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North Dakota deer hunters saw 64% success rate in 2018, Game and Fish Department says

North Dakota deer hunters had an overall success rate of 64% during the 2018 deer gun season, the Game and Fish Department announced this week.

Based on postseason hunter surveys, 48,717 North Dakota deer hunters killed about 31,350 deer during the 2018 deer gun hunting season, the Game and Fish Department said.

Game and Fish offered 55,150 deer gun licenses last year.

Each hunter spent an average of 4.4 days in the field, the department said, and hunter success for both antlered and antlerless white-tailed deer was 64%. Mule deer buck success was 81%, and antlerless mule deer was 83%.

Hunters with any-antlered or any-antlerless licenses generally shoot white-tailed deer, as these licenses are predominantly in units with mostly whitetails. Buck hunters had a success rate of 69%, while doe hunters had a success rate of 65%.

A few other season stats:

  • Game and Fish issued 13,098 gratis licenses in 2018, and 10,785 hunters harvested 5,832 deer, for a success rate of 54%.

  • A total of 1,022 muzzleloader licenses were issued in 2018, and 900 hunters harvested 349 white-tailed deer (176 antlered, 173 antlerless). Hunter success was 39%.

  • A record 28,824 archery licenses (26,318 resident, 2,506 nonresident) were issued in 2018. In total, 22,666 bow hunters harvested 8,914 deer (7,927 whitetails, 987 mule deer), for a success rate of 39%.

The department is in the process of determining deer license recommendations for the fall hunting season. In addition to harvest rates and winter aerial surveys, Game and Fish staff monitor other population indices to determine license numbers, including depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

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