Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Information Sought in Moose Poaching

North Dakota Game and Fish Department officials are looking for information in connection to a moose poaching case earlier this spring in the northeastern part of the state.

Five adult moose – three cows and two bulls – were shot and killed sometime around April 25 through April 30 about 6 miles southwest of Dunseith. According to law enforcement, one of the adult moose, a large cow, was pregnant with triplets, with two calves cut out of her.

If anyone has any information about the illegal taking of these animals, contact the Report All Poachers at 701-328-9921 or Jonathan Tofteland, Game and Fish Department district game warden, at 701-201-0703.

RAP is offering a $2,000 reward for any information that leads to a conviction.

Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep Applications Online

Elk, moose and bighorn sheep applications are available online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline to apply is March 25.

A total of 523 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, an increase of 45 from last year.

A total of 474 moose licenses are available, a decrease of five from last year. Hunting units M1C and M4 will remain closed due to a continued downward trend in moose numbers in the northeastern part of the state.

As stated in the 2020-21 chronic wasting disease proclamation, hunters harvesting an elk in units E2 and E6, or a moose in units M10 and M11, cannot transport the whole carcass including the head and spinal column outside of the unit.

A bighorn sheep hunting season is tentatively scheduled to open in 2020, depending on the sheep population. The status of the bighorn sheep season will be determined Sept. 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 be held and successful applicants contacted to select a hunting unit.

Because the bighorn sheep application fee is not refundable 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

2019 Bighorn Sheep, Moose and Elk Harvests

Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2019 season for bighorn sheep was 100 percent, 87 percent for moose and 62 percent for elk.

 

The department issued four bighorn sheep licenses and auctioned one. All five hunters harvested a bighorn ram.

 

The department issued 475 moose licenses last year. Of that total, 449 hunters harvested 389 animals – 154 bulls and 235 cows/calves. Harvest for each unit follows:

 

Unit Hunters Bulls Cow/Calf Success Rate
M5 5 4 0 80
M6 15 10 1 73
M8 15 13 1 93
M9 114 29 61 79
M10M11 180120 5840 10765 9288

 

The department issued 487 elk licenses last year. Of that total, 449 hunters harvested 279 elk – 155 bulls and 124 cows/calves. Harvest for each unit follows:

 

Unit Hunters Bulls Cow/Calf Success Rate
E1EE1W 8552 2215 2716 5860
E2 128 34 30 50
E3 150 66 46 75
E4E6 2212 144 05 6475

 

CWD Surveillance Continues

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will continue its Hunter-Harvested Surveillance program during the 2019 hunting season by sampling deer for chronic wasting disease from units in more than half of the state.

 

Samples from hunter-harvested deer taken in the eastern portion of the state will be tested from units 1, 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F1, 2F2, 2G, 2G1, 2G2 and 2L. In addition, deer will be tested in the northwest from units 3A1, 3A2, 3A3 (that portion of the unit north of U.S. Highway 2) and 3B1, in the west from units 4B and 4C, and in the southwest from units 3C (the portion of the unit west of the Missouri River), 3E1, 3E2, 3F1 and 3F2.

 

Game and Fish wildlife veterinarian Dr. Charlie Bahnson said surveillance is conducted to estimate where CWD is located, and to determine the infection rate in the area. He said the department uses the information to guide its efforts in managing the impacts of the disease.

 

“CWD has not been found in the eastern third of the state and our surveillance goal in that area is to confidently say that it is still not present in the area,” Bahnson said. “We need to test a lot of deer to reach that conclusion, so it is important for hunters to consider dropping off their deer for testing.”

 

Bahnson mentioned it’s likely that additional positive deer will be found this fall in units 3A1, 3B1, 3F2 and 4B where CWD has been previously detected. “Infection rates are relatively low in those areas, but only a small portion of hunters have submitted heads for testing,” he added. “Most infected deer will look perfectly healthy and the only way to tell is by having them tested.”

 

Hunters are encouraged to drop off the head of an adult or yearling deer at one of nearly 100 collection sites across the state. Hunters wishing to keep the deer head can bring it to a Game and Fish district office during business hours to have it sampled. Fawns and head-shot deer cannot be tested. Testing results will be provided to hunters within 2-3 weeks by email or text message, based on their preferred communication method listed on their Game and Fish account. To add or update contact information, visit My Account at the department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

 

Hunters should note a carcass or head of a white-tailed deer or mule deer taken from deer hunting units 3A1, 3B1 or 3F2; a moose from moose hunting unit M10; or an elk from elk hunting unit E6; may not be transported to a collection site outside of the unit. Exceptions: deer heads taken in units 3A1 or 3B1 may be transported between those units, and moose heads taken in unit M10 may be delivered to the collection sites at the Williston Game and Fish office and at the North Dakota State Fair grounds in Minot.

 

More information on CWD, including transportation restrictions, is available at the Game and Fish website.

