Deer do's and don'ts as season approaches

For more than a decade I've searched for column topics, but each year as deer season approaches the same questions arise, and the answers bear repeating:...

For more than a decade I've searched for column topics, but each year as deer season approaches the same questions arise, and the answers bear repeating:

What licenses do I need for deer gun season? A fishing, hunting, and furbearer certificate, the general game and habitat stamp or a combination license, and the deer license. Gratis license holders need only the gratis license.

I received a lottery license, and I own land in another unit. Can I hunt on my land in the other unit with my lottery license? Only if the unit in which your land is located adjoins the unit for which you have the lottery license.

Can I use my first season license during the muzzleloader season? No. The first season license may be used only for the regular deer gun season.

When can additional concurrent season licenses be used? Hunters possessing these unfilled antlerless deer licenses can use them during the archery season with a bow; the deer gun season with a bow, rifle, or muzzleloader; or during the muzzleloader season with a muzzleloader. These licenses must be used for antlerless deer only, and hunters must stay in the unit to which the license is assigned.


I can't find my deer license. What should I do? You must obtain an application for a duplicate license from the Game and Fish Department -- by calling (701) 328-6300 or printing it off the website at -- or from a county auditor. Fill out the form, have it notarize and return it to the Department along with a fee. You may not hunt without the deer license in your possession.

I shot a deer, but it is rotten. What can I do? You must take possession of the animal by tagging it. A license only allows you the opportunity to hunt. It is not a guarantee to harvest a deer, or to the quality of the animal.

What should I do if I find a wounded deer? Contact a game warden. Do not shoot the deer unless you want to tag it, or are instructed by the warden to do so.

Is camouflage blaze orange acceptable for the deer gun season? No. You must wear both a hat and outer garment above the waistline totaling at least 400 square inches of solid daylight fluorescent orange.

I hunt with a bow. When do I have to wear orange? During the regular deer gun season you must wear orange. During the muzzleloader season, however, bowhunters do not need to wear orange.

Can I hunt road rights-of-way? Do not hunt on road rights-of-way unless you are certain they are open to public use. Most road rights-of-way are under control of the adjacent landowner and are closed to hunting when the adjacent land is posted closed to hunting.

Can I transport someone else's deer? Yes, but you will need a transportation permit from a game warden.

The license holder, person transporting the animal, and the carcass must be presented to the game warden before the permit is issued.


Can I use a bow to fill my regular deer gun license? Yes. You may use any legal firearm or bow during the regular deer gun season.

Can I carry both bow and gun afield during deer gun season if I have both licenses? Yes, but only if you are going to fill your gun license.

No firearms, except handguns, may be in the hunter's possession while hunting with a deer bow license. However, handguns may not be used in any manner to assist in the harvest of a deer with an archery license.

Above and beyond these questions please put safety at the top of the priority list.

Leier is a biologist with the Game and Fish Department. He can be reached by email:

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