Flooding along the Missouri River north and west of Bismarck has prompted the State Game and Fish Department to put an experimental deer herd reduction hunt on hold.
The agency was going to start issuing up to 200 special antlerless licenses on Aug.1, but Department officials have postponed that process due to uncertainties over habitat condition and deer availability after floodwaters recede.
“This experimental season was designed to reduce deer numbers on private land in a relatively small area,” Randy Kreil, Game and Fish wildlife division chief said. “We had good support from landowners who were committed to hosting hunters, but most of them are dealing with flooding issues. Our agency and the landowners feel it’s better to wait a year and hope that normal conditions will return.”
The experimental season was set up so Game and Fish could match interested hunters with participating landowners. Randomly selected hunters would need to secure written permission from landowners before Game and Fish would issue a special license. The special antlerless licenses would have been valid in all open seasons with the appropriate firearm or archery equipment within the designated unit.
The experimental hunt area included land west of River Road and State Highway 1804, north and west of Bismarck, with Wilderness Cover Road near Pioneer Park as the southern boundary and 149th Ave. NW (north of Double Ditch Indian Village) as the northern boundary. During the regular deer season, much of this area is not open to hunting with centerfire rifles.
While Game and Fish will not issue special licenses, the experimental hunt area is still open to archery and gun hunting for those with appropriate bow or firearm season licenses.