Being a North Dakota sports hero has become much more lucrative

FARGO — Roger Maris was coming off back-to-back American League Most Valuable Player awards and just finished a season in which he hit a record 61 home runs, yet still found himself scraping for every dollar from the vault of the New York Yankees. Maris, according to New York Times reports, made about $18,000 in 1960 and, after a season in which he belted 39 home runs and batted in 112 runs to win the MVP, received a massive raise to $37,500 in 1961. That was the season Maris made history, hitting his 61st homer at Yankee Stadium on the final day of the regular season to eclipse the coveted mark of 60 set by Babe Ruth. Maris also drove in 141 runs and scored 132 himself, winning the MVP voting by a shade over teammate Mickey Mantle. For his output and contribution to another Yankees’ World Series title, Maris wanted to be paid his worth. So he and general manager Roy Hamey spent the offseason haggling over the slugger’s 1962 contract. This was long before baseball free agency, so players negotiated deals yearly. They had very little leverage, even coming off a 61-homer season. Word in New York was that Maris was demanding a 100-percent salary increase. Helping Maris’ case, at least in terms of contract comparison, was that Mantle signed in December for $85,000. That topped the $80,000 maximum Ruth made decades earlier, but fell short of the $100,000 top salary the great Joe DiMaggio made in the 1950s, according to the Times. Maris didn’t double his salary as he had hoped. After a protracted back-and-forth, he finally signed on Feb. 26, 1962, for $70,000 and opened spring training with Yankees in Florida two days later. It was the highest raise, percentage-wise, in club history at that point. The two-time MVP and all-time single-season home run record holder signed for a salary, adjusted for inflation, equal to $592,000 in 2019 dollars. That’s good money, but it’s not wealth. Maris’ big pay off came in 1968 when Anheuser Busch gave Maris and his brother Rudy a distributorship when Roger retired from the St. Louis Cardinals, which the brewery owned at the time. The Florida distributorship provided the Marises with a very comfortable existence while the family owned it, and even moreso when they lost it. The family won a $120 million defamation settlement from Anheuser Busch in 2005 after the brewer terminated its contract with the Marises, claiming the family’s business practices were deficient. Roger Maris remains North Dakota’s No. 1 sports hero, but he could never claim to be the best paid. Even if Roger had lived to see the big settlement (he died in 1985), he couldn’t make that claim. Carson Wentz, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback via Bismarck Century and North Dakota State, owns that title. Probably for a long, long time. Wentz agreed to a four-year contract extension with the Eagles this week worth $128 million. Of that, $66 million is said to be guaranteed at the signing of the contract with another $41 million guaranteed after the 2022 season. It’s not like Wentz wasn’t already wealthy. His original contract after being drafted No. 2 overall in 2016 was four years, $26.7 million. The Eagles picked up his option for 2020, worth $22.8 million. So by the time Wentz hits his extension in 2021, he’ll have earned nearly $50 million in salary already. If Wentz is paid all the money available in his current contract and his extension, he will have earned about $177.5 million by the time he’s 32 years old. Just in salary. Not counting endorsements or other deals. Sports fans have become numb to the dollar figures used in professional sports these days. But $177.5 million is an astounding figure, even if it seems like Monopoly money with all the huge contracts being tossed around. Look at this way: $177.5 million in 1962 would be worth $1.5 billion today. Wentz has yet to achieve Maris’ success on the field, but the Eagles are betting he will. And Wentz didn’t even have to fight for the cash like Maris did. The Eagles gave it to him, based on the relatively limited body of work they’ve seen and what they project him to be. Good for him. What a country. But it does illustrate how dramatically things have changed for North Dakota heroes and other pro athletes. After getting his “big” contract in 1962, Maris had what was considered a substandard season for him. The question he faced for 1963 was whether the Yankees were going to cut his salary. They did not, instead giving him the same $70,000 salary. “It has never been the policy of the Yankees to cut a top-flight player who happened to have an off season,” Hamey the GM told the New York Times. An “off season” for Maris constituted 33 home runs, 34 doubles and 100 RBIs in 157 games. The Yankees won the World Series again. That seems like it’s worth more $592,000 in today’s dollars.

