hunters should take the same cuts rifle hunters do.

Ken, it seems like you want everything the same between bowhunting and rifle hunting. I can't help but see them as apples and oranges in too many ways to try make them equal in all matters regarding tag availability.

Do you know how many bowhunters hunted muleys last year? How does that number compare to rifle hunter numbers? Importantly, how many deer were shot with rifles vs. bow? If you want things to be equal in all regards, should we limit the number of muleys shot with a rifle to the same number of muleys shot with a bow? If I were to apply your logic it seems that's what I'd conclude- rifle hunters should not be allowed to shoot any more muleys than archery hunters. However, that's absurd and I certainly wouldn't advocate it.

Like I said before- archery tags are more readily available across virtually all states for virtually all big game animals. The reason for this is simple and it's because archery hunters don't impact the population nearly to the same extent as gun hunters because archery hunters are far less successful. ND is managing their archery tags numbers in a very consistent manner with most every state that has mule deer. If you really want to hunt muleys more often, choose a method that allows you to do so- ND currently provides that for you and for everyone and I think the opportunity is wonderful.

In the 12 years I've hunted muleys I've shot exactly two mule deer. I've passed up many small bucks, does, and fawns, but I've only take two deer in that whole time. Why is that? Well, maybe I stink at bowhunting. Or... maybe it's dang tough to shoot a muley with a bow and that's why the state of ND provides tags so readily. They can make a good number of people happy by giving them the chance to take a muley, but really don't impact the number of deer significantly in doing so. I see it as good management and an excellent way to make a wonderful resource available to many. Importantly though, the opportunity is given by the state of ND- anyone who chooses to can go and take advantage of it. You choose not to, and that's certainly your perogative, but the opportunity is there for you every single year. Choosing not to take advantage of it, then griping about not having the chance to hunt out there, is an interesting approach and perspective on how things are currently arranged.

Ken, you're a very informed and informative guy in here and I appreciate your input and posts. I'm not trying to pick a fight with you and I hope you don't think that I am. My impression is that we don't and won't agree on this matter, and that's ok by me. I hope you feel similarly.

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My point is if we don't have enough mule deer for residents to hunt, we certainly don't have enough for NR to hunt.

I don't follow your logic: because it takes your buddies six years to draw a tag there should be no NR archery tags? How does that make any sense?

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holmsvc, I can certainly appreciate the frustrations of giving NR tags when there's a limited number of R tags given. However, what happens when you apply for an elk, antelope, or muley tag in WY, MT, CO, AZ, NV, UT, or ID? The residents gripe because there's a limited number of R tags given to them and their state still gives out NR tags.

Why give out NR tags when you limit the number of R tags? The answer is simple- $$$. NRs generate money for the G&F (much higher cost for the license than the residents pay) and they also generate revenue for business throughout the state of ND. Hotels, cafes, gas stations, etc. all get money from the NRs.

People often gripe about giving NRs tags within the state they live in. However, when these same people want to hunt a state other than the one they live in they are appauled by the low number of tags offered to NRs and the abysmal draw odds. You may question the number of NR tags given, but I personally believe it'd be a big mistake to not give any NR tags out. Even if we did, it would mean little in terms of the wait time you or your buddies would have to draw a rifle tag. 180 NR archery tags are a drop in the bucket and have little impact on the draw odds for the rifle tags. Even if they did, I continue to believe, and so do the G&F of every state that has mule deer, giving a percentage tags to NRs is an important and valuable piece of the licensing scheme.

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