BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — More than 93% of land in North Dakota is held in private ownership. But thanks to partnerships between landowners and the Department of Game and Fish, hunters have the opportunity to use these private lands during the prime season as part of the PLOTS agreement.

The Department recently released its Private Land Open To Sportsmen Guide on its website, and printed copies are on the way. These guides, both online and offline, show the areas across the state where hunters may go and practice their craft on private land.

These free printed guides, featuring about 800,000 PLOTS acres, will be available at license vendors throughout North Dakota in late August. As these guides are not available to mail, hunters will need to pick them up at local vendors or Game and Fish offices. Individual maps are also available to print off of the department’s website.

As the guides were printed in mid-August, some of the tracts highlighted in the guide may have been removed, and new tracts may have been added. In addition, the habitats and conditions of some areas of land may have changed drastically since the guide’s printing. To this end, the 2022 Game and Fish PLOTS guides will be constantly updated and available on the Department’s website.

In addition to showcasing public lands, the new PLOTS guide features maps highlighting walk-in hunting areas, which will be identified in the field by inverted triangular yellow signs. In order to minimize any possible confusion, the PLOTS map sheets will be edited weekly.

Although these portions of land are open to hunters, anyone interested in hunting must still abide by the standard rules of the PLOTS program, which are as follows:

  • All PLOTS land is open only for public walk-in access for the purpose of hunting within legal hunting seasons or other signed periods. Walk-in access is defined by the Game and Fish Department as an individual traveling by foot with tools for the purposes of hunting.
  • All non-hunting activities done on PLOTS land be done with written permission from the property owner.
  • Hunting weapons, equipment, accessories, or provisions may not be left unattended on PLOTS property without the written permission of the property owner. Violation of this rule is considered a noncriminal offense and results in a $100 fee.
  • Hunters are advised to remove all trash and empty shells from their area, clean game well away from ditches and approaches, steer clear of all livestock, and never block field approaches or gates with vehicles.
  • If a hunter finds an area listed as a PLOTS tract that is not marked with triangular yellow PLOTS signs from the Department, it is advised to avoid the area until double-checking with the Department.

Happy hunting!