Mandan receiver becomes UND football’s first 2020 commit

GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota football program stayed in-state to land its first verbal commitment of the 2020 recruiting class.
Mandan wide receiver Elijah Klein announced his commitment Tuesday morning.
The 6-foot-7, 205-pound senior-to-be led the state in receiving yards by more than 300. En route to all-state, first-team honors, Klein caught 41 balls for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Klein, who might see time at tight end for UND, became the first Mandan player in program history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in a season. The Braves finished the year 6-4, losing to Fargo Davies in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
Also a standout basketball player, Klein led the Braves by averaging 19.8 points and a conference-best 12.1 rebounds per game.
Klein said his decision to chose UND was a result of the UND coaching staff’s recruiting efforts.
“Probably just the effort and interest the coaching staff showed, contacting me and asking how things were going,” Klein said.
Klein said he was recruited by UND head coach Bubba Schweigert, defensive coordinator Eric Schmidt and offensive coordinator Danny Freund.
Schmidt is a former Mandan standout himself.
Klein already has one friend on the team in former Brave Trae Steckler, a redshirt freshman tight end for the Fighting Hawks. Steckler and Klein were football and basketball teammates at Mandan.
“He said all good things and not just about the football part,” Klein said.
The 2019 season will be UND’s last playing a Big Sky Conference schedule before transitioning to the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020.
“I like being able to set the standard and build a good team and make some big runs,” Klein said of the Valley. “I think that’s a great thing to be in a competitive league and compete against NDSU.”

NELSON: New UND coach charged with making men’s basketball a big deal again

GRAND FORKS — The distance between Aberdeen, S.D., and Fargo is roughly 200 miles. It’s the same distance between Aberdeen and Sioux Falls, S.D.
That geographical description underscores the fact that 23,388 residents of the Hub City have to drive a fair distance to take advantage of what bigger cities offer.
It also helps explain why Northern State basketball is a big deal in Aberdeen. Basketball at Wachs Arena is the big ticket in town. With that, however, comes the expectation of winning.
And no one knows that better than Paul Sather, the former Northern State coach who was introduced as the 19th coach in University of North Dakora men’s basketball history Monday, June 3, at The Betty.
“The pressure at Northern is to win,” said Sather, who was 188-75 in Aberdeen the past nine years — including a Division II national runner-up finish in 2018. “That’s what you do at Northern. You have to and that’s what makes that place special. There is an expectation there. You’re getting sometimes 5,000, 6,000 fans in the building and those fans love it.”
Now, the question is whether Sather can take UND basketball to the level of success he had at Northern State.
The fact that UND athletic director Bill Chaves tabbed a Division II coach to run a Division I program that is trying to become a player in the Summit League perhaps raised some eyebrows among the aging UND fan base.
But it shouldn’t.
Good coaches win wherever they go. Sather won at NAIA Black Hills State before taking control at Division II Northern. His programs have been successful on and off the court. And he’s largely pleased an engaging fan base — something that does not exist as much as it used to at UND.
“Good programs are good programs,” said Sather. “If you can run a high-level Division II program, there is a lot of carry over. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen and it’s going to be easy. You need some things to break and you need some momentum. But that’s the formula we’ve used. It’s been good and I don’t want to stray far from that.”
But Sather knows the success window closes a bit with each move up the coaching ladder.
“Every time you move up a level, the recruiting narrows a little bit,” he said. “There are not as many kids in that pool that you can recruit. When I went from NAIA to DII, the pool shrinks. When you go from DII to DI, the pool shrinks some more.
“It doesn’t change the fact that you have to find the right pieces. But I don’t think you have to change your system. You have to be ready to adapt and figure it out with the best personnel you can find.”
And that’s what Sather has done throughout his coaching career.
Sather’s introductory press conference perhaps had as much buzz as any at UND in the Division I era. The lobby of the Betty was nearly full, with UND backers, fans and media.
But what made the day special was the return of two UND basketball icons — former coaches Rich Glas and Dave Gunther.
If you look at it, Sather’s path to UND was much like that of Glas and Gunther. Granted, it was in a different era of basketball, but both Glas and Gunther came from smaller programs and both produced winning programs at UND — for years.
Gunther came to UND from Wayne (Neb.) State while Glas was the head coach at Minnesota-Morris and Willamette, Ore., before coming to UND.
Glas said he has followed Sather’s career and likes the hire.
“Like Paul said, the biggest thing is that you have to relate to your players,” said Glas. “In the end, it’s all about the relationships you’re able to develop with your players and the people in the community. You want to make sure those are strong.”
If Sather continues on the path he has carved since 2005, there is hope that UND basketball will someday perhaps have the intensity it did back in the Glas and Gunther eras.
To be fair, UND basketball — in the Division I era — has had moderate success under former coach Brian Jones.
The question now is whether Sather can build upon that success and re-energize the program’s fan base and make The Betty the hottest place in town on another dark, cold Grand Forks winter night.

