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March 17 deadline for North Dakota moose, elk and bighorn applications

From the North Dakota Game and Fish Department

-- The deadline for applying for North Dakota’s 2010 moose, elk and bighorn sheep  licenses is March 17. A total of 561 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, the same as in 2009. Applications are available online at http://gf.nd.gov/

Units E1 and E2 license holders are able to hunt during the bow and regular seasons. Prior to this year, applicants had to choose either the archery or firearms option. Hunters must use legal archery equipment during the bow season, but can use either legal firearms or archery equipment during the regular season. However, hunters are restricted to unit and type of elk as designated on license.

Similar to 2009, units E3 and E4 will each have a September and October any-elk season, an extended season for all any-elk license holders in November and December, and a season for antlerless elk beginning in September and continuing through December.

E3 and E4 lottery license holders must hunt in their unit for the first three days of the season. After the first three days, lottery license holders may hunt either unit.  Landowner preference license holders may only hunt in their unit.

Unit E5, which includes the remainder of the state not included in units E1-E4, is open to all lottery license holders. Hunters may only take the type of elk designated on their license.

A total of 173 moose licenses are available in 2010, an increase of 25 from last year. All moose hunters are allowed to hunt during the bow and regular seasons with the appropriate legal archery equipment or firearm. Hunters are restricted to unit and type of moose as designated on license.

The boundary for moose hunting units M10 and M11 has been adjusted to focus more hunting pressure on the Missouri River bottoms area south of Williston where moose numbers have been increasing. Unit M11 has been reduced in size with the northern boundary now U.S. Highway 2. Unit M10 has been expanded west to the Montana border.

Unit M1C will remain closed due to an extremely low moose population in the northeastern portion of the state.

The bighorn sheep season will open two weeks later in October to coincide with the rut, allowing hunters a better opportunity to harvest an adult ram. Six licenses, an increase of one from 2009, are available in three units – one license in Units B1 and B3, three in Unit B4, and one license auctioned through the Midwest Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation. The bighorn sheep hunter drawn in Unit B1 is also eligible to hunt in Unit B2.

To apply online, or to print out an application to mail, visit the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov. License vendors are scheduled to have paper applications by March 8.

Bighorn sheep, moose and elk lottery licenses – including second choice cow elk 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.

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