Hunting

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The vast prairies of the Dakota Prairie Grasslands is open for public hunting under state rules and regulations.  Whether you like to hunt waterfowl over decoys in the wetlands of the Sheyenne, hunt deer and elk in the badlands of the Little Missouri or watch your dog pointing a sharptail grouse in the rolling prairies of the Grand River and Cedar River National Grasslands, endless opportunities await you.  Please select a grassland to get more information about hunting in that area.

National Grasslands are open for public hunting under the North Dakota Game and Fish or the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks regulations.

  • Tree stands are allowed and may be placed for durations consistent with the time Periods provided in the ND Game and Fish Deer Hunting Guide (currently Aug. 20 to Jan. 31). However, trees must not be damaged by thins such as nailing, cutting of limbs, or use of screw in steps or spikes. Stands and steps not removed by January 31, 2017, are considered abandoned property and are subject to removal and confiscation by the United States Forest Service. Tree stands left unattended on national Forest System lands require an identification tag displaying the owner's name, address and telephone number.
  • Hunting over bait on National Forest System lands in porhibited. Hunting over bait is defined as the placement and/or use of bait(s) for attracting big game and other wildlife to a specific location for the purpose of hunting. Baits include but are not limited to grains, minerals, salts, fruits, vegetables, hay or other natural or manufactured foods.

If you will be using a motorized vehicle, be aware that there is a policy on the Dakota Prairie Grasslands that confines motorized vehicles (except snowmobiles) to approved roads and trails only. This includes the Little Missouri, Sheyenne, Grand River and Cedar River National Grasslands and Denbigh Experimental Forest.

Previously, big game hunters could retrieve animals by driving off-trail on untraveled terrain. Campers and waterfowl hunters could also drive off-trail to reach favored locations. However, effective July 1, 2001, off-trail driving is no longer allowed, except for limited administrative or management purposes.

For the Little Missouri National Grasslands, current policy confines motorized vehicles (except snowmobiles) to existing roads and trails only. Guidelines in determining an existing trail under the new travel policy include:

  • A two-track trail with bare dirt in the wheel tracks and grass in the middle.
  • Vehicles may travel on existing routes where plants grow in obvious wheel depressions.
  • ATVs may drive within a two-track road or trail, if the road is wider than the vehicle.
  • Vehicles of any kind may not drive on two-track trails that are narrower than the vehicle.
  • Game and livestock trails are not suitable pathways for motorcycles. Established motorcycle trails are not suitable for four-wheeled types of vehicles.

For the Sheyenne, Grand, and Cedar River National Grasslands and the Denbigh Experimental Forest & Souris Unit, current policy confines motorized vehicles (except snowmobiles) to designated roads and trail.  Maps are available on this website or at the Sheyenne Ranger District and Grand River Ranger District offices. 

More information about OHV guidelines are at any Forest Service office.

SPECIAL NOTE: Weather on the National Grasslands can change in minutes. Always pack proper gear for any eventuality as it can go from +50F to -20F overnight during the hunting seasons.

Areas & Activities


https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/dpg/recreation/hunting