How UND athletic director Bill Chaves picked new basketball coach Paul Sather

GRAND FORKS — When former men’s basketball coach Brian Jones announced his departure May 1, University of North Dakota athletic director Bill Chaves didn’t know Paul Sather personally.
There was only one minor connection. Two years ago, Chaves watched the NCAA Division II national championship game in Sioux Falls, S.D., where Sather’s Northern State team lost 71-69 to Ferris State.
On Monday, after Sather was introduced as UND’s next head men’s basketball coach during a press conference at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center, Chaves detailed the process that made Sather go from unknown to the fourth UND head coach in the last 49 years and just the second in the school’s NCAA Division-I era.
Chaves, who was hired to UND from Eastern Washington in January of 2018, started his highest-profile coaching search in Grand Forks to date by reaching out to some of the biggest names in UND basketball history: former coaches Rich Glas and Dave Gunther and former star player Phil Jackson.
Glas and Gunther were in attendance Monday at the Betty.
During what Chaves called the “dead period” between when the job was posted and the deadline to apply, he texted back-and-forth with Jackson.
“It was more philosophical in nature,” Chaves said. “It was more about fits and how a coach coaches his team and what to look for with this and that.”
Chaves also had two phone calls with Glas and one with Gunther.
With background on the program, Chaves used that information throughout the search because as the process plays out, he doesn’t want to reach out to anybody.
“If you reach out to one, you have to reach out to everybody,” he said.
There was also input gathered on campus. Quickly after Jones’ decision to leave for an assistant job at Illinois State, Chaves met with the UND team to explain the hiring process.
At that point, Chaves asked the remaining players what characteristics they would like in the next head coach.
“They were incredibly thoughtful,” Chaves said. “I thought that was a real help. They’re the ones in that locker room. Having said that, this is a longer-arcing issue. It’s not just about these guys but what comes after them. But they’re sitting in that chair today.”
In a bit of a unique move, Chaves elected not to use a search firm — which can offer a variety of services during the hiring process. As a veteran athletic department employee, Chaves knows search firms well and said at least a half dozen of them approached him to offer services.
But Chaves elected to keep the entirety of the process internal, just as he’s done throughout his career.

