BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Less than 24 hours until hunters zip up their orange and head out in the field to try to fill a deer tag. Deer gun season opens statewide at noon, November 10th.
KX News visited with a game warden to ask what hunters need to know this season.
“It can be extremely busy, or the phone may not ring a lot,” district game warden Corey Erck said.
Corey Erck says he’s not sure exactly what to expect for deer season opener.
“Numbers are down dramatically. The deer numbers down here are not what they used to be, but this river bottom is prime deer habitat,” said Erck.
Fewer deer and fewer deer tags given out for 2023. Only around 53,400 people received a tag this fall, but Erck says he’ll stay busy visiting with hunters in the field.
“And we do our compliance checks, making sure they have their licenses, and all of their gear meets the regulations,” reminded Erck.
One of the most common violations Erck comes across are hunters driving around with a loaded rifle. A loaded firearm in or on a vehicle. It could be a class B misdemeanor.
Another incident Erck says invites trouble are hunters driving around trying to take a shot too close to the vehicle.
“I always caution people about doing things like this around vehicles, because it seems like a lot of accidents happen with these types of scenarios,” said Erck.
Hunters living with a disability can request a permit to shoot from the pickup. And while Erck says just about every hunter remembers to wear their blaze orange, one demonstration by Taylor Aasen shows how well she shows up in a wooded area with orange, and without the orange. You can check that out in the attached video.
“For hunter safety, we just want people to be seen.” Erck also says hunters may see a grey pickup in the field this weekend. More often than not, he says it’s simply a friendly chat.
“I always try to keep it cordial. Even if I have to issue citations, I don’t like things to be antagonistic. Generally, there’s no need to go that route,” said Erck.
The Game and Fish department is also sending out surveys to hunters.
It’s asking hunters if they’re hunting on Saturday and Sunday, and it wants to know how many deer and other big game animals they’re seeing.
There will also be a follow-up survey after the season asking about hunters’ success rates.