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North Dakota Game and Fish increases pronghorn licenses; application deadline Aug. 3

The department's July aerial survey indicated the overall pronghorn population is up 5% from last year.

pronghorn buck.jpg
Pronghorn buck.
Contributed / North Dakota Game and Fish Department
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BISMARCK – The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will offer 1,970 pronghorn licenses in 17 units for the 2022 hunting season, up slightly from last year, when the department allocated 1,720 licenses.

“Any-pronghorn licenses will be issued in units 9A and 9C for the first time in several years to address landowner concerns and provide additional hunting opportunities,” Bruce Stillings, big game management supervisor for Game and Fish in Dickinson, said in a news release.

The department's July aerial survey indicated the overall pronghorn population is up 5% from last year. The fawn-to-doe ratio was 41 fawns per 100 does, down from 52 fawns per 100 does last year. The buck-to-doe ratio of 35 bucks per 100 does remains stable and at population objective, Stillings said.

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“The pronghorn population varied considerably by management region depending on the effect of nearly two years of drought conditions, epizootic hemorrhagic disease and historic blizzards this spring,” he said. “Hunting unit 4A was affected the most by these factors and the population was down considerably from recent years with record low fawn production.

“Therefore, licenses were significantly reduced in this region to account for this change in population. Hunting units 1A, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 1D and 10A were not affected nearly as much as the extreme southwestern part of the state, as pronghorn increased slightly even with below-average fawn production. Pronghorn remained stable to slightly increasing in units 4C, 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, 9C, 11A and 13A.”

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Each unit once again will have a season that is split into an early bow-only portion, and a later gun/bow season.

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North Dakota pronghorn units.
Contributed / North Dakota Game and Fish Department

The bow-only portion of the season opens at noon Friday, Sept. 2, and continues through Sunday, Sept. 25. Anyone who draws a license can hunt pronghorn with a bow in the unit printed on the license.

From noon Friday, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 23, 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 pronghorn license. Hunters who have accumulated bonus points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points, but they will not earn a point for next year. Hunters who do not want a license in 2022 have the option to purchase a bonus point on the application.

Prospective hunters can apply online at the Game and Fish Department website, gf.nd.gov .

The pronghorn license fee is $30 for ages 16 and older, and $10 for hunters younger than 16. Applicants for a pronghorn lottery license must be at least 12 years old on or before Dec. 31. The application deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 3.

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