UND to vet assistant hockey coach candidates

GRAND FORKS — The University of North Dakota will now be able to dig into the applicants for its vacant assistant coaching position.
The job posting closed Friday, May 10, after being open for two weeks.
The unique part about this posting is that, unlike the last two times an assistant coach position was open in 2011 and 2015, it was clearly not written with any one person in mind.
The job posting did not clarify whether the new hire will be asked to work with forwards, defensemen or goaltenders. It also did not specify whether the new hire will be asked to run one of the special teams units, the power play or penalty kill (outgoing assistant Matt Shaw coached the forwards and power play).
UND head coach Brad Berry clearly is casting a wide net for applicants this time around and is expected to field a large number of candidates with many different backgrounds, including those with pro, college and junior hockey experience.
Because of new open record laws in North Dakota, the applicants are not public record. Just the finalists have to be disclosed.
UND has not discussed a timeline for making a hire.
Often times, schools meet with potential candidates at the national coaching convention in late April in Florida. However, there are no indications whether Berry did that or not.
Poolman named Team MVP
UND announced its team award winners Thursday night.
Junior defenseman Colton Poolman, who was a finalist for the National Collegiate Hockey Conference’s player of the year honor, was named UND’s team MVP.
He’s the second person in his family to win the award. Colton’s brother, Tucker, was named UND’s team MVP during the 2016-17 season.
Poolman, the team’s captain, had five goals and 17 points in 35 games.
Other recent team MVPs have been Christian Wolanin (2017-18), Drake Caggiula (2015-16), Zane McIntyre (2014-15), Dillon Simpson (2013-14), Corban Knight (2012-13), Brock Nelson (2011-12), Matt Frattin (2010-11), Chris VandeVelde (2009-10), Ryan Duncan (2006-07 and 2008-09) and Jean-Philippe Lamoureux (2007-08).
Poolman also won the Archie Krum Memorial Scholarship as a player who demonstrates leadership qualities, high academic standards and athletic excellence. It was the second year in a row that Poolman won the Archie Krum. The last player to win it more than once was Chay Genoway, who won it four times in a row.
Goalie Adam Scheel was named the rookie of the year, rookie Mark Senden was named the team’s most improved player, rookies Senden and Jacob Bernard-Docker shared the Tom Hoghaug Memorial Scholarship as freshmen who demonstrate initiative, character and a sense of responsibility and Cole Smith won the Cliff ‘Fido’ Purpur Award as a player who exemplifies hard work, determination and being a creator of excitement on the ice.
Jordan Kawaguchi, who led the team in scoring, was named the coaches’ unsung hero.
Men’s World Championship begins
The Men’s World Championship, featuring Troy Stecher, Christian Wolanin and Dave Hakstol, is underway in Slovakia.
Hakstol is serving as an assistant coach for Canada, while Stecher, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks, will be one of Canada’s defensemen.
Canada opened Friday against Finland. Its other preliminary-round games are against Great Britain (1:15 p.m. Sunday), Slovakia (1:15 p.m. Monday), France (9:15 a.m. Thursday), Germany (9:15 a.m., May 18), Denmark (1:15 p.m., May 20) and the United States (1:15 p.m., May 21).
Wolanin, who played for the Ottawa Senators this season, is playing defense for the Americans, who are sending one of their best squads ever to this event.
The U.S. opened against Slovakia on Friday. Its other preliminary-round games are against France (5:15 a.m. Sunday), Finland (9:15 a.m. Monday), Great Britain (9:15 a.m. Wednesday), Denmark (5:15 a.m., May 18), Germany (9:15 a.m., May 19) and Canada (1:15 p.m., May 21).
Hakstol earned a silver medal in his last trip to Worlds in 2017, when he served as an assistant coach for Canada.
The last UND player to medal at Worlds was Brock Nelson in 2015, when he won a bronze with the U.S. The last UND player to win a gold at Worlds was Jonathan Toews for Team Canada in 2007.
signs in Salzburg
Former Grand Forks Central and UND standout goaltender Jean-Philippe Lamoureux has signed with Salzburg in Austria’s top league, according to reports.
Lamoureux spent the last three seasons with Vienna in a league where he has won more regular-season and playoff games than any goaltender of all-time.
Lamoureux’s save percentage has been better than .916 for all eight years in the league.
REA holding equipment sale
Ralph Engelstad Arena is holding an equipment sale this weekend in the Olympic Arena during The Hockey Academy’s youth hockey tournament. The sale will run from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. today and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.
Among the items for sale will be new and used sticks, gloves, new and used practice jerseys, socks, apparel, breezers and some goalie gear.
Those interested in the sale are asked to enter through the Olympic Arena doors on the northwest side of the building.
Nelson ranked
as a top free agent
Former Warroad (Minn.) High and UND star Brock Nelson is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli ranked Nelson as the No. 8 unrestricted free agent on the market this summer.
Nelson has spent his entire NHL career with the New York Islanders. He has played in 480 regular-season games, scoring 124 goals and 241 points. Last season, Nelson tallied 25 goals and a career-high 53 points for the Islanders, who reached the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

