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harvey lee

No 1 deer tag for 2015

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ND Game and Fish Mule Deer Banner

North Dakota Game and Fish Department

Dec. 18, 2014

Game and Fish to Maintain Current Deer License System

The State Game and Fish Department has decided to not implement its proposal to limit deer hunters to only one license for the 2015 season.

While it is still months before the 2015 season is set, that means deer hunters will again be able to apply for deer gun and muzzleloader lottery licenses, and also purchase an archery license.

Game and Fish Director Terry Steinwand said the decision involved several factors, including substantial public input both for and against the proposal, and significant costs needed to put the new system in place.

“One of our goals is to increase the deer population statewide, and we can still work toward that under the current system,” Steinwand said.

Under the proposal that Game and Fish offered in early November, in 2015 deer hunters who received a lottery deer gun or muzzleloader license, or a gratis license, would not have been able to purchase an additional archery license.

Game and Fish drafted the proposal based on public input and comments following eight special deer meetings held in February 2014. The meetings were set up to encourage public input on options for changing the way deer licenses are distributed, because of a significant reduction in the state’s deer population.

In 2014 Game and Fish allocated 48,000 deer gun season licenses, compared to more than 140,000 licenses as recently as 2008.

In addition, Game and Fish used the recent fall round of district advisory board meetings to further discuss the resulting proposal. “Over the past year,” Steinwand said, “we’ve had a thorough and healthy discussion on the Department’s role in providing opportunity.”

For instance, in 2013 about 10,000 hunters had both gun and bow licenses, while just over 20,000 prospective hunters who applied for a gun license did not receive any type of deer license.

“This was a social issue more than it was a biological issue,” Steinwand said, “but it is Game and Fish’s responsibility to address how our policies and regulations affect hunters as well as wildlife. We will continue to look at all feasible alternatives for future years that will provide opportunity for the most hunters possible.”

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North Dakota with all its progressive heritage really does not like change. Bet ya that Folgers coffee best sales are in North Dakota. wink

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I'm new to hunting ND. I put in for muzzy a year ago and didn't get drawn and was planning on bowhunting that year but didn't. Say in '15 I get drawn for muzzy and also buy a bow license can I shoot 2 deer, one with each license or is it one deer total for the year. Thanks for the replies.

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You can shoot two deer if you draw both tags. You can shoot 3 deer if you also draw a regular gun tag. Keep in mind that you are looking at 5 years or more to have a reasonable chance at drawing an antlered muzzleloader tag. Those are the odds for a resident.

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I am disappointed the the one-tag proposal failed. As someone said, ND does not like change. On the plus side, I was thinking that I may have carried my muzzleloader into the field for the last time. Now it looks like that will happen again.

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Hunters buy the tags and shoot the deer. Why do we blame the state? State game managers have to justify their paycheck and raise funds as well. We don't have to fall into their plans. I hear the same thing from Iowa guys about doe tags. Good grief, just don't buy them.

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Disappointing......Evidently the GNF figures that it's better for a lot of hunters to have 2 tags and for thousands of others to have none.One of the few times I am totally disappointed in them.I wonder who made the final decision.My guess is Steinwand...I have totally lost my respect for him.

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I can't remember where, but I thought I heard that there was a movement in the legislature to stop G&F from going to a one-tag system, talk about a group opposed to changing anything.

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Few soft winters and all will be better for every type deer hunter, This winter could be the first step if we can keep the deep snow away for another 4-5 weeks.

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Few soft winters and all will be better for every type deer hunter, This winter could be the first step if we can keep the deep snow away for another 4-5 weeks.

All the warm winters in the world won't replace 1.4 million acres of CRP and tens of thousands of ripped up tree rows...

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I think we all would admit that there is no single reason deer numbers are low. The combination of tags, weather, habitat/food, predation, car accidents, etc make the deer numbers what they are. I think by doing what can be done to improved all aspects by let's say 10-15% we'd go a long way to improving and maintaining a more stable deer herd. Some of the things are much harder to control than others so in reality some years you'd have to lean on one item rather than another to keep things at a nice balance.

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I have not seen where I stated that soft winters would replace the loss in habitat. Please show me, I understand you assumed I said that but bad assumption.

What I was trying to say is, with the loss in habitat acre's and the farming practices, our only hope is for a soft winter.

If the doe's have to try to go through 2ft of snow to find food and good dry, warm bedding, we will have many doe's aborting, now we have more deer lost.

With a soft winter with temps not -20 plus for long stretches and heavy snow to cover their food sources, the deer use as much energy looking for or getting to food that they actually get from that feeding, what do we have then, dying deer.

I see nothing right now that will help the deer more than an easy winter, nothing. I am not saying this is a cure all but I am saying, I am sure the G&F would agree, warmer temps, less snow will help the herd in many ways. What else have we got to hope on????

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What else have we got to hope on????

Decreasing tags. Creating a state-run CRP program. Utilizing oil tax revenue for habitat improvement. Incentivizing landowners to leave some land in natural cover.

I have a lot to hope for...

As for weather, this winter has been pretty darn mild. But February tends to be the worst month. Hopefully the lead-up has the deer in good health.

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Sunday night saw the loss firsthand of more willowy type slough holes being bulldozed in, makes you wonder if it was ok'ed or not or if it has to be, 9:00PM at night I slow rolled by wondering what farm work would be going on at 9 on a sunday, it was bulldozing into a sloughhole and now that I've driven by in daylight they have all been filled in, this easy winter is allowing a lot to get done, maybe I should've put done in.

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Tags have decreased from maybe a high of 170,000 to what, 45,000 last fall, there is one heck of a decrease. I agree more CRP or any other type habitat for wildlife would help a lot but I just don't see that in the near future.

Pretty tough to get landowners to leave some land for wildlife with the land prices the way they are, they want every acre they can get for more crops, don't care about wildlife, doesn't pay the banker.

Yes, Feb can be tough but at least this winter, the deer herd should go into Feb in great shape.

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