North Dakota Deer Hunting 2023-2024

| |

Welcome to the thrilling world of deer hunting in North Dakota. Discover diverse landscapes, abundant deer populations, and the essence of this time-honored tradition. Join us as we explore regulations, responsible practices, and the connection between hunters and nature. Prepare for an exhilarating journey into North Dakota’s deer hunting realm, where anticipation, skill, and conservation converge.

Season Dates 

Knowing when the deer hunting season starts is vital for you to get an early start. Ensure you know the regulations and open dates for each weapon category and the license you must hunt with. Below is a list of the deer hunting dates in North Dakota:

SeasonHunting UnitSeason OpenSeason Close
Mule and white-tailed deer (2023-2024)BowStatewide09/01/2301/07/24
RegularAll Units11/10/2311/26/23
Mule and white-tailed deer (Youth Season)Youth SeasonStatewide09/15/2309/24/23
Mule and white-tailed deer (2022-2023)BowStatewide09/02/2201/01/23
Youth SeasonStatewide09/16/2209/25/22
Regular SeasonAll Units11/04/2211/20/22

Licensing & Bag Limits

In North Dakota, you must pay the prerequisites before buying your license. After you have purchased a license, you will be placed into a lottery, from which your tags will be drawn. Take a look at the license fees for residents and non-residents below:

License / Tag TypePrice
Resident License
Prerequisite for all licenses$1
Prerequisite for hunting licenses$20
Big Game
All Weapons Deer, Pronghorn, Elk, Moose (age 16 and older)$30
All Weapons Deer, Pronghorn, Elk, Moose (Youth Hunt)$10
Non-Resident License
Prerequisite for all licenses$2
Prerequisite for hunting licenses$20
Big Game
Deer hunt Gun$255
Deer Bow$250

Resident bow license holders can seize one deer of any type per season, while nonresident bow license holders can claim their prized deer as described on their license. In addition, young residents aged 11 to 13 can embark on their own hunting journey, with the chance to bag one antlerless white-tailed deer. 

Youth license holders aged 14 and 15 hold the key to any species, sex, or age of deer, except in select areas that require a special license for antlered mule deer. As for deer gun and muzzleloader license holders, they have the green light to harvest one deer each, adhering to the specific guidelines on their licenses. 

Resident and nonresident landowner license holders also have their shot at claiming one deer, except for mule deer during muzzleloader season. So, gear up and embrace the challenge of North Dakota’s deer hunting regulations as you embark on a thrilling adventure in pursuit of these magnificent creatures.

What Weapons can you Hunt Deer With in North Dakota?

Along with the licenses you need, you must also ensure that your weapons meet the requirements set by the state of North Dakota. That includes firearms, muzzleloaders, bows, and crossbows. For more information on weapon requirements, check the North Dakota hunting regulations. Here is a brief breakdown of the weapon requirements:


ShotgunsLoaded with slugs or 00 or a larger Buckshot. 
Centerfire rifle 0.22 Caliber and up with a magnum load or centerfire cartridge.
Handguns43 caliber and down with a barrel no longer than four and a half inches. 

Bow and Arrow:

ArrowsArrow must be 24 inches in length.
BroadheadsBroadheads can be fixed with two blades and must be ⅞ inches wide at its widest point.
Bow characteristicsLongBow minimum draw weight for hunting deer is 40 lbs and a draw length of 28’. Recurve Bows’ minimum draw weight is 35 lbs. 


Crossbow draw weightCrossbows have a draw tension that exceeds 30 lbs and must be mechanically safe.
Arrows/ boltsThe arrow/ bolt must be at least 18 inches, excluding the broad head.
BroadheadsMust be ⅞ inches at the widest point. 

Muzzleloading Rifle:

Powderblack powder or black powder substitute only.
CaliberA single barrel of.45 caliber or greater.
Legal projectileMuzzleloaders can be smoothbore or rifled.
IgnitionMatchlock, flintlock ignition system, percussion ignition system with a primer or percussion cap, or a wheel-lock.

What Types of Deer Are Popular in North Dakota?

Several types of deer are popular to hunt in North Dakota. The most popular are the White-tailed deer and the Mule deer. 

White-tailed deer are the most abundant and widely distributed deer species in North Dakota. They are known for their distinctive white tail that flashes when they are alarmed. White-tailed deer are adaptable and can be found in various habitats, including forests, woodlands, farmlands, and grasslands. They are highly sought after by hunters for their elusive nature and impressive antlers.

Mule deer are another popular deer species in North Dakota. They are named for their large ears, similar to a mule’s. Mule deer are primarily found in the western and southwestern regions of the state, where the terrain is more rugged and characterized by badlands, coulees, and breaks. These deer are known for their impressive size and unique antler configuration, with branching antlers that typically fork out instead of growing upward like white-tailed deer.

What Else is Popular to Hunt in North Dakota?

Aside from deer, there are many other great species to hunt in North Dakota. If you are looking for an easier or more challenging hunt, there is an option for everyone. Here are a few species you can hunt in North Dakota:

  • Pronghorn Antelope
  • Elk
  • Upland Game Birds (including pheasant, grouse, and partridge)
  • Waterfowl (including ducks, geese)
  • Wild Turkeys
  • Coyotes
  • Furbearers (including bobcats, raccoons, badgers, and beavers)
  • Mountain Lions (with special regulations and permits)

These are some of the popular game species that can be legally hunted in North Dakota. It’s essential to check the specific hunting regulations and seasons set by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for each species to ensure compliance and a successful hunting experience.

Hi there! I'm a passionate bowman and a fan of all target sports in general. You'll often find me at my local archery and shooting ranges honing my skills.

Leave a Comment