UND men’s basketball coach accepts Illinois State job

GRAND FORKS — The only head men’s basketball coach the University of North Dakota has known in the Division I era is leaving Grand Forks.
Fighting Hawks coach Brian Jones has accepted the associate head coaching position at Illinois State.
Jones, 48, spent 13 seasons leading UND. The Rock Island, Ill., native, hired before the 2006-07 season, has a 190-217 (.467 winning percentage) career mark.
UND announced that assistant Steve Grabowski will serve as the interim coach while the school conducts a national search for a new head coach.
Jones is the second coach with an office at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center to leave UND in the past 10 days. Fighting Hawks volleyball coach Mark Pryor announced in late April his plans to take a Division III job in Texas.
Jones told his team at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“It was very emotional for me,” Jones said. “After 13 years, that’s the thing — I feel good because I left my heart out there.”
UND athletic director Bill Chaves didn’t respond to a message seeking comment. A UND spokesman said Chaves was traveling back to Grand Forks from hockey meetings in Florida and was unavailable.
Jones said the decision came down to family. In Normal, Ill., Jones will be closer to his extended family in Iowa, and he’ll have a chance to make shorter recruiting trips than are possible from Grand Forks.
Jones is married with three kids.
“I lost my father when I was 8 and when I became a father, I promised to be visible in their lives,” Jones said. “My kids won’t be in the house much longer, and I really struggled this year with missing so many of my kids’ games.”
Illinois State coach Dan Muller and Jones have been friends for years, Jones said.
Jones also said he’d still like to be a head coach down the road.
This will leave a rare vacancy atop the UND men’s basketball program. Since Dave Gunther was hired as the head coach in 1970, the job has only been open twice in the last 49 years.
Gunther coached for 18 years. He was followed by Rich Glas, who also coached 18 years from 1988-2006 before giving way to Jones.
Jones is fourth all-time in wins in program history behind Glas (335), Gunther (332) and Clem Letich (224).
“Anytime someone invests over a decade as a head coach at one school in this day and age, it is a tremendous upset but coach Jones did that and more,” Chaves said in a statement. “He took us from Division II to Division I, independent status, and then three D-I conferences all the while doing with integrity and hard work. Brian will always be the coach that took us to the ‘Big Dance’ for the first time and we will always be appreciative and thankful for that. We wish him and his family nothing but the best moving forward.”
Jones’ best season was the 2016-17 campaign in which the Fighting Hawks went 22-10 overall, 14-4 in the Big Sky Conference and advanced to the school’s first NCAA Division I Tournament behind the core play of Quinton Hooker, Geno Crandall and Drick Bernstine. Jones was named the Big Sky Coach of the Year that season.
Jones led UND through four different conference affiliations and a change in divisions. When he was hired, UND played in the North Central Conference in NCAA Division II, then moved to the hodgepodge Great West Conference (2008-12) during the school’s Division I infancy. The Big Sky Conference (2012-18) followed the Great West and finally the Fighting Hawks landed in the Summit League (2018-19).
Jones, who played at Northern Iowa, came to UND after assistant coaching stints at Nebraska Omaha, Southwest Missouri State and Iowa.
After advancing to the NCAA tournament, Jones signed a contract extension in the summer of 2017. The four-year contract extension started with a base salary of $140,000.
“This place has been special to many, and it has allowed me to live my dream,” Jones said. “I gave my heart and soul to UND and will be forever grateful for the people and the memories made here.”

