BISMARCK – A bill that would allow deer hunters to shoot deer for others has been introduced in the North Dakota legislature.
Known as the “party hunting” bill, HB 1377 would allow hunting groups of up to 10 license holders to harvest 10 deer without regard to who actually shoots each deer. Current regulations require that each individual deer tag owner harvests their own animal.
The number of deer licenses available in North Dakota is based on several factors, including deer population and known hunter success. Party hunting will likely increase the number of deer gun licenses filled, which could lead to a reduced number of licenses being issued.
“It will change hunter success, and since we have a low number of permits, in the long run, we’ll have to reduce license allocation,” said Scott Peterson, North Dakota Game and Fish deputy director. “It also affects the lottery. Now you maybe have people who didn’t have an interest in shooting their own deer applying for a license. We already have unsuccessful people in the lottery and this is going to make it worse.”
Rep. Dawson Holle, R-Dis. 31, Mandan, is one of five sponsors of HB 1377. He responded to a request from The Dakotan regarding the bill.
“I believe if you have a set amount of tags that were given and you should be able to fill them rather if its solo or with a party,” wrote Holle. “Party hunting has pros and cons like any subject, but I see more pros that can help North Dakota.”
The bill has been referred to the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee. No hearing date has been set.
Here is the main text of HB 1377:
SECTION 3. A new section to chapter 20.1-05 of the North Dakota Century Code is created and enacted as follows:
Any member of a party of ten or fewer may take or kill the number of deer which is equal to the number of valid deer licenses held by the participating members of the party. Each person in the party must hold a valid combination license to be eligible to party hunt.