BISMARCK, N.D. (G&F) – North Dakota wildlife officials say the number of tags issued for the upcoming deer hunt is up by about 10,000.

The Game and Fish Department says about 67,500 deer tags have been issued. Wildlife division chief Jeb Williams says the deer population is trending up in western North Dakota, while the eastern part of the state has been slower from the rough winters of 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Williams says there are fewer acres idled under the federal Conservation Reserve Program than a dozen years ago, which means less habitat.

In 2018, 64% of tag holders harvested a deer, a little below the department’s benchmark of 70%. The season opens at noon Nov. 8 and ends Nov. 24.