Former UND cornerback Harris nets rookie camp invites from Packers, Redskins

By Tom Miller
Forum News Service

GRAND FORKS — When the NFL draft ended Saturday, April 27, former University of North Dakota cornerback Deion Harris was a little nervous about not hearing much.
“It was quiet,” Harris said. “I thought maybe it was over, but then I figured some team might take a chance. Right after that, I heard from the Packers and then the Redskins called. It was probably a matter of 10-15 minutes after the draft.”
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Harris, who suffered a brutal Achilles injury that wiped out his entire 2017 season, has accepted invitations to the rookie minicamps of both the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Redskins.
Harris will leave Thursday to attend the Packers’ minicamp on Friday. If Green Bay doesn’t offer a contract, he’ll attend Redskins minicamp.
“I feel good about it,” Harris said. “It’s exciting. I’m going to go there and work hard. There’s always something to prove. Even the top guys in the league are trying to prove something. I’m going to do the same thing.”
Through his agent, Harris had heard from the Packers and Redskins throughout the process and wasn’t surprised by those teams’ interest.
“I’m excited for what’s coming up,” Harris said. “I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
Harris finished last season with 27 tackles and one interception.
In 2016, Harris had a breakout season that put him on the NFL radar and even saw early 2018 mock drafts planting him as a first-day selection.
In 2016, he was an All-American and first team all-Big Sky Conference pick. He had five interceptions and led the FCS by returning three of those back for scores.
Harris wasn’t the only former Fighting Hawk to make moves on Sunday following the draft. Former UND running back John Santiago and nose guard Tank Harris plan to attend Minnesota Vikings rookie minicamp, Fighting Hawks running backs coach Malcolm Agnew confirmed Sunday afternoon.
Harris, a 6-foot-3 Chicago native, had 18 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss in 2018. In 2017, Harris was a second team all-Big Sky Conference defensive lineman.
Santiago was a three-time All-American as four-year star for the Hawks. The 5-foot-9 Andover, Minn., native, ran for 3,722 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Fighting Hawks. He also had 325 receiving yards and a touchdown, 2,186 kick return yards and a touchdown and 334 punt return yards and a touchdown.

NDSU names Kansas assistant as next head women’s basketball coach

By Jeff Kolpack
Forum News Service

FARGO — Jory Collins was a successful head women’s basketball coach at the NCAA Division II level. North Dakota State is banking he can do the same thing in Division I.
The Bison named the University of Kansas assistant as the school’s next head coach on Monday, April 29. He’ll be in charge of bringing a once-proud program back to being a contender again.
Collins just finished his first season as the Jayhawks’ assistant after spending eight seasons as the head coach at Emporia State (Kan.). He led the Lady Hornets to seven 20-win seasons and six trips to the NCAA Division II tournament. He was an assistant in 2010 when Emporia won a national championship.
Collins was one of four finalists along with Denver assistant Kayla Ard, Drake assistant Allison Pohlman and Nebraska assistant Chuck Love. None of those three had head coaching experience. NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen said in a university release that the pool of candidates was “very competitive and deep.”
“Not only am I excited about his past experience as both a head coach and a high-level assistant,” Larsen said, “but his passion and template for success are undeniable.”
Since Amy Ruley retired from coaching in 2008, the Bison have struggled. Carolyn DeHoff was 72-105 in six seasons and Maren Walseth was 40-105 in five years. NDSU and Walseth agreed to part ways in March with Walseth having a year left on her contract. Since joining the Summit League in 2008-09, NDSU has won just one postseason tournament game.
“You always want to be at a place where the expectations are as high as your own,” Collins said in a statement. “I’m excited for the opportunity to help return NDSU women’s basketball to the status the fan base deserves.”
The Bison won five NCAA Division II titles in the 1990s.
The 40-year-old Collins was at Emporia for a total of 12 seasons. His head coaching record was 199-56 with five straight Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association titles and six straight trips to the Division II Sweet 16. His best season was 2015 when the Lady Hornets 29-5 and advanced to the Final Four.
In the classroom, Emporia had the top Division II team grade point average in 2017 with an average of 3.72. Collins earned his degree in education from Emporia in 2002 and a master’s in school leadership in 2006.
He’ll be introduced to the public in a press conference Tuesday afternoon, but he already briefly addressed the returning Bison players on Monday morning.
“Basketball is something you do, it’s not really who you are,” Collins said on the NDSU Twitter account. “Who you are is much more about what kind of person you are.”

