General Lottery Information
For a searchable listing of all season dates and application deadlines (tentative and finalized) see the North Dakota Hunting Seasons page.
Lottery Application Deadlines
|Spring Turkey||See Spring Turkey|
|Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep||See Elk, Moose, Bighorn Sheep Hunting Guide|
|Deer (gun/muzzleloader)||See Deer Hunting Guide|
|Pronghorn||See Pronghorn Hunting Guide|
|Fall Turkey||See Turkey Hunting Guide|
|Swan||See Waterfowl Hunting Guide|
Approximate Dates for Lotteries, Applications and Regulations
|Season||Dates Applications Available||Lottery Results||Regulations Available|
|Spring Turkey||Late January||Early March||Early March|
|Moose, Elk, Bighorn Sheep||Early-mid March||Late April||Early-mid April|
|Deer Gun, Muzzleloader and Youth Deer||Early-mid May||TBD||Mid-July|
|Mid-late August||Mid-late August|
|Swan||Late July||Late August||Early-mid August; combined with Small Game Guide|
|Fishing||N/A||N/A||Early March, every two years|
|Small Game||N/A||N/A||Early-mid August|
|Furbearer||N/A||N/A||Early-mid August; combined with small game guide|
Weighted Lottery FAQs
What species are covered by the weighted lottery?
First lotteries for deer gun, muzzleloader deer, pronghorn, swan, and spring and fall wild turkey.
How do I find out how many bonus (preference) points I have?
Current bonus points can be found on the Department's Online Services website.
How does the one-year grace period affect an applicant's eligibility?
An applicant can miss applying for a year without losing points; however, the applicant loses bonus points by failing to apply for two consecutive years.
How do bonus points accrue in the weighted lottery?
An applicant unsuccessful in drawing his or her first choice permit in the first lottery this year receives a bonus point for next year's lottery.
Note that in years 2, 3 and 4, the points are doubled; and, for years 5 and beyond, they are cubed to increase the applicant's chances of drawing a permit.
Calculation: Existing Bonus Points * Multiplier + 1 (the current year's application) = Total times your application goes in lottery
(existing points * multiplier + 1)
|Total Times Your Application Goes Into the Lottery|
|1||0 * 0 + 1||1|
|2||1 * 2 + 1||3|
|3||2 * 2 + 1||5|
|4||3 * 2 + 1||7|
|5||4³ + 1||65|
|6||5³ + 1||126|
|7||6³ + 1||217|
|8||7³ + 1||344|
|9||8³ + 1||513|
|10||9³ + 1||730|
In the previous example isn't the applicant guaranteed a permit in year four or five?
No. There is no guarantee. The lottery is a random drawing. In most cases when an applicant reaches this point he or she is likely to draw a permit. However, for some licenses, particularly antlered mule deer, where demand for tags vastly exceeds supply, many applicants have the same number of bonus points and thus, even for those with many points, there is considerable competition.
Why do applications ask for a social security number and do I have to give it?
Yes. State law requires social security numbers on all license applications in order for the state to receive human services funding from the federal government.
If I receive a permit for my second choice license, do I lose my bonus points?
No, bonus points apply only to first choice in the first lottery.
If I have bonus points and apply with a party, how does this affect me?
On party applications the person with fewest points sets the level for the entire application. Applicants with more bonus points than others in the party have a better chance applying separately.