Applications for North Dakota’s elk, moose and bighorn sheep seasons now are available on the Game and Fish Department’s website at gf.nd.gov; the application deadline is Wednesday, March 24.

A total of 523 elk and 474 moose licenses are available to hunters this fall, the same as last year, according to a department news release.

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Moose units M4 and M1C will remain closed because of a continued downward population trend in the northeastern part of the state.

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As stated in the chronic wasting disease proclamation, hunters shooting an elk in unit E2, or a moose in units M10 and M11, cannot transport the whole carcass, including the head and spinal column, outside of the unit. More information about CWD is available on the Game and Fish website.

A bighorn sheep hunting season is tentatively scheduled for 2021, depending on the sheep population. The status of the bighorn sheep season will be determined Sept. 1, after Game and Fish staff complete summer population surveys. The season was closed in 2015 because of a bacterial pneumonia outbreak.

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, Game and Fish will conduct the bighorn lottery and contact successful applicants 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.