Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep Deadline March 28

North Dakotans who want to hunt elk, moose and bighorn sheep in 2018 are reminded the deadline for submitting applications is March 28.

Prospective hunters can apply online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. General lottery applications can also be submitted by calling 800-406-6409. Preferential landowner (gratis) applications must be submitted online. Paper applications are no longer available for any lottery or gratis licenses, which will also include deer gun, pronghorn, swan and fall turkey.

 

The status of the bighorn sheep season will be determined Sept. 1, after summer population surveys are completed. However, bighorn sheep applications must be submitted before the deadline. Once total licenses are determined for each unit in late summer, the bighorn lottery will then be held and successful applicants will be contacted to select a hunting unit.

 

Elk, moose and bighorn sheep lottery licenses are issued as once-in-a-lifetime licenses in North Dakota. Hunters who have received a license through the lottery in the past are not eligible to apply for that species again.

Doug.Leier2017a

Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep Applications Online

North Dakota’s elk, moose and bighorn sheep applications are available, and prospective hunters can apply online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

General lottery applications can also be submitted by calling 800-406-6409. Preferential landowner (gratis) applications must be submitted online. Paper applications are no longer available for any lottery or gratis licenses, which will also include deer gun, pronghorn, swan and fall turkey.

The deadline for applying is March 28.

A total of 408 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, an increase of 19 from last year and the most since 2011.

Coordination among state Game and Fish, private landowners and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will continue to highlight elk management in hunting Unit E6.

A record 334 moose licenses are available in 2018, an increase of 89 from last year and 203 more than in 2015. Most of the increase is antlerless licenses in units M10 and M11, due to an increasing moose population in these units.

Hunting units M1C and M4 will remain closed due to a continued downward trend in moose numbers in the northeastern part of the state.

A bighorn sheep hunting season is tentatively scheduled to open in 2018, depending on the sheep population. The status of the bighorn sheep season will be determinedSept. 1, after summer population surveys are completed. The season was closed in 2015 due to a bacterial pneumonia outbreak.

Bighorn sheep applicants must apply for a license at the same time as moose and elk, but not for a specific unit. Once total licenses are determined for each unit in late summer, the bighorn lottery will then be held and successful applicants will be contacted to select a hunting unit.

Because the bighorn sheep application fee is not refundable as per state law, if a bighorn season is not held, applicants would not receive a refund.

Elk, moose and bighorn sheep lottery licenses are issued as once-in-a-lifetime licenses in North Dakota. Hunters who have received a license through the lottery in the past are not eligible to apply for that species again.

Doug.Leier2017a

Moose and Elk Lotteries Held, Bighorn Sheep in September

North Dakota’s moose and elk lottery results are available online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

Applicants can find individual results by clicking “my account” under the buy and apply link.

Successful applicants will receive a letter the week of May 15, stating the license will be mailed after the successful applicant submits the correct license fee.

The bighorn sheep lottery is scheduled in September, after summer population surveys are completed and total licenses are determined. Once the lottery is held, successful applicants will be contacted to select a hunting unit.

Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep Apps Due March 22

Elk, moose and bighorn sheep applications must be submitted online, or postmarked, before midnight March 22.

photo by Craig Bihrle, ND    Game and Fish

To apply online, visit the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website,gf.nd.gov. Paper applications are also available at vendors.

Individuals mailing applications to the department are advised to mail early because some post offices use the following day’s postmark for mail received after regular hours. The department’s online application feature will be deactivated March 22 at midnight.

Hunters who have received a license through the lottery in the past are not eligible to apply for that species again.

Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep Apps due March 23

Elk, moose and bighorn sheep applications must be submitted online, or postmarked, before midnight March 23.

moose

 

To apply online, or to print out an application to mail, access the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. Applications are also available at Game and Fish offices and license vendors.

Residents age 18 or older are reminded to prove residency on the application by submitting a valid North Dakota driver’s license number or a North Dakota nondriver photo identification number.

Individuals mailing applications to the department are advised to mail early because some post offices use the following day’s postmark for mail received after regular hours. The department’s online application feature will be deactivated March 23 at midnight.

Hunters who have received a license through the lottery in the past are not eligible to apply for that species again.

2015 Moose and Elk Harvest Statistics

Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2015 season was 96 percent for moose and 69 percent for elk. The bighorn sheep hunting season was closed due to significant sheep mortality in 2014 caused by bacterial pneumonia.

big-3-guide-header

The department issued 129 moose licenses last year. Of that total, hunters harvested 124 moose – 106 bulls and 18 cows/calves. One additional license was raffled by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the hunter was successful in harvesting a moose.

The department issued 317 elk licenses last year. Of that total, 287 hunters harvested 197 elk – 128 bulls and 69 cows/calves. One additional license was raffled by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the hunter was successful in harvesting an elk.

Moose, Elk and Bighorn Sheep Deadline

North Dakota’s 2013 moose, elk and bighorn sheep proclamation is finalized and applications are available at the State Game and Fish Department’s website. The deadline for applying is March 27.

A total of 111 moose licenses are available in 2013, 32 fewer than last year. Randy Kreil, Game and Fish Department wildlife chief, said a downward population trend in the northeastern portion of the state is of great concern. “Unit M1C will remain closed,” Kreil said, “and in addition, unit M4, which encompasses the Turtle Mountains, is also closed this year.”

In 2012, unit M4 had only seven moose licenses, Kreil added, with only two moose harvested.

Game and Fish is also making a couple of other changes designed to bolster the moose population. All licenses this year are for “any moose,” while in previous years some were specific to antlerless moose.

“We think that the ‘any’ tags will protect the cow segment of the population,” Kreil said, “as records indicate most hunters choose to fill their ‘any’ tags with a bull rather than a cow.”

The moose season in units M8, M9 and M10 will open a week later than in previous years to avoid the peak of the rut. Data collected over the last year indicates a number of unbred cows were documented in those units, Kreil said, and opening the season a week later in October may improve breeding success by reducing disturbance during the peak of the mating season.

A total of 261 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, 40 fewer than last year. The number of elk licenses in units E3 and E4 is reduced by 40 due to the successful population reduction effort by the National Park Service in Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s south unit. A total of 937 elk – 701 adult cows – were taken out of the park by the reduction effort, and an additional 363 elk were taken by licensed hunters in E3 and E4 during the last three hunting seasons.

Based on a recent elk survey, the estimated number of elk in the park is below 200, Kreil said. On the positive side, elk unit E1 has been expanded to include parts of the Turtle Mountains, due to a growing elk population largely attributed to animals migrating in from Canada.

The bighorn sheep season will have four licenses available, the same as last year. One license is available in units B1/B2, B3 and B4. In addition, one license is auctioned through the Midwest Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation. The bighorn sheep hunter drawing the license in units B1/B2 is eligible to hunt both units.

To apply online, access the Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. Paper applications will be available on the website (for printing) and at license vendors the week of March 11.

Bighorn sheep, moose and elk lottery licenses are issued as once-in-a-lifetime licenses in North Dakota. Hunters who have received a license through the lottery in the past are not eligible to apply for that species again.