Limited pronghorn season in 2014

North Dakota hunters will have an opportunity to hunt pronghorn antelope this fall for the first time since 2009. Antelope hunting has been closed due to low populations. However, recent aerial surveys confirmed that enough animals are in the state to warrant a very limited season in 2014.

Randy Kreil, North Dakota Game and Fish Department wildlife division chief, has announced a hunting season in unit 4-A only. 4-A is in the southwestern corner of the state. A total of 250 any-pronghorn licenses will be available.

“While we aren’t issuing any statewide pronghorn archery licenses this year as we did in the past, hunters who do draw a license can use a rifle, bow or both, depending on their preferences,” said Kreil.

The bow-only portion of the season will run from noon Aug. 29 through Sept. 29. From noon Oct. 3 through Oct. 10, hunters who still have a valid license can use legal firearms or archery equipment. Only North Dakota residents are eligible to apply for a pronghorn license. Those hunters who have accumulated preference points and choose not to apply this year will not lose their points.

The limited season was decided upon following aerial surveys of more than 11,000 square miles of antelope range in North Dakota. The statewide population estimate from the surveys is 5,700 animals. Of those, 1,650 are in unit 4-A.

“While some people may have expected more units to be open, we need to proceed conservatively with this valuable wildlife resource and let pronghorns rebound to a level that can sustain harvest,” said Kreil.

Online applications became available July 21. The application fee is $30. The deadline for submitting applications is Aug. 6.