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Deer Season Mix-Up

On this date in 1922, hunters greeted the beginning of deer season. Or, rather, they were supposed to. Initially, some had greeted it earlier in the month, on the 10th.

There was a lot of confusion on the point. It had been announced by the Game and Fish Department that the season would begin on November 21st and run through the end of the month -- ten days in keeping with the intent of the law. However, near the beginning of November, an opinion from the Attorney General's office appearing in local newspapers created some confusion. The statement read that the season should run from November 10th to the 30th, in accordance with laws from the 1919 legislative session, but the statement referenced many sections of hunting laws enacted over the years, and ultimately noted that the law had not really changed, but the statement still had an effect.

In Mid-November, the Ward County Independent noted that the chief warden of the first state district at Upham had declared the season opened November 10th and ran through December 1st. So, many hunters in Ward County were already out.

The Washburn Leader also reported, "The deer season opened the 10th of November and the first day found a large number of the local hunters in the woods along the river bottoms."

Yet other papers continued to publish notices that deer season began on the 21st, as per the Game and Fish Department. Consequently, many hunters waited for that ten-day season to begin.

The Pioneer Express in Pembina summed it up well in reports received from Fargo:  "Big game hunters of the state are trying to find out when they are allowed to shoot deer. The state law gives November 21st to 30th as the days for open season, but the attorney general's office gives the opening date as November 10th. A few hunters are starting on trips today, but following an appeal from the game board, which says that if all hunters shoot from November 10th to 30th, practically all deer will be killed off, most hunters are planning to wait until November 21st."

But perhaps the best season was had by a farm family near Mahnomen, Minnesota, who made a deer their pet. Concerned about hunting season, they covered their pet with a red blanket!

That deer was fine. It never left their yard.

Dakota Datebook by Sarah Walker


Grand Forks Herald, December 18, 1922, p3

The Pioneer Express, November 17, 1922, p1

The Ward County Independent, November 9, 1922, p7

The Devils Lake World, November 15, 1922, p1

The Ward County Independent, November 15, 1922, p14

The Washburn Leader, November 17, 1922, p1

The Bismarck Tribune, November 10, 1922, p8

Grand Forks Herald, September 7, 1922, p12

Bismarck Tribune, November 4, 1922, p7

Jamestown Weekly Alert, November 9, 1922, p1

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