Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Deer Season Set, Online Apps Available

North Dakota’s 2018 deer season is set, with 55,150 licenses available to hunters this fall, 650 more than last year.

In total, antlered mule deer licenses increased by 150 from last year, antlerless mule deer by 550, antlered whitetail by 150 and antlerless whitetail by 150. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department reduced the number of “any antlered” licenses by 100, and reduced “any antlerless” license by 250.

In addition, restricted youth antlered mule deer licenses increased by 15, and muzzleloader licenses remained the same.

As in the past several years, no mule deer doe licenses are available in unit 4A.

North Dakota’s 2018 deer gun season opens Nov. 9 at noon and continues through Nov. 25.

Applicants for regular deer gun, youth and muzzleloader can apply online through the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov, or call 800-406-6409. A service fee is charged for applications made through the 800 number.

Gratis applicants must apply online – the toll-free licensing telephone number is not set up to receive gratis applications. In addition, paper applications are no longer available for any lottery or gratis licenses.

The deadline for applying is June 6.

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.

Gratis applications received on or before the regular deer gun lottery application deadline will qualify for an any-legal-deer license. As per state law, gratis applications received after the deadline will be processed based on licenses remaining after the lottery – generally only antlerless licenses remain.

Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

Spring Turkey Season Set, Apply Online

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is offering 5,655 wild turkey licenses for the spring hunting season, 30 fewer than last year.

Four of the 22 hunting units have more spring licenses than in 2017, eight have fewer and nine remain the same. Unit 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) is again closed in 2018 due to lack of turkeys in the unit.

Spring turkey applicants can apply online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Applications can also be submitted by calling 800-406-6409. Paper applications are no longer available for spring turkey or any other lottery licenses, which also includes moose, elk and sheep; deer gun, pronghorn and swan.

The deadline for applying is Feb. 14.

Successful spring turkey applicants must purchase a 2018-19 hunting license, as last year’s 2017-18 licenses expire March 31. In addition to the spring turkey license, hunters must have a fishing, hunting and furbearer certificate, and a general game and habitat license. Also, hunters ages 16 and older must possess a small game license, or combination license.

First-time spring turkey hunters ages 15 or younger are eligible to receive one spring license valid for the regular hunting season in a specific unit. To be eligible, the youth hunter must be 15 or younger on opening day of spring turkey season, and have never received a spring turkey license in North Dakota.

Spring turkey licenses are available only to North Dakota residents. Per legislation, an additional four spring wild turkey licenses are available to the Outdoor Adventure Foundation and three to the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The spring turkey season opens April 14 and continues through May 20.

Fall Turkey Season Set

 

North Dakota’s fall turkey season is set with 3,510 licenses available to hunters,145 fewer than last year.

Prospective hunters, including gratis applicants, can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the State Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will be available at vendors Aug. 31. The deadline for applying isSept. 7

In addition, applicants can apply by calling the department’s toll-free licensing line,800-406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made over the phone.

Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply in the first lottery. Nonresidents can apply for fall turkey licenses that are still available following the first lottery.

Hunting units 21 (Hettinger and Adams counties) and 53 (Divide and Williams counties) will remain closed to fall turkey hunting in 2016 because of low turkey numbers.

The fall wild turkey season extends from Oct. 8 through Jan. 8, 2017.

Wild turkeys ND badlands photo by Craig Bihrle, ND Game and Fish

Pronghorn Applications Due Aug. 3

Prospective pronghorn hunters are reminded the deadline to apply for the 2016 hunting season is Aug. 3.

under fence

Applicants can apply online by visiting the North Dakota Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov, or by calling 800-406-6409. Paper applications are available for printing off the website, and from license vendors.

A total of 730 licenses are available in seven open units – 1A, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A and 4C. All licenses are valid for any pronghorn.

The bow-only portion of the season is from Sept 2 (noon) – Sept. 25. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow in the unit printed on the license.

From Sept. 30 (noon) – Oct.16, 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 2016 pronghorn license. People who have accumulated bonus points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points.

Pronghorn Hunting Season Set

North Dakota’s 2016 pronghorn hunting season is set, with 730 licenses available in seven open units, according to Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department.

antelope running

Along with units 3B, 4A and 4C, which were the only open units in 2015, units 1A, 2A, 2B and 3A will hold a limited number of licenses.

“Overall, our pronghorn numbers are up 34 percent from last year, with better fawn production of 66 fawns per 100 does compared to 52 per 100 in 2015,” Williams said. “With an average winter, the foundation is set for an even larger increase next year as many other units are doing well and are close to opening with the observed population levels. But we are continuing to be conservative to ensure steady population growth throughout the pronghorn range.”

A total of 110 licenses are available in 1A, 60 in 2A, 40 in 2B, 35 in 3A, 110 in 3B, 300 in 4A and 75 in 4C. All licenses are valid for any pronghorn.

Similar to last year, each unit will 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 2 (noon) – Sept. 25. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow in the unit printed on the license.

From Sept. 30 (noon) – Oct.16, hunters who still have a valid license can use legal firearms or bow equipment, and again must stay in the assigned unit.

Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply for a 2016 pronghorn license. Williams said people who have accumulated bonus points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points.

In addition, state law allows youth who turn age 12 on or before December 31, 2016 to apply for a license.

Applicants can apply online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.govstarting Monday, July 18. Paper applications will be available by July 22 for printing off the website, and from license vendors, or by calling 800-406-6409.

The pronghorn license fee is $30, and the deadline for submitting applications isAug. 3.