ND Deer Season 2023-2024: All You Need To Know on North Dakota Deer Hunting Dates, Licenses & Regulations

Hunting enthusiasts look forward to North Dakota’s deer season every year. North Dakota’s provided 2023 deer hunting season is expected to be thrilling and dramatic. The regular deer season will begin in November across all of the state’s subdivisions. The bow shooting season will begin in September, according to preliminary opening dates released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Hunters can anticipate a challenging and enjoyable hunting experience amidst North Dakota’s breathtaking scenery and new rules for the season.

North Dakota Deer Season

Deer Seasons in NDHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Archery Deer (White-tailed and mule deer across the States)1-Sep-231-Jan-24 (TBC)
Youth Any Deer (Anyone turning 14 or 15 this year - deer of any kind - with exceptions).15-Sep-2325-Sep-23 (TBC)
Youth Antlered (Deer Anyone turning 14 or 15 this year - antlered mule deer - unit restrictions).15-Sep-2325-Sep-23 (TBC)
Youth Antlerless Deer (Anyone turning 11 or 13 this year-statewide antlerless white-tailed deer only).15-Sep-2325-Sep-23 (TBC)
Gun Deer (White-tailed and mule deer all units)10-Nov-2320-Nov-23 (TBC)
Muzzleloader Deer (White-tailed and mule deer across the States)1-Dec-2311-Dec-23 (TBC)

Elk, Moose and Bighorn Seasons

Hunting UnitsSpeciesSeason Start DatesSeason End Dates
E1E, E1W, E2, E6Elk (Bow)1-Sep-2023TBC
E3, E4Elk (Regular)1-Sep-2023TBC
E5Elk (Regular)1-Sep-2023TBC
E6Elk (Regular)6-Oct-2023TBC
E1E, E2, E1WElk (Regular)6-Oct-2023TBC
E6Elk (Regular)27-Nov-2023TBC
M5, M6, M8, M9, M10, M11Moose (Bow)1-Sep-2023TBC
M5, M6, M8, M9, M10, M11Moose (Regular)13-Oct-2023TBC
B1, B3, B4, B5Bighorn Sheep (Regular)3-Nov-2023TBC

Note: TBC means dates are tentative and “to be confirmed”

ND Deer Bag Limit

Hunting DeerBag Limits
1. Hunting partiesNot allowed
2. Antlered deerAny deer with at least one visible antler
3. Resident deer bowOne deer of any type per season
4. Nonresident deer bowOne deer of the type described on their license
5. Youth deer licenseOne deer of any species, sex, or age (except for antlered mule deer in specific units where a special license is required)
6. Deer gun licenseOne deer of the type described on their license
7. Muzzleloader licenseOne white-tailed deer of the type described on their license
8. Resident gratis and nonresident landowner licenseOne deer as described on their license (except for mule deer during muzzleloader season)
9. Residents aged 11-13One antlerless white-tailed deer

Tagging the Hunt

When a hunter takes a deer, they are required to mark the date of the kill by instantly cutting out the appropriate month and day from the tag that came with their license and affixing it to the base of the spike on deer with antlers or in a crevice in the ear on deer without antlers. Animals must be tagged correctly to be transported or kept in possession. The meat identifier must travel with it until the usable tissue is divided up and packed as food. Tags cannot be moved or used again. If any animal component is affixed, the identifier must be permanently attached to the foot or rear of the mount.

Deer Hunting License

License Eligibility

A person must have lived in North Dakota for six months and have yet to claim residency in another state to get a resident card. 18-year-olds must provide a legal North Dakota driver’s license or nondriver photo identity number. Nonresident minor hunting permits, military employees on duty or leave, and people with a genuine goal of becoming residents are exempt from this rule. Nonresident full-time state or tribal college students living in North Dakota and attending a Board of Higher Education school, a private institution, or a tribal college may also apply for nonlottery resident permits.

Fees & Permits

License TypeCostType of Applicant
Resident Deer Bow$30 16 years of age and above
Resident Deer Bow$10 Below 16 at time of purchase
Nonresident Deer Bow$250 -
Youth Deer$10 Residents 15 and below at time of application
Resident Deer Gun or Muzzleloader$30 16 years of age and above
Resident Deer Gun or Muzzleloader$10 Below 16 at time of application
Nonresident Deer Gun, Muzzleloader or Landowner$250 -
Nonresident Deer Gun (application fee)$5 -

North Dakota hunters need a deer ticket, a fishing, hunting, and furbearer permit ($1 for locals, $2 for nonresidents), a general game and habitat license ($20) or a combo license ($50).

