Doug Leier: Questions and answers for upcoming deer season

The 2020 North Dakota deer season opens Friday, Nov. 6 at 12-noon Central time and runs through Sunday, Nov. 22. Photo courtesy NDGF

The 2020 North Dakota deer season opens Nov. 6 at 12-noon Central time and runs through Sunday, Nov. 22. Legal shooting hours after opening day are a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset each day.

Here’s a few of the more common questions that seem to come up each year.

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 . Fill out the form, have it notarized and return it to the department along with a fee. You may not hunt without the deer license in your possession. If you find the original license after receiving a replacement, you must return the original to a local game warden or Game and Fish office.

What licenses do I need for deer gun season?


A general game and habitat stamp or a combination license, and the deer license. Gratis license holders need only the gratis license. The deer license is mailed after the general game and habitat license is purchased.

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?

Only during the regular deer gun season.

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?

A person who holds a valid license to hunt deer may hunt the same species and sex of deer on land in an adjoining unit for which that person would be eligible for a gratis deer license.

Can hunters age 14 or 15 (and qualifying 13-year-olds) with a youth season license who did not harvest a deer during the youth season, hunt the regular deer gun season with this license?


Yes, but you are subject to the restrictions listed on the license.

I was unsuccessful in filling my mule deer buck license in a restricted unit during the youth season. Can I hunt the remainder of the state during the regular gun season?

No. You are restricted to the same unit as during the youth season.

May I carry a pistol when I am hunting with a deer rifle?

Yes, but the handgun must meet minimum requirements listed in the deer hunting regulations to be legal for taking deer.

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.

Leier is a biologist with the Game and Fish Department. His email is

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