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Fall mule deer survey complete

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s fall mule deer survey indicated fawn production in 2018 was better than in 2017.

Biologists counted 2,446 mule deer in the aerial survey in October. The buck-to-doe ratio of 43 bucks per 100 does was higher than last year and the same as the long-term average. The mule deer fawn-to-doe ratio was 84 fawns per 100 does, which was higher than 2017 but slightly lower than the long-term average of 89 fawns per 100 does.

Big game biologist Bruce Stillings said mule deer fawn production has been on a positive trend since 2013, following record low fawn production after the winters of 2008-09 through 2010-11.

The fall aerial survey, conducted to study demographics, covers 24 study areas and 306.3 square miles in western North Dakota. Biologists also survey the same study areas in the spring of each year to determine deer abundance. 

Hunger program taking deer donations

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is reminding deer hunters to keep in mind the Sportsmen Against Hunger program this fall.

The list of participating processors is available on the Community Action Partnership of North Dakota website, capnd.org.

Sportsmen Against Hunger is a charitable program that raises money for processing of donated goose and deer meat, and coordinates distribution of donated meat to food pantries in North Dakota.  

Hunters reminded to report feral pigs

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reminds hunters who might come across feral swine this fall that hunting and trapping them is illegal.

Casey Anderson, assistant chief of wildlife for Game and Fish, said, while it is uncommon to come across feral swine in North Dakota, it can happen.

A landowner may eliminate feral swine on his or her land if they pose an immediate threat; however, it is preferable if all feral swine are removed by the state/federal feral swine task force so that samples can be collected for disease surveillance purposes. If a landowner must remove feral swine because of an immediate threat, the BOAH must be contacted within 24 hours, and the landowner should follow any instructions given by the board regarding the handling, preservation and disposal of the carcass.

Anyone who observes or suspects the presence of feral swine should call the BOAH at 701-328-2655.

Special allocation applications due Jan. 1

Nonprofit organizations that are eligible to receive big game hunting licenses in 2019, must have the application submitted to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department no later than Jan. 1.

A law passed during the 2017 state legislature provides direction for the Game and Fish director to allocate big game hunting licenses to eligible organizations. Under this directive, up to two elk, moose and pronghorn licenses, and 10 white-tailed deer licenses, can be issued to organizations to use for fundraising.

Eligible organizations must be exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(c)(3), and must provide a copy of the letter from the Internal Revenue Service to that effect. In addition, organizations must be active and in good standing in the office of the North Dakota Secretary of State.

Successful lottery applicants must agree to donate at least 10 percent of the net proceeds of any license raffle to a conservation-related project, such as hunting access, conservation education, habitat development and shooting range management.

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