2018 deer season summarized

A total of 48,717 North Dakota deer hunters took approximately 31,350 deer during the 2018 deer gun hunting season, according to a post-season survey conducted by the state Game and Fish Department.
Game and Fish made available 55,150 deer gun licenses last year. Overall hunter success was 64 percent, with each hunter spending an average of 4.4 days in the field.
Hunter success for both antlered and antlerless white-tailed deer was 64 percent. Mule deer buck success was 81 percent, and antlerless mule deer was 83 percent.
Hunters with any-antlered or any-antlerless licenses generally harvest white-tailed deer, as these licenses are predominantly in units with mostly whitetails. Buck hunters had a success rate of 69 percent, while doe hunters had a success rate of 65 percent.
Game and Fish issued 13,098 gratis licenses in 2018, and 10,785 hunters harvested 5,832 deer, for a success rate of 54 percent.
A total of 1,022 muzzleloader licenses were issued in 2018, and 900 hunters harvested 349 white-tailed deer (176 antlered, 173 antlerless). Hunter success was 39 percent.
A record 28,824 archery licenses (26,318 resident, 2,506 nonresident) were issued in 2018. In total, 22,666 bow hunters harvested 8,914 deer (7,927 whitetails, 987 mule deer), for a success rate of 39 percent.
The department is in the process of determining recommendations for licenses in 2019. In addition to harvest rates and winter aerial surveys, Game and Fish staff monitor other population indices to determine license numbers, including depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.


Wednesday – Lake Darling opens for boat fishing.
Wednesday – Paddlefish snagging season opens.
May 11 – Pheasants for the Future Fishing Derby, New Town Marina, 720-6510.
May 11 – Souris River Basin Longbeards Lake Darling Fishing Derby, 721-5546.
May 12 – AIM Fishing Derby, Four Bears Marina, 920-505-0122.
May 18 – Full moon, 4:12 p.m.
May 18 – Shane Shipman Memorial Fishing Derby, Buffalo Lodge Lake, 720-3556.
May 18 – Badlands Bass Bandits Tourney, Nelson Lake, 6:30 a.m.
May 18 – Bis-Man Reel & Rec 38th Annual Walleye Derby, Missouri River, Graner Bottoms, 400-4395.
May 18 – Lake Region Anglers Northern/Walleye Derby, Creel Bay, Devils Lake, 351-0433.
May 31-June 1 – AIM Weekend Walleye Tourney, 920-505-0122.
June 1 – Lake Region Anglers East Bay Walleye Derby, 351-0433.
June 7-8 – Van Hook Classic Walleye Tourney, Van Hook, 629-0080.
June 8 – Badlands Bass Bandits Tourney, New Johns Lake, 6:30 a.m.
June 8 – Spirit Lake Casino Devils Lake Open,766-4747.
June 15 – Lake Region Anglers Devils Lake Open, Six Mile Bay, 351-0433.
June 16 – AIM Fishing Derby, Lake Audubon, Totten Trail, 920-505-0122.
June 21-22 – Devils Lake Chamber Walleye Tourney, Grahams Island State Park, 662-4903.
June 22 – ND Adult & Teen Challenge Walleye Derby, Parshall Bay, 667-2131.
June 29 – Badlands Bass Bandits Tourney, Spiritwood Lake, 6:30 a.m.
June 29 – Red River Valley Catfish Club, Scheels Boundary Battle, 739-5808.
June 30 – AIM Fishing Derby, Lake Sakakawea State Park, 920-505-0122,
June 17 – Full moon, 3:32 a.m.
July 13 – Badlands Bass Bandits Tourney, Lake Oahe, Mobridge, SD, 6:30 a.m.
July 13 –Van Hook Association Kid’s Fishing Derby, 240-8320.
July 14 – AIM Fishing Derby, Lake Oahe, 920-505-0122.
July 16 – Full moon, 4:39 p.m.
July 19-20 – ND Governor’s Cup Walleye Cup, Ft. Stevenson State Park, 897-1221.
July 20 – Friends of Parshall Bay Walleye Derby, 260-7890.
July 21 – Lake Region Anglers Adult/Child Derby, 351-0433.
July 26-27 – Dakota Walleye Classic, Beulah Bay, 873-4585.
July 27 – Badlands Bass Bandits Tourney, New Town Marina, 6:30 a.m.
Aug. 2-3 – AIM Weekend Walleye Series, Devils Lake, 351-0433.