To ease tension between hunters and landowners, the North Dakota state legislature in 2021 passed Senate Bill 2144 that allows electronic posting of private land.

In May 2021, North Dakota Game and Fish implemented the program, giving landowners until July 15. Posted land, physically or electronically, prohibits hunting without getting permission from the landowner.

“We had close to 4 million acres posted (electronically) in the state,” said Game and Fish’s Brian Hosek. “It was distributed pretty evenly across the state.”

This year, Game and Fish has a full signup period for landowners, which started Feb. 1 and runs until July 1. After July 1, 2022, the enrollment period ends, and the posting is good until July 31, 2023. 

“There’s a little more time for folks to try it out and enroll lands, and for people to renew,” said Hosek, who said a little less than half of last year’s acres had already been enrolled by the first week of March. “We have these waves of enrollments come in. It can be hard to predict, but some may wait until the last minute.”

For landowners who want to post their land, Hosek said they can physically post signs or electronically post via the Game and Fish website.

To electronically post, Hosek said landowners should log onto nd.gf.gov, click on “My Account” at the top right and fill in the information. Or simply login if a landowner is already registered. 

“Game and Fish utilizes the state systems that interface with county tax information,” Hosek said. “It’s the same system that already offers Game and Fish online services, where you would purchase hunting and fishing licenses. For those that have used that system, it’ll be familiar ground.”

Landowners need to know the county their land is in, as well as the section, township and range numbers associated with their respective parcel. They’ll also need to input their driver’s license number.

“They’ll search for their parcel and check a box, answer a couple of questions and they’re done,” Hosek said. “The renewal process is even easier. For those that have no changes, they can simply hit the renew button.”

Hosek said reviews from the past year have been positive from hunters and landowners.

“People are doing a little more homework now and intentionally targeting places they want to hunt,” he said.

Electronic posting was debated in numerous legislative sessions the past decade. Hosek said it’s nice to have a working solution that is appreciated by both hunters and landowners.

“We’re in a state that’s primarily privately owned,” he said. “We want to bring (hunters and landowners) together. It’s a relationship that should be mutually beneficial.”

For more information, visit the Game and Fish website at gf.nd.gov.

— By Chris Aarhus, NDFU