Bighorn Sheep, Elk and Moose Seasons Set

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Additional sheep and elk hunting opportunities highlight the 2006 special big game seasons, according to Randy Kreil, wildlife chief for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.

Applications are now available for prospective moose, elk and bighorn sheep hunters. To apply online, or to print out an application for mailing, access the Game and Fish Department's website, License vendors are scheduled to have applications by March 14. The deadline for submitting applications is March 22.

Six bighorn sheep licenses are available in four units, up from four licenses and two units in 2005. One license is available in units B1, B2 and B4; two in Unit B3; and one license auctioned through the Minnesota-Wisconsin Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep. Portions of units B3 and B4 will be closed to hunting due to the reintroduction of bighorn sheep in those areas this past January.

Bighorn sheep regular season dates run from Sept. 22 - Oct. 22, with bow season from Sept. 15 - Oct. 22.

A total of 241 elk licenses are available, an increase of 40 from last year. Unit E1, open to hunting for antlerless elk only in 2005, will be open to hunting for antlered elk, except in December during the antlerless-elk only portion of the season. "More licenses, including 20 antlerless-only licenses, are available in Unit E3 in an attempt to reduce the number of elk outside of Theodore Roosevelt National Park," Kreil said.

Units E3 and E4 will have a second open period this year, Kreil said, also in an effort to increase elk harvest outside the park. "These changes were made based on recent increases of elk sightings during the department's fall mule deer survey, National Park Service data collected on radio-collared elk, and input gathered from local landowners and department field staff," he added.

Bow season dates for units E1 and E2 are Sept. 1 - Oct. 1. Regular season dates are as follows: Unit E3, Aug. 11-27; Unit E4 early, Aug. 11-17, and late, Aug. 18-27; Unit E1, Oct. 6-29 and Dec. 1-10; and Unit E2, Oct. 6-29 and Nov. 17 - Dec. 17. The second open period for units E3 and E4 is Oct. 6-29.

A total of 129 moose licenses are available in 2006, the same as last year. Unit M10 has an increase of 10 licenses. However, Unit M1C, which had 10 licenses last year, is closed due to a continued moose population decline in the northeastern portion of the state.

Bow season dates for all moose units are Sept. 1 - Oct. 1. Regular season dates for units M4, M8, M9 and M10 are Oct. 6-29. Regular season dates for units M5 and M6 are Nov. 24 - Dec. 17.

Bighorn sheep, moose, and elk lottery licenses are issued on an once-in-a-lifetime basis in North Dakota. Persons who have received a license through the lottery in the past are not eligible to apply for that species again.