 

Hunters are encouraged to drop off deer heads at the following locations:

 

  • Alexander – Sather Lake Recreation Area
  • Beach – Gooseneck Implement
  • Belfield – Badlands Taxidermy, Superpumper
  • Bismarck – 3Be Meats, Game and Fish Department, West Dakota Meats
  • Blaisdell – BJ Taxidermy
  • Bottineau – Mattern Family Meats
  • Bowbells – The Joint
  • Cando – K&E Meats
  • Carrington – Barton Meats
  • Casselton – Casselton Tesoro
  • Cooperstown – Miller’s Fresh Foods, OCD Taxidermy
  • Crosby – Cenex/New Century Ag
  • Devils Lake – Lake Region Sportsmen’s Club/City Sanitation Department, Game and Fish Department
  • Dickinson – Game and Fish Department, Wildlife Creations
  • Dunseith – Wayne’s Food Pride
  • Edgeley – Cenex
  • Elgin – Gunny’s Bait and Tackle, Melvin’s Taxidermy
  • Ellendale – True Value
  • Enderlin – Maple Valley Lockers
  • Fargo – NDSU Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, Prime Cut Meats
  • Flasher – 8 miles east on N.D. Highway 21
  • Fordville – Jelinek Brother Taxidermy
  • Fort Yates – Prairie Knights Quik Mart
  • Glen Ullin – Kuntz’s Butcher Shop
  • Grafton – Tractor Supply
  • Grand Forks – Grand Forks Gun Club
  • Grassy Butte – Sweet Crude Travel Center
  • Great Bend – Manock Meats
  • Grenora – Farmer’s Union
  • Gwinner – Stoppleworth Taxidermy
  • Hettinger – Dakota Packing
  • Horace – J&K Taxidermy
  • Jamestown – Game and Fish Department, Windish’s Deer Processing
  • Kenmare – Farmer’s Union, Jessica Ware’s Taxidermy
  • Lakota – Zimprich Taxidermy
  • LaMoure – LaMoure Lockers
  • Langdon – Farmer’s Union Cenex, Hursman Taxidermy
  • Larimore – E-Z Stop Convenience Store
  • Linton – BP Taxidermy, Bosch’s Meat Market, Scherr’s Meats
  • Lisbon – Sheyenne National Grasslands Office
  • Mandan – Butcher Block Meats
  • Mapleton – Jason’s Taxidermy
  • Mayville – Cenex
  • Milnor – Milnor Locker
  • Minot – AAA Taxidermy, Blom’s Locker and Processing, Frenchy’s Taxidermy, State Fairgrounds, Wallen’s Taxidermy
  • Mohall – Engebretson Processing, Farmer’s Union
  • Mott – 4 Corners Car Wash
  • New Leipzig – Hertz Hardware, and 12 miles south on N.D. Highway 49
  • New Town – Three Affiliated Tribes Fish and Wildlife Office
  • New Rockford – Risovi Taxidermy Studio
  • Oakes – Butcher Block
  • Park River – Jim’s Super Valu
  • Powers Lake – Farmer’s Union
  • Ray – Horizon-Cenex
  • Reynolds – Weber’s Meats
  • Rolette – The Meat Shack
  • Rugby – Cenex
  • Scranton – Wolf’s Meat Processing
  • Selfridge – Cenex
  • Sheyenne – Wild Things Taxidermy
  • Solen – Hettich Salvage
  • Stanley – Ace Hardware
  • Tioga – Recycling Center
  • Valley City – Valley Meat Supply
  • Wahpeton – Aber Taxidermy, David’s Taxidermy, J&R Taxidermy
  • Walcott – Brantley’s Antlers
  • Walhalla – North Dakota Forest Service
  • Watford City – Farmer’s Union Cenex
  • West Fargo – West Fargo City Sanitation
  • Williston – Bickler Taxidermy, Dave’s Heads or Tails Taxidermy, Mounts By Mert, Game and Fish Department, Zerr’s Taxidermy

Moose and Elk Lotteries Held, Bighorn Sheep in September

North Dakota’s moose and elk lotteries have been held, and individual results are available by visiting My Account at the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

A total of 15,516 applications were received for bighorn sheep, 19,290 for elk and 22,456 for moose.

While in My Account, successful applicants must pay for a moose and/or elk license. In addition, a 2019-20 general game and habitat license, or combination license, is required. The moose/elk license will be mailed after the required hunting licenses are purchased.

Hunters in moose unit M10 and elk unit E6 are reminded of restrictions that prohibit transporting the whole carcass, including the head and spinal column, outside of the unit. For more information, visit the chronic wasting disease page on the Game and Fish website.

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 27

North Dakotan’s who want to hunt elk, moose and bighorn sheep in 2019 are reminded the deadline for submitting applications is March 27.

 

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 not available.

 

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.

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 not available.

The deadline for applying is March 27.

A total of 478 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, an increase of 70 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 479 moose licenses are available in 2019, an increase of 145 from last year. Most of the increase is antlerless licenses in units M9, 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.

As stated in the 2019-20 chronic wasting disease proclamation, hunters harvesting an elk in unit E6 or a moose in unit M10 cannot transport the whole carcass including the head and spinal column outside of the unit. More information on CWD is available by visiting the Game and Fish website.

A bighorn sheep hunting season is tentatively scheduled to open in 2019, depending on the sheep population. The status of the bighorn sheep season will be determined Sept. 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 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.

2018 Bighorn Sheep, Moose and Elk Harvests

Harvest statistics released by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department show overall hunter success during the 2018 season for bighorn sheep was 100 percent, 92 percent for moose and 65 percent for elk.

 

The department issued two bighorn sheep licenses and auctioned one. All three hunters harvested a bighorn ram.

 

The department issued 329 moose licenses last year. Of that total, 319 hunters harvested 294 animals – 138 bulls and 156 cows/calves. Harvest for each unit follows:

 

Unit Hunters Bulls Cow/Calf Success Rate
M5 5 3 1 80
M6 14 9 3 86
M8 14 13 0 93
M9 93 34 49 89
M10

M11

107

86

50

29

52

51

95

93

 

The department issued 418 elk licenses last year. Of that total, 380 hunters harvested 248 elk – 135 bulls and 113 cows/calves. Harvest for each unit follows:

 

Unit Hunters Bulls Cow/Calf Success Rate
E1E

E1W

57

37

17

10

16

17

58

73

E2 128 35 35 55
E3 125 52 40 74
E4

E6

22

11

17

4

0

5

77

82