North Dakota’s 2020 pronghorn hunting season is set, with 1,795 licenses available in 15 open units.
Bruce Stillings, big game management supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said license numbers and open units are up from last year, when the department allocated 1,330 licenses and had 12 open units.
The recently completed aerial survey indicated the pronghorn population is up 6% from last year. Stillings said three new hunting units will be open this fall, which includes a unit north of the Missouri River for the first time in more than 25 years.
“Hunting units 8A and 11A will be open for the first time since 2009, and 13A will also be open north of the Missouri River for the first time since 1993,” Stillings said. “In addition, doe/fawn licenses will be issued in units 1A, 2A, 5A, 6A, 7A and 11A to address areas of high pronghorn density and provide additional hunting opportunities.”
Survey results indicate the fawn-to-doe ratio was 61 fawns per 100 does, which was the same as last year and equal to the long-term average. The buck-to-doe ratio of 35 bucks per 100 does remains stable and above the population objective, Stillings said.
Each unit will once again have a season that is split into an early bow-only portion, and a later gun/bow season.
The bow-only portion of the season is from Sept. 4 (noon) – Sept. 27. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow in the unit printed on the license.
From Oct. 2 (noon) – Oct. 18, hunters who still have a valid license can use legal firearms or archery equipment, and again must stay in the assigned unit.
Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply for a 2020 pronghorn license. Hunters who have accumulated bonus points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points, but will not accrue one for next year. However, hunters who do not want a license in 2020 have the option to purchase a bonus point on the application.
Applicants can apply online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or by calling 800-406-6409.
The pronghorn license fee is $30 for ages 16 and older, and $10 for under age 16. Applicants for a pronghorn lottery license must be at least 12 years of age on or before December 31, 2020. The deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 5.
Applicants should note that a general game and habitat license is required when applying. If the applicant has not already purchased one for the 2020-21 season, the license will be added to their cart upon checkout. The applicant has the option of having the general game and habitat license refunded if they are unsuccessful in the lottery.