Hunting Regulations

  • White-tailed deer ticket bearers in units 4B, 4C, 4D, and 4E must hunt in their unit for the first 2-1/2 days. (November 5-7). After this, they can hunt either team for the rest of the season.
  • Bow-hunting deer during herd reduction deer bow seasons is regulated. Bowhunters and trainee license users must wear orange during gun season. Residents can hunt any deer, but nonresidents can only hunt the type on their ticket.
  • Only youth citizens who turn 11, 12, or 13 in 2022 can hunt antlerless white-tailed deer. In 2022, 14- and 15-year-olds can hunt deer. There are no unit limitations except for units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E, and 4F, where antlered mule deer hunting requires a special pass. Youth hunters and guides must wear orange and be monitored by an adult who cannot carry a weapon or bow during the youth season.
  • Gun and muzzleloader hunting is limited to the license’s deer and unit. The rear map describes units. White-tailed deer hunters in areas 4B–4E are exempt. Hunters—including novice and youth license holders—must wear orange. The license restricts muzzleloader hunting to antlered or antlerless white-tailed deer, with no unit limitations.
  • Except on opening day, hunting is allowed 30 minutes before dawn to 30 minutes after dusk. Shooting hours end and hunters must exit.
  • Nonresident bow permits are limited to white-tailed deer statewide or 780 nonresident any-deer licenses. Residents can hunt any deer. Special permits for deer type and the unit will be given for 72,200 gun licenses, including free ones. Muzzleloader permits are limited to 2% of whitetail deer gun licenses and good statewide for 1,168 licenses, half for antlered and half for antlerless whitetail. Typical youth (type H) permits are good statewide for any deer except antlered mule deer in specific units, while restricted youth (type I) licenses are only valid in their specified unit during the youth or regular gun season. In 2022, youth season antlerless white-tailed deer permits for ages 11, 12, and 13 were good statewide and limited to antlerless deer. After firing hours, hunters must exit the area. Hunters and companions must wear orange.
  • Both residents and nonresidents can apply for deer bow, deer gun, and muzzleloader seasons. Still, only residents who turn 11, 12, or 13 in 2022 are eligible for an antlerless white-tailed deer license. Only residents who turn 14 or 15 in 2022 and have never received a youth season deer gun license are eligible for a youth deer license.
  • Hunters born after December 31, 1961, must pass a certified state or provincial hunter education course on buying a North Dakota deer hunting license. However, those 12 years and older can get an apprentice hunter validation to hunt deer for one year.
  • Youth, deer gun, and muzzleloader permits are 14, while antlerless whitetail deer gun licenses are 11. Nonresidents receive 1% of deer gun and muzzleloader permits in any unit through the second deer gun draw. Approved guides or hunters receive 50% of the nonresident allotment of antlered white-tailed deer licenses, up to 100.
  • Nonresident full-time students living in North Dakota can file for non-draw resident deer gun permits after the second lottery of $50.
  • North Dakota residents who were on federal active duty with the US Armed Forces under Title 10 stationed outside the state during the 2020 deer gun season and received the expeditionary medal or campaign badge can purchase one white-tailed deer gun license in a unit of their choice if they apply during the application period and provide documentation. Availability will determine permits for late applications.
  • The North Dakota Department of Game and Fish gives several deer hunting permits. The Department’s Bismarck office, website, and approved dealers sell deer bow permits to citizens and non-residents. Licenses cannot be sold, traded, or given away.
  • Only the Department’s website sells any-deer permits to nonresidents. The Department’s website offers 11-13-year-olds antlerless white-tailed deer licenses—online deer permits for 14-15-year-olds. A weighted draw distributes deer gun permits; the rest are given on a first-come, first served. Weighted lotteries award muzzleloader permits.
  • Residents and nonresidents who own or hire 150 acres in an open hunting area receive free permits. The Department’s Bismarck branch issues these permits only for the area specified on the license. Residents may hunt on land in a nearby unit where they would be eligible for a resident-free deer ticket. A free licensee, spouse, and children can hunt in any eligible area listed on their permits. Resident-free licensees need no other licenses, and applications received by the deadline were given any legal-deer permits. Applications received after the deadline will be issued licenses based on availability after the draw.
