North Dakota’s 2019 pronghorn hunting season is set, with 1,330 licenses available in 12 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 1,075 licenses and had 10 open units.
“Our recently completed aerial survey indicated the pronghorn population is up 4 percent from last year,” Stillings said. “A combination of milder winter conditions since 2010-11, closed seasons from 2010-13, and improved fawn production and survival since 2013 have resulted in the population reaching a level that is able to support a higher harvest this fall.”
While the overall population is similar to last year, Stillings said numbers increased to a level able to support harvest in two key units in the northern badlands.
“Hunting units 1D and 10A will be open for the fist time since 2009,” Stillings said. “Pronghorn have also increased in hunting Unit 4A, where doe/fawn licenses will be issued 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 similar to last year and equal to the long-term average. The buck-to-doe ratio of 38 bucks per 100 does remains stable and above the population objective, Stillings said.
A total of 110 licenses are available in unit 1A, 115 in 1D, 90 in 2A, 60 in 2B, 20 in 3A, 115 in 3B, 425 in 4A, 50 in 4C, 70 in 5A, 160 in 6A, 75 in 7A and 40 in 10A. All licenses are valid for any pronghorn, except in 4A where 100 of the 425 are allocated for doe/fawn.
In addition, in accordance with state law five licenses are allocated to eligible organizations.
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 Aug. 30 (noon) – Sept. 22. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow in the unit printed on the license.
From Oct. 4 (noon) – Oct. 20, 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 2019 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 2019 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.
Applicants who do not have access to a computer can submit the application at a public service location such as a public library, stop at a Game and Fish office, or request help from a friend, relative or neighbor.
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, 2019. The deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 7.