New rules ahead of North Dakota deer opener

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 For the avid outdoorsman the deer opening is almost a holiday.

Some school districts even call off school.

The deer gun season opens Friday at noon in North Dakota and Saturday in Minnesota.

Opening day this year will be unlike most. Temperatures are expected to be almost twenty degrees warmer than the average.

And some hunters will be changing up their habits to ensure a successful hunt.

Mark Engelking has been deer hunting his whole life, and he says, this year, he’ll be changing the time of day he goes hunting.

“Might have to sleep in and let the deer roam a little later. I think they enjoy the weather like we do,” said Engleking.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department says warmer weather will affect deer behavior.

“The cooler weather makes the deer feed a little bit more,” said Doug Leier, ND Game and Fish. “They’re a little bit more active. And if there had been some snow on the ground, it’s a little bit easier to see the tracks.”

But Biologist Doug Leier says hunters can use the weather to their advantage.

“The deer are still going to be out there, you just might want to walk a little bit further, hunt a little bit longer, versus being able to see the deer moving a little bit more actively.”

Weather isn’t the only change this season.

Minnesota has a new rule that bans bringing whole deer carcasses into the state from anywhere in North America.

This restriction applies to elk, moose and caribou as well. The Minnesota DNR made the change in response the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease.

“What you really need to do if you’re a deer hunter is take some time to brush up on those rules and regulations. Because they’re not for somebody else. They are for you,” said Leier.

And hunters should brush up on safety regulations too.

“It’s a great weekend to get outdoors, but if someone’s injured or someone’s killed, that takes all the fun away from what should be an enjoyable time getting outdoors.”

Leier wants to remind hunters to use common sense, and to wear a blaze orange vest and hat even though the weather will be warmer.

Click for more information on deer import regulations and hunting safety tips in North Dakota and Minnesota.

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