Dakota Trails - North Dakota Outdoor Sports

Pronghorn Survey Begins

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual aerial pronghorn survey will begin July 1 and is scheduled to be completed within two weeks.

 

During the survey period, people could notice low-flying small airplanes over some parts of western North Dakota.

 

The survey determines pronghorn abundance, herd demographics and fawn production. This data is used to set the number of licenses for fall hunting season.

 

Last year, biologists surveyed 16,664 square miles, counting and classifying 9,201 pronghorn for a population estimate of 9,845 animals. Survey results indicated the fawn-to-doe ratio was 61 fawns per 100 does, which was equal to the long-term average. The buck-to-doe ratio of 38 bucks per 100 does was above the population objective.

Pronghorn Hunting Season Statistics

Hunter success during last fall’s pronghorn hunting season was 74 percent, according to statistics provided by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

 

Game and Fish issued 1,324 licenses (877 lottery and 447 gratis), and 1,167 hunters took 859 pronghorn, consisting of 786 bucks, 59 does and 14 fawns. Each hunter spent an average of 2.7 days afield.

 

The 2020 pronghorn hunting season will be determined in July.

Pronghorn Hunting Season Set, Apply Online

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.

Pronghorn Hunting Season Statistics

Hunter success during last fall’s pronghorn hunting season was 81 percent, according to statistics provided by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

 

Game and Fish issued 1,081 licenses (701 lottery and 380 gratis), and 976 hunters took 792 pronghorn, consisting of 761 bucks, 28 does and three fawns. Each hunter spent an average of 2.7 days afield.

 

Two percent of the harvest occurred during the archery-only portion of the season.

 

The 2019 pronghorn hunting season will be determined in July.

Pronghorn Lottery Held

North Dakota’s pronghorn lottery has been held and individual results are available online at the state Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov.

A total of 1,075 licenses were available in 10 units. More than 11,100 applications, including 377 gratis, were received.

All licenses were issued.

Hunters who are drawn for a 2018 pronghorn license will be sent their license after purchasing a valid 2018-19 general game and habitat license, or combination license, which is also required to hunt pronghorn (exception: no other licenses are required for gratis). Hunters who have already purchased this 2018-19 license do not have to purchase another one.

Pronghorn Applications due Aug. 8

Prospective pronghorn hunters are reminded the deadline to apply for the 2018 hunting season is Aug. 8.

 

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 not available.

 

A total of 1,075 licenses are available in 10 open units – 1A, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4C, 5A, 6A and 7A. All licenses are valid for any pronghorn.

 

The bow-only portion of the season is from Aug. 31 (noon) – Sept. 23. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow in the unit printed on the license.

 

From Oct. 5 (noon) – Oct. 21, hunters who still have a valid license can use legal firearms or archery equipment, and again must stay in the assigned unit.

 

The pronghorn license fee is $30 for ages 16 and older, and $10 for under age 16.

 

Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply for a 2018 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 2018 have the option to purchase a bonus point on the application.

 

Pronghorn Hunting Season Statistics

Hunter success during last fall’s pronghorn hunting season was 75 percent, according to statistics provided by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Game and Fish issued 410 licenses (255 lottery and 155 gratis), and 366 hunters took 275 pronghorn, consisting of 264 bucks, 10 does and one fawn. Each hunter spent an average of 2.4 days afield.

Three percent of the harvest occurred during the archery season.

The 2018 pronghorn hunting season will be determined in July.

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Pronghorn Hunting Season Set, Online Apps Available July 20

North Dakota’s 2017 pronghorn hunting season is set, with 410 licenses available in five open units.

Bruce Stillings, big game management supervisor for the state Game and Fish Department, said the recently completed aerial survey indicated the pronghorn population is down 14 percent from last year. “Numbers were a bit disappointing, but not unexpected due to a combination of a tough winter and extreme drought conditions,” Stillings said.

 pronghorn buck

A total of 30 licenses are available in 2B, 25 in 3A, 80 in 3B, 225 in 4A and 50 in 4C. All licenses are valid for any pronghorn. Units 1A and 2A, which were open to pronghorn hunting in 2016, are closed this year.

“We just don’t have the numbers to support a season in those two units this year,” Stillings said.

On the bright side, Stillings said the fawn-to-doe ratio of .74 to 1 was the highest since 2002. The buck-to-doe ratio of 38 bucks per 100 does remained stable.

“This year’s high fawn production is encouraging for future population growth,” Stillings said. “A moderate winter, with average fawn production next summer, may provide conditions needed for pronghorn population growth to support additional hunting opportunities in 2018.”

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. 1 (noon) – Sept. 24. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow in the unit printed on the license.

From Oct. 6 (noon) – Oct. 22, 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 2017 pronghorn license. Hunters 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 Dec. 31, 2017 to apply for a license.

Applicants can apply online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.govstarting Thursday, July 20. Paper applications will be available the week of July 24 for printing off the website, and from license vendors, or by calling 800-406-6409.

The pronghorn license fee is $30 for ages 16 and older, and $10 for under age 16. The deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 2.