The North Dakota deer season for 2023 is set. There will be 53,400 licenses for shooters, which is 10,800 less than last year. Also, the number of muzzleloader licenses went down by 146, and the number of antlered mule deer licenses for young people went down by 145.

Residents who are 11, 12, or 13 years old and have a youth pass for a white-tailed deer without antlers can no longer only hunt during the youth deer season. This license can now be used during the regular deer gun season because of a new state rule.

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In a release sent by the North Dakota Game & Fish Department, Casey Anderson, who is in charge of the wildlife division of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said that population, harvest, and survey figures show that the state's deer population is going down, with the eastern hunting units losing the most deer.

"This year's winter was the worst on record, especially in the eastern half of the state," said Anderson. "As a result, fewer deer licenses will be given out in 2023, which will be the lowest number of licenses available since 2016. The goal of giving out fewer licenses is to keep hunting options open and keep encouraging population growth.

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Anderson said that there aren't as many good places for deer to live as there used to be. This makes it harder for the population to heal after the harsh winter the state just had. For example, the number of deer killed by guns in the Red River Valley has dropped by about 90% since 2005. He said that this was partly because those hunting areas had lost more than 70% of CRP grass cover and other important habitat traits.

"If CRP contracts keep running out, 85% of the 3.4 million acres that were there in 2007 will be gone by 2026," Anderson said. "Habitat doesn't have to be CRP, but it does need to meet the needs of birds during the winter and when they're hatching."

The number of mule deer in western North Dakota is 29% less than it was last year, according to a study that was just finished.

The North Dakota deer gun season for 2023 starts on November 10 at noon and lasts until November 26.

The Game and Fish Department's website, gf.nd.gov, is where people can apply for a regular deer gun, a free gun, a youth gun, or a muzzleloader.

June 7 is the last day to apply.

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To get a deer license, you must have a general game and habitat pass. If the applicant hasn't already bought a pass for the 2023–24 season, it will be added to their shopping cart when they check out. If the applicant doesn't win a deer license in the drawing, they can get their general game and habitat license back.

Those who have applied online for free before will have their land description directly added to this year's application. But any changes to land details from the application from last year must be made before the 2023 application is sent in.

Any legal-deer licenses will be given to people who send in free applications for the deer gun lottery before the normal deadline. State law says that free applications that come in after the deadline will be handled based on how many licenses are still available after the lottery. Most of the time, only IDs without antlers are left.

Total deer licenses are based on harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, feedback at advisory board meetings, and opinions from the public, landowners, and department field staff.

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