BISMARCK, ND – Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) chapters in North Dakota recently sent $28,110 to landowners enrolled in the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s Private Land Open To Sportsmen program. MDF has partnered with the department on the PLOTS program since 2007 and these payments supported public access opportunities on 46,902 acres in 2021. Funding comes from revenue generated through MDF’s annual North Dakota statewide mule deer tag raffle.
“We are proud to be a part of this significant hunter access program here in North Dakota. The Mule Deer Foundation’s PLOTS payments support working ranches in the heart of mule deer country and provide incentives for the landowners to make these private lands available for public access,” said Marshall Johnson, North Dakota Regional Director for MDF. “There is limited public land access in the state, so the PLOTS program is important to ensure sportsmen and women have places to hunt in North Dakota.”
With more than 93% of land in North Dakota held in private ownership, it is essential that the Game and Fish work with private landowners to manage wildlife and wildlife habitat. PLOTS is a component of the Private Land Habitat and Access Improvement Fund program, funded by sales of hunting licenses, interest accrued from the department’s general fund balance, and sales of dedicated tags like the North Dakota statewide mule deer tag. The goal of the PLOTS program is to provide public access for hunting on private land. All PLOTS tracts are open to walk-in public hunting access during all legal hunting seasons, or as signed.
“We work closely with these landowners to improve habitat on their properties and the access these landowners provide allows many sportsmen and women to have terrific hunting opportunities,” concluded Johnson.
Raffle ticket sales for MDF’s 2022 North Dakota statewide mule deer tag will open again in January.
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.