North Dakota bowhunters compiled what is likely a record archery deer harvest during the 2012 season, according to statistics recently released by the State Game and Fish Department.
The Game and Fish Department issued 19,940 resident and 2,336 nonresident bow licenses last year, 245 more than the previous record bow license sales in 2010. Approximately 19,300 of those license buyers actually hunted, taking an estimated 6,856 deer, for an overall hunter success rate of 35.4 percent.
The total harvest included 6,440 whitetails and 416 mule deer. About 71 percent of the whitetail harvest was adult bucks, and 96 percent of the mule deer taken were adult bucks.
“As an agency, we are not surprised by the high number of archery hunters during a season in which deer gun license numbers were down considerably from previous years,” said Randy Kreil, Game and Fish Department wildlife chief. “Based on the high success rate, the archery harvest may become a significant factor in future deer management, particularly if habitat conditions continue to deteriorate and deer populations remain low.”
The 2013 archery deer season begins Aug. 30 and runs through Jan. 5, 2014.