Pronghorn Season Set

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department will issue 1,630 pronghorn gun licenses for the 2003 hunting season, 705 more than last year, reports Randy Kreil, agency wildlife chief. As a result, 16 gun and bow hunting units are open, two more than last year.

The statewide pronghorn population estimate is 57 percent above 2002, Kreil said. "The large increase was due in part to increases in Slope and western Bowman counties."

North Dakota's pronghorn population has been recovering from 1997's winter die-off, Kreil mentioned, when 75 percent of the state's herd was lost due to winter mortality and out-migration. The pronghorn population estimate has increased from a low of approximately 4,000 in 1998 to nearly 10,000 in 2003, he said.

Units 6-A and 9-C are new hunting units and are open for any pronghorn. Unit 6-A is bordered on the west by U.S. Highway 12 and N.D. Highway 8, on the north by Interstate 94, on the east by N.D. Highways 6, 21, and 31, and on the south by South Dakota. Unit 9-C is bordered on the west by N.D. Highway 8, on the north by Lake Sakakawea, on the east by N.D. Highway 200 at Riverdale and N.D. Highway 31, and on the south by Interstate 94.

Doe/kid licenses in units 4-A and 4-B, which were unavailable last year, will be issued this year.

Prospective hunters can apply online, or print out an application to mail, at the game and fish internet website discovernd.com/gnf. Regular license fees apply and no service charge is added.

Applications are also available from game and fish offices, county auditors and license vendors, or by calling 1-800-406-6409. A service fee is added for license applications made over the phone.

Deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 6. Mailed applications must be postmarked before midnight. Hand-delivered applications are due at the department's Bismarck office by 5 p.m. Applications should be mailed early because some post offices use the following day's postmark if received after office hours.

Only North Dakota residents are eligible for pronghorn gun licenses. Archery season is open to residents and nonresidents. Gun season dates are Oct. 3 (noon) - Oct. 19. Pronghorn bow season runs Aug. 29 (noon) - Oct. 12.