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Deer hunting season starts Friday, respect property of others

A Recent news story highlighted a Norwegian hunter who accidentally shot a man sitting on the toilet after the hunter missed a nearby moose and the bullet pierced through a wooden cabin wall. The projectile whizzed straight past the animal, sliced through the building and hit the 70-year-old victim in the stomach. Certainly the situation is serious and provides example as to why hunters and persons living in rural and city fringe areas need to be cautious as the North Dakota deer season begins this Friday. Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset except opening day Friday when hunting will start at noon. Hunters must cease any hunting activity, leave any stand or blind, and must be in the process of leaving the field at the close of shooting hours. The information provided here is for educational purposes and is not intended as a complete listing of regulations. For more specific information on regulations and laws, visit the Game and Fish Department website (for season proclamations) or for state laws go to

All big game hunters, including bow hunters, are required to wear orange clothing while the regular deer gun season is in progress. All youth deer season and muzzleloader season hunters are required to wear orange clothing. Legal orange clothing is a head covering and outer garment above the waistline of solid daylight fluorescent orange color, totaling at least 400 square inches. While not required, other persons taking part in outdoor activities are encouraged to wear blaze orange and avoid areas where deer hunting activities are taking place.

To create a buffer zone it is illegal to hunt upon the premises of another within 440 yards (one- quarter mile) of any occupied building without the consent of the person occupying the building. This does not prohibit hunting on land owned by neighbors (private or public) even if the land is less than 440 yards (one-quarter mile) from the occupied building. Hunters must remember a bullet fired from a high powered rifle may travel more than a mile.

Private property in North Dakota is protected through posting regulations. Only the owner or tenant, or an individual authorized by the owner, may post land by placing signs giving notice that no hunting is permitted on the land. The name of the person posting the land must appear on each sign in legible characters. The signs must be readable from the outside of the land and must be placed conspicuously not more than 880 yards (one-half mile) apart. As to land entirely enclosed by a fence or other enclosure, posting of signs at or on all gates through the fence or enclosure constitutes a posting of all the enclosed land. Hunting on posted lands without permission from the owner or tenant is illegal and punishable by suspension of hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for a period of at least one year.

A hunter may enter posted property (without a firearm or bow) to recover game shot or killed on land where he/she had a lawful right to hunt. It is also illegal, whether posted or not, to hunt in un-harvested cereal and oilseed crops, including sprouted winter wheat, alfalfa, clover and other grasses grown for seed, without the owner’s consent.

Other areas where hunters sometimes find themselves in trouble relate to tagging and transporting of the deer they harvest. Immediately after an animal has been killed, the hunter must indicate the date of kill by cutting out the appropriate month and day from the tag provided with the license, and attach it to the base of the antler on antlered deer, or in a slit in the ear on antlerless deer as illustrated on the tag backing. After the antlers, head or hide have been removed from the carcass, the carcass tag shall remain with the carcass or processed meat until consumed or until March 31, 2014. When any part of an animal is mounted, if the tag is removed from the antlers or ear, the tag must be securely fastened to the back or bottom of the mount and remain there. Tags are not transferable.

It is illegal to possess or transport another’s big game animal or parts thereof (excluding hide) without the license holder accompanying unless a transportation tag has been issued by ND Game and Fish. A deer carcass must be accompanied by the head to the final place of storage except in unit 3F2. No resident of the state may ship big game or parts thereof (other than hides) out of the state without a permit from the Department. Processed and packaged meat (cut, ground and wrapped meat) of legally harvested game may be gifted to another. Unprocessed, unpackaged meat of legally harvested game may be gifted as follows: 1) Prior to reaching the licensee’s permanent residence a transportation permit must be obtained and accompany the game meat; 2) After reaching the licensee’s permanent residence if accompanied by the carcass tag of the person who harvested the game. Commercial processors and common carriers (shipping companies, commercial meat processors and taxidermists) may possess any person’s legally taken possession limit of game. The carcass tag from the individual’s license shall accompany the carcass through processing and must be returned to the individual to be kept until the meat is consumed or until March 31, 2014.

Hunters in the field are reminded to respect the property of others. Know the rules set by ND Game and Fish before going into the field and follow safe gun handling procedures. Deer hunting is a sport meant to be enjoyed by those involved. Do your part to have an accident free season.