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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • 6,000 apply for North Dakota pronghorn licenses

  • Nearly 6,000 hunters applied for one of the 250 pronghorn licenses available in North Dakota this year.
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  • Nearly 6,000 hunters applied for one of the 250 pronghorn licenses available in North Dakota this year.
    With pronghorn numbers rebounding after five years of decline, North Dakota is having a limited pronghorn hunting season this fall for the first time since 2009. The season is open only in unit 4-A, the far southwestern corner of the state, where the Game and Fish Department has determined there is a surplus number of bucks.
    Biologists who surveyed more than 11,000 square miles of territory in July determined the state has a population of 5,700 pronghorn — and nearly one-third of those live in the area open to hunting. Pronghorns are horned animals commonly referred to as antelope.
    Game and Fish recently held the pronghorn license lottery. Results are available at the agency's website. Unsuccessful applicants who submitted their application online or through the department's toll-free licensing number will receive a refund to their credit cards. Hunters who submitted paper applications will receive a refund check.
    The season is split into an early "bow-only" portion Aug. 29-Sept. 28 and a later gun/bow season Oct. 3-19.
    Three straight harsh winters beginning in 2008 killed many adult pronghorn. That and poor fawn production left an aging population with few prime-age breeding females. The population is beginning to recover, and state Wildlife Chief Randy Kreil said last month that "we are poised to see additional (hunting) units open next year, providing Mother Nature cooperates with a moderate winter."

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