Warm weather could present challenges for deer hunting

Temperatures will gradually get higher through the weekend with potential to peak Friday and Saturday, said Jason Anglin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.

It might be a little more challenging to find deer during the opening weekend of the deer firearms season in North Dakota with temperatures expected to be in the upper 50s to low 60s, according to Casey Anderson, chief of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s wildlife division.

Anderson said the higher temperatures will probably make deer stay in cover a little longer. He said when temperatures get lower, the deer will need to be out moving around and eating to keep their energy storage up because they are trying to keep their bodies warmer.

“As the temperatures warm up, they are less likely to come out during the middle of the day,” he said. “You will see evening and morning movement more, but if people want to find a deer at 1 o’clock, they might have to walk through the cattails or something to push it out.”

Temperatures will gradually get higher through the weekend with potential to peak Friday and Saturday, said Jason Anglin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.

“The James River Valley should be in the upper 50s to maybe even seeing some low 60s for high temperatures this weekend,” he said.


The average high temperatures this time of year are about the mid 40s, he said. However, the record highs for this time of year are in the 70s.

“It is definitely above normal, but it is probably not too much of an unusual event,” he said.

Stutsman County was in drought conditions for much of the year, and some sloughs might not have as much water in them.

Anderson said sloughs with cattails around them are good cover for whitetail deer. He said whitetail deer like to hide in cattails and areas with taller, thicker vegetation.

“So it will be easier to probably negotiate through those areas because it is dry,” he said. “We’ve gotten some rain lately, so some of those areas could be pretty muddy if you get down in them.”

Anglin said a La Nina weather pattern that will bring lower temperatures is expected to come to North Dakota this winter. He said a La Nina pattern happens when the Pacific Ocean along the equator is cooler than average.

“As the atmosphere tries to balance itself out it typically brings a little bit cooler temperatures for North Dakota,” he said. “Precipitation wise though it is kind of an equal chance that it could go either way. However with such a low snowfall last winter, we are kind of expecting a more normal snowfall this winter.”

He said the Weather Service is monitoring the potential for a larger system that could bring widespread rain and maybe even some snow.


“The track of it is still a bit uncertain, but it looks like somewhere in the Northern Plains,” he said.

The snowfall could help people find deer. Anderson said snow cover brings lower temperatures and in turn more deer movement.

Fresh snow cover allows people to easily see if deer were in an area, he said.

“If it snowed last night and you went out this morning and there were deer tracks everywhere you knew those deer were in there within a pretty short period of time,” he said.

Anderson also said if a deer is shot and does not succumb to the gunshot immediately, hunters might have to track it down as it tries to find an area to hide and where it could also die.

“Whenever you have snow it is easier to track and find those animals when we are out trying to harvest a deer,” he said.

For Saturday and Sunday, high temperatures are expected to be in the mid to high 50s with lows right around freezing temperatures.

“Through the weekend, we aren’t looking at any extreme winds, but just a little breezy in the afternoon at times,” Anglin said.


It will be mostly sunny Monday, Nov. 8, with a high temperature near 51 and a low of 33.

On Tuesday, it will be partly sunny with a high near 49 and a low around 33.

It will be mostly cloudy on Wednesday with a high near 47.

“We are just going to have to keep monitoring that mid to late next week where it potentially could cool down a little bit, maybe with some chances of either rain or snow,” Anglin said.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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