North Dakota’s Big Three Applications Available Online

Perhaps the most coveted hunting licenses in the State of North Dakota are the “Big Three“– otherwise known as elk, moose, and bighorn sheep. Unlike other big game licenses in the state, these lottery tags are a once-in-a-lifetime draw and applications for the 2018 hunting seasons are now available.

This coming season will feature 418 elk licenses (the most since 2011) and 334 moose licenses (an all-time high). The North Dakota Game & Fish Department will determine whether there’s a bighorn sheep season by September 1st, which is after they complete surveys to determine current population. In the event that a bighorn sheep season is not held, applicants will not be issued a refund for their application fee.

Harvest numbers for the 2017 Big Three hunting seasons were released late last month. Elk hunters in a total of six units had a 58% success rate. Moose hunters enjoyed a success rate of a staggering 92% across their six units. And a total of five bighorn sheep licenses in three units were issued with a success rate of 100%.

While many big game hunters would like to see a more significant increase in hunting opportunities for the Big Three, that is unlikely to become a reality– especially in relation to elk and moose. For the most part, landowner tolerance for these animals is low, as evidenced by this recent article in which the North Dakota Game & Fish heard complaints about the moose population at advisory meetings. And when it comes to bighorn sheep, their numbers have taken a hit at times due to the spread of bacterial pneumonia– as recently as 2015. That year the bighorn sheep season was cancelled for the first time in over thirty years.

If you’re interested in a chance at winning the Big Three Lottery, the deadline is March 28th.

Good luck!



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About T. Arthur Mason 882 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.