May 28, 2023

Getting Communities Involved In Hunting

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North Dakota is undertaking a program that they hope will give communities an incentive to get involved in hunting. A relatively new program called PLOTS, Private Lands Open To Sportsmen, allows the state to pay landowners if they keep their land open to hunting. This program was instituted when virtually no private lands were available to hunt on. Guides and hunting clubs were buying up all available leases on private lands for their own business uses. Now, land owners can receive payment by keeping their lands open.

With this program came some problems. One of them being shutting out the non-resident hunter – at least for the early part of the hunting season. Some communities were complaining that this was hurting their local economy because of lack of non-resident dollars.

A new program called the Community Match Program allows local groups, such as chamber of commerces, city councils or wildlife groups, to contribute enough money to the PLOTS program, to make lands open for non-resident hunters.

This program was approved by North Dakota lawmakers last year. Next year they will revisit the program to see if it is working or not and what to do with it.

More than 2,000 landowners have opened up 855,000 acres of land to public hunting throught the PLOTS program.

Tom Remington