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White-tailed deer

White-tailed deer spotted in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, South Unit, on Nov. 7, 2017.

We are a few weeks away from the 2018 North Dakota regular deer gun season, and there’s a few key reminders for hunters to consider.

Every year about this time, the state Game and Fish Department reminds hunters to find and verify deer licenses. If it’s where you placed it when it arrived in late summer, you’re all set. If not, there’s plenty of time to get a replacement. 

It’s also a good idea to take the license out of the envelope, if you haven’t already, and make sure it is accurate as to the unit and deer type for which you applied. Errors don’t happen very often, but again, you don’t want to find out on the morning of the Nov. 9 opener that you have a doe license instead of the buck license you thought you had.

Hunters who can’t find their deer license can get a replacement by printing a duplicate license application from the Game and Fish website, gf.nd.gov, or can request an application by calling 701-328-6300.

The form must be completed and notarized, and sent back to the department with the appropriate fee.

The second reminder is for people who were notified in early July about their success in the deer license lottery drawing, but haven’t received their tag in the mail yet.

State law requires that hunters must purchase a general game and habitat license before receiving a deer license, and there are still several thousand who have yet to do that. Game and Fish will send further reminders between now and deer season, but anyone who waits until the day before the season to get the general game license will not likely get their tag in the mail in time to start hunting on opening day.

The general game and habitat license can be purchased online by visiting My Account at the Game and Fish website.

A third reminder that applies to everyone is that October through early December is the peak period for deer-vehicle accidents.

Motorists are advised to slow down and exercise caution after dark to reduce the likelihood of encounters with deer along roadways. Most deer-vehicle accidents occur primarily at dawn and dusk, when deer are most often moving around, and, at this time of year, dawn and dusk closely coincide with the daily commutes to and from work. 

Motorists should be aware of warning signs signaling deer are in the area. When you see one deer cross the road, look for a second or third deer to follow. 

Deer-vehicle accidents are at times unavoidable. If an accident does happen, law enforcement authorities do not have to be notified if only the vehicle is damaged.

However, if the accident involves personal injury or other property damage, then it must be reported.

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Doug Leier is a biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

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