  • Big game hunters, including bowhunters, must wear at least 400 square inches of pure daytime bright orange apparel on their head covering and upper outfit above the waist during deer gun season. Youth deer and muzzleloader hunters must follow the same rules.
  • Baiting big game is banned in certain deer hunting areas and North Dakota Game and Fish Department Wildlife Management Areas. Federal and local areas prohibit hunting over the lure. Bait includes food and smells but not farming practices, gardens, animal food areas, crops, natural fruit or veggies, or unharvested food. Wildlife control by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is exempt.
  • Hunters cannot remove some deer hunting units’ heads and spinal spines. However, exceptions are made for meat that has been boned out, quarters or other portions of meat with no part of the spinal column or head attached, meat that is cut and wrapped commercially or privately, hides with no heads attached, skull plates with antlers attached having no hide or brain tissue present, intact skulls with the hide, eyes, lower jaw, and associated soft tissue removed, antlers without meat or tissue attached, and finished taxidermy heads.
  • License users must move their wild animals or parts except for Department-issued permits. A Department permit is required to send oversized game items out of state. Common carriers can send a game with a bill of lading.
  • Acquiring or moving another’s big game animal or parts without the license bearer is illegal. Unprocessed, unpackaged game meat must be accompanied by a transit permit or the game’s meat tag, but processed and packed meat can be given.
  • Commercial processors and standard couriers may hold any person’s legally taken custody limit of the game, with the meat tag from the license following the usable flesh through processing and returning to the individual.
  • Deer bow season requires a hand-pulled, held, and released bow with 35 pounds of draw weight and 28 inches or less draw length. Deer hunting arrows must be at least 24 inches long, topped with a metal broadhead with at least two keen cutting tips, and have a minimum 3/4-inch cutting width.
  • Legal handheld rangefinders Deer bow hunters cannot carry weapons other than pistols. Barbed arrows are banned, but motorized or flexible broadheads are allowed. Hunters may only use colored nocks and recording devices that do not help with range finding, aiming, or firing.
  • Crossbows are illegal without a permit from the Game and Fish director and must have a minimum draw weight of 75 pounds, functional safety, and 14-inch bolts or darts. Telescopic sights on crossbows with a maximum power of eight are legal, but pistol grip crossbows that can be shot one-handed are not.
  • Deer Gun and Youth Deer seasons allow hunters to use centerfire rifles.22 to.49 size and muzzleloading rifles of.45 or more significant. Centerfire guns of.50 calibre or bigger using smokeless powder with a case length greater than 3.5 inches are prohibited. Magazine size is limitless. Shotguns and muzzleloaders with 18-inch barrels can use 20-gauge or bigger rifled slugs or altered round balls. Handguns must be.35 mm and 4 inches long. Muzzleloading pistols must be.50 or more significant.
  • Fully automated weapons, full-metal-jacketed bullets, and changed missiles are banned. Precharged pneumatic air guns can fire projectiles of at least.35 calibre, 150 grams, and 600 feet per second. Deer gun season allows all legal bow equipment from the deer bow area, including crossbows.
  • Hunting on road rights of way should only be done if they are public. The nearby landlord owns most road rights of way, and hunting is prohibited when the land is closed to hunting and marked.

It’s illegal to waste big wild meat. Hunters must attempt to recover and keep the animal’s usable meat from where it was taken to their primary home, a taxidermist, a standard courier, or a commercial grinder. Front, rear, and back bands are edible, but bullet- or natural-damaged beef is not.

Note: For complete list of regulations you may read on the eregulation website

FAQ related to ND Deer Season

When does the North Dakota Deer Season start and end?

The regular deer season lasts from the beginning of September to the end of the year, though the times differ depending on the method of hunting.

How many are deer permits available each season?

Each winter, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department assesses the deer population to decide how many deer licenses will be offered in each area the following hunting season.

How much does a deer permit cost?

Depending on the sort of pass and registration status, a deer ticket can cost between $20 and $50. Hunting fees for non-residents are typically more significant.

James Ellis

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