North Dakota deer hunters had an overall success rate of 64% last fall, the Game and Fish Department said Monday in releasing results from the 2019 deer gun season.
In a news release, Game and Fish said 57,949 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 37,250 deer during the 2019 deer gun hunting season. Those numbers are based on a post-season survey the department conducts.
Game and Fish offered 65,500 deer gun licenses last year. Hunter success for antlered white-tailed deer was 64%, and antlerless whitetail was 58%.
Mule deer buck success was 78%, and antlerless mule deer was 79%.
Hunters spent an average of 4.3 days each in the field.
By comparison, North Dakota hunters in 2018 shot 31,350 deer during the gun season for a success rate of 64%, department statistics show. Game and Fish offered 55,150 deer gun tags in 2018.
According to Game and Fish, hunters with any-antlered or any-antlerless licenses generally shoot white-tailed deer, as those licenses are predominantly available in units with mostly whitetails. Buck hunters had a success rate of 68%, while doe hunters had a success rate of 65%.
Game and Fish issued 11,981 gratis licenses in 2019, and 9,767 hunters killed 5,416 deer, for a success rate of 56%.
The department issued 1,206 muzzleloader licenses in 2019, and 1,040 hunters shot 426 white-tailed deer (222 antlered, 204 antlerless) for a 41% success rate.
A total of 27,582 archery licenses — 24,902 resident, 2,680 nonresident — were issued in 2019. In total, 21,960 bow hunters killed 8,978 deer — 7,988 whitetails, 990 mule deer — for a success rate of 41%.
The department is in the process of determining recommendations for licenses in 2020. 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.