Elk, Moose & Bighorn Applications Open

NDG&F Release

Elk, moose and bighorn sheep applications are available online at the North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s website, gf.nd.gov. The deadline for applying is March 23.

A total of 563 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, an increase of 40 from last year.

A total of 404 moose licenses are available, a decrease of 70 from last year. Moose units M4 and M1C will remain closed due to a continued downward population trend in the northeastern part of the state.

As stated in the chronic wasting disease proclamation, hunters harvesting an elk in unit 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. More information on CWD is available by visiting the Game and Fish website.

A bighorn sheep hunting season is tentatively scheduled for 2022, 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.

Of note, a new bighorn sheep hunting unit, B5, was created by splitting unit B4 to distribute the harvest of rams more efficiently. 

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 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.

Featured Photo: Elk tags are up by 40 in comparison to 2021, while moose tags have dropped by 70 against last year’s offerings. Hunters have until Mar. 23 to apply for the once-in-a-lifetime licenses. Simonson Photo.

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