The 2021 North Dakota deer season opens at noon Friday, Nov. 5, and runs through Sunday Nov. 21. Legal shooting hours after opening day are a half-hour before sunrise to a half-hour after sunset each day.

While some hunters have been in the field enjoying dove, waterfowl and upland game hunting opportunities, there are many hunters who just hunt deer, and the new electronic posting regulations may not be understood. It’s difficult to address each question and scenario so I suggest taking time to understand the regulations and reading up on the Game and Fish Department website at gf.nd.gov or consulting your local Game and Fish office.

In plain words: This fall, if you see land not posted traditionally, you still must check online to determine if it has been posted electronically.

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There are tools available on the Game and Fish website that hunters can use to determine if land has been electronically posted. These include multiple map applications and digital PDF documents that can be saved to a device or printed for use in the field.

The map apps can be accessed by a computer or smartphone. The apps offer features to identify a point of contact, work offline or without cellular service, and create your own maps. Custom maps provide the ability to turn on other map features, such as deer hunting units and aerial imagery, or zoom into areas to see more detailed information.

A benefit of electronic posting for hunters is that they can determine a valid point of contact when requesting access. The name of the landowner, or authorized person who posted the land, is included on the map apps.

While law requires the name of the person who posted the land to be available to the public, hunters may also find additional contact information such as an email address, phone number and/or alternate point of contact. Hunters should note that point of contact information is not available on printed maps, but only on online apps.

There are two map apps available to find the person who posted land electronically. The PLOTS Guide viewer and ArcGIS Explorer app will show electronically posted lands in dark orange crosshatch. Clicking on the parcel will display the person who posted the land and may include additional contact information.

To determine posting in areas without cellular service, hunters should note there is an app available to upload the statewide PLOTS Guide map. This mobile app does not require cellular service and can work offline.

Once uploaded, this app offers the ability to view your location, lands posted electronically, plus public lands and PLOTS tracts. Another option is to use the digital PDF documents or printable maps.

To be more informed on the latest map updates for public lands, PLOTS and electronically posted lands, click on the “subscribe to news and alerts” link on the department’s website and sign up for mapping updates. Here you will be provided messaging via email or text message as map updates become available.

To access PLOTS interactive guide via desktop computer:

1. Go to gf.nd.gov.

2. On the homepage, click on the Maps link.

3. Click on PLOTS Guide Viewer under Map Resources.

4. Scroll, click and drag to zoom/pan around the map.

5. Locate an electronically posted area, denoted by orange crosshatching.

6. Click on the map feature for more information or use identifying tool.

7. Repeat steps 6-7 for other electronically posted areas.

To access PLOTS interactive guide via mobile phone (with cellular service):

1. Go to gf.nd.gov.

2. On the homepage, tap the compass icon.

3. Locate and tap Map Service Apps.

4. Scroll to bottom, tap PLOTS Guide Viewer.

5. Pinch to zoom and tap to drag around the map.

6. Locate an electronically posted area, denoted by orange crosshatching.

7. Tap on the map feature or use identifying tool.

8. Repeat steps 6-7 for other electronically posted areas.

Leier is an outreach biologist for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. Reach him at dleier@nd.gov.

Doug Leier
Doug Leier