(KXNET) — A plan to allow party hunting for deer season in North Dakota failed on the house floor on Wednesday.
Representative Donna Henderson wrote House Bill 1377 trying to legalize party hunting for a group of up to 10 hunters.
It would allow hunters to shoot one another’s deer during the season, but they were required to be present and active members of the hunt.
Opponents of the bill say while harvest rates would likely go up if the bill passed, it would mean fewer people would get tags in the future.
“Sometimes you do hit a deer, but it’s not a mortal wound,” explained Representative Henderson, “and we try to track our deer when shot, but sometimes there’s just not enough blood to track and they get away only to die later and never be found. A backup shooter with a 2nd shot would help prevent that waste.”
“What it would do is encourage more people to apply for licenses, therefore making a person’s chance less likely to draw a tag,” Rep. Jared Hagert said.
In 2021, the department made available 72,200 deer gun tags. Of those, 57,086 people hunted and they took home 32,793 deer.
So far, the ND Game and Fish Department haven’t released the hunting report from the fall of 2022.