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Associated Press, Published November 07 2013

ND outdoors will host fewer deer hunters this year

BISMARCK — North Dakota's deer gun hunting season opens at noon Friday, but a dramatic drop in the state's deer population in recent years means there will be a lot fewer hunters afield.

The state issued only 59,500 licenses this year, the lowest in 30 years. Game and Fish Wildlife Chief Randy Kreil (kryl) says 40,000 hunters tried but failed to get a license.

North Dakota issued a record 149,400 licenses just six years ago. But three straight harsh winters beginning in 2008 took a toll on the deer population.

Some people question if too many doe tags were issued during the good years. Kreil says that during those years Game and Fish heard "loud and clear" from the public that there were too many deer around, leading to the aggressive management.

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