North Dakota Calls for Changes to Elk Season

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The state Game and Fish Department is calling for changes to the 2007 elk hunting season in southwestern North Dakota.

Changes include issuing additional licenses and expanding hunting time periods in elk hunting units adjacent to Theodore Roosevelt National Park's South Unit. The amendment to the 2007 season has been signed by Governor Hoeven.

"The department is recommending this aggressive action in response to landowner concerns over the increasing number of elk coming out of the park onto private lands, and the fact the park elk herd continues to grow while the National Park Service goes through its legally mandated Environmental Impact Statement process," said Terry Steinwand, Game and Fish Department director. "Because of the unpredictable movements of elk in and out of the park, it’s uncertain what hunter success will be for those holding these additional licenses."

The amendment calls for an additional 160 second season licenses – 100 any-elk and 30 antlerless licenses in Unit E3, and 15 any-elk and 15 antlerless licenses in Unit E4. The licenses will be issued by lottery using applicants from all units who were unsuccessful in 2007. New applications won't be necessary.

These licenses are considered once-in-a-lifetime licenses. However, if a person is selected and does not want to hunt in 2007 in the newly-proclaimed second season, they can return the license and participate in future lotteries.

The additional licenses will be valid for a second season running Aug. 31 through Sept. 30. Both regular season (August and October time periods), and second season license holders will be able to participate in the extended season Nov. 2 through Dec. 30.

"We anticipate that some regular season license holders might be concerned about the new group of hunters being in the field in September," said Randy Kreil, chief of wildlife. "These hunters need to remember that they will have three different opportunities to hunt – they go first in August, then have all of October, and now can hunt the later part of the season as well."

An additional 20 landowner licenses will be drawn in Unit E3. Landowner preferential license holders will be able to hunt in any open season.