While North Dakota is the seventeenth largest state in the U.S., it comes in at 48th on the list in terms of population. This means that plenty of open space can be found here, which is good news for the North Dakota wildlife. Viewing the wildlife of North Dakota is best done at the state's wildlife refuges and state parks, and there are plenty of them to choose from. In fact, North Dakota boasts no less than 63 national wildlife refuges, which is more than any other state. You'll have no problem finding a wildlife refuge in North Dakota regardless of where you decide to base yourself, and while hunting and fishing are among the activities that can be enjoyed at them, you can also opt to simply admire the creatures that call them home.
The wildlife of North Dakota includes a number of animal species that you might not be able to readily view back home, such as bison and prairie dogs. White-tailed deer are prevalent in the state, so you're bound to see plenty of them as well when searching for North Dakota wildlife, and other creatures that often make an appearance across the land include muskrats, elk, moose, coyotes, raccoons, bighorn sheep, and red foxes. Birdwatching enthusiasts are encouraged to consider a North Dakota vacation, as hundreds of bird species are known to nest in the state. When visiting a state park or wildlife refuge in North Dakota, some of the birds that you are likely to spot include snow and Canada geese, ducks, sandhill cranes, black-crowned night herons, eared grebes, and various species of songbirds. Finding a wildlife refuge in North Dakota is made easy by the fact that there are so many of them. When visiting Devils Lake, for example, the Lake Alice National Wildlife Refuge is but a short drive away.
The city of Minot, which can be found in the north-central part of the state, offers proximity to some of the largest wildlife refuges in North Dakota, and they include the Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge and the J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge. Heading south of Minot towards Bismarck, the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge is another area refuge that you might consider, and if you're hanging out in Bismarck itself, it's hardly a long drive to the Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Hiking trails and campsites are common at many a wildlife refuge in North Dakota, so you might pass on the area hotels and book a campsite instead.
The state parks in North Dakota also offer an array of hiking trails to choose from, and they range from easy to strenuous, so you can choose accordingly. Viewing North Dakota wildlife while hiking in a state park is easy to do, as numerous kinds of animals inhabit these parks. The top state park in the land is Theodore Roosevelt National Park, which in addition to numerous animals, also boasts the scenic Badlands. Wild horses, longhorn steers, badgers, salamanders, toads, and prairie rattlesnakes are among the creatures that you can expect to see when engaging in some wildlife viewing at Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
You don't necessarily have to visit a wildlife refuge or a state park to observe the wildlife of North Dakota. Often times, viewing animals along the way is common while enjoying a round of golf, for example. Near the city of Jamestown, you can head to the Frontier Village to observe the bison, some of which are of the rare albino variety. Wherever you happen to spot North Dakota wildlife, it's important to keep your distance and respect the animals. Even the smaller wildlife of North Dakota are known to fervently protect themselves and their young, and you won't want to anger any of the larger animals here by getting too close. Heading out on your own to view the wildlife of North Dakota is always an option, but you might also consider booking a guide who can help you identify and learn more about the various species that you will be viewing. However you choose to go, don't forget to bring the camera, as you'll likely have plenty of opportunities to snap photos of an array of intriguing animal species.