BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — North Dakota’s 2022 pronghorn hunting season has been set, with 1,970 licenses available in all 17 hunting units.

July’s latest aerial survey showed that there has been an increase in numbers of pronghorn, up 5% from last year. Despite this, there were actually lower records of fawn-to-doe numbers, with only 41 fawns to 100 does (down from 52 in 2021). The buck-to-doe ratio of 35 to 100 has remained unchanged.

“The pronghorn population varied considerably by management region depending on the effect of nearly two years of drought conditions, epizootic hemorrhagic disease, and historic blizzards this spring,” said ND Game and Fish big game supervisor Bruce Stillings. “Hunting unit 4A was affected the most by these factors and the population was down considerably from recent years with record low fawn production, therefore licenses were significantly reduced in this region to account for this change in population. Hunting units 1A, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 1D, and 10A were not affected nearly as much as the extreme southwestern part of the state, as pronghorn increased slightly even with below-average fawn production. Pronghorn remained stable to slightly increasing in units 4C, 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, 9C, 11A, and 13A.”

In addition to the rising pronghorn numbers, the total number of licenses allocated has increased from 1,720 to 1,970. Stillings claimed that this decision was made to “address landowner concerns and provide additional hunting opportunities”.

Each unit’s hunting seasons are split into two portions — a bow-only segment and an open hunting segment. The bowhunter-only portion of hunting season begins at noon on September 2 and continues until September 25. Anyone who draws a license may hunt pronghorn sheep with a bow in their assigned unit.

The open season occurs two weeks later, beginning on October 7th at noon and ending on October 23. All hunters with a valid license can use either legal firearms or archery equipment, so long as they stay within their assigned area.

Pronghorn licenses are available for $30 for ages 16 and older, and $10 for those under age 16. Applicants must be at least 12 years of age on or before December 31. Only residents of North Dakota residents may apply for the license. Any hunters who have accumulated bonus points and choose not to apply for a license this year will not lose points, but will not earn one for next year. Hunters who do not want a license in 2022 will also have the option to purchase a bonus point on the application.

All applications must be submitted by August 3, and are available on the ND Game and Fish Department’s website. For further questions or information regarding pronghorn hunting season, email ndgf@nd.gov or call 701-328-6300.