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 29.
A total of 603 elk licenses are available to hunters this fall, an increase of 40 from last year.
Licenses in units E1E and E1W increased due to a stable to increasing elk population. Licenses in elk units E2, E3, E4 and E6 remain the same as in 2022.
A total of 257 moose licenses are available, a decrease of 147 from last year.
Licenses in units M6 and M8 remain the same as the moose population appears to be stable with good hunter success in these units. Licenses in M5 increased slightly due to a stable population and several consecutive years with all hunters successful in this unit. Licenses in M9, M10 and M11 are reduced due to an observed decrease in the population from winter aerial surveys, a decrease in hunter success and a winter tick outbreak the previous spring that impacted the population in these areas. Moose units M4 and M1C will remain closed due to a continued downward population trend in the northeastern part of the state.
A bighorn sheep hunting season is tentatively scheduled for 2023, depending on the sheep population. The status of the bighorn sheep season will be determined Sept. 1, after summer population surveys are completed.
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.