New North Dakota Game and Fish Department numbers show that bighorn, moose, and elk hunters had overall successful seasons in 2014. However, comparisons show interesting differences to last year’s numbers.
For bighorn, in total five licenses were issued. All five tags were filled, and all five hunters brought home a ram. Last year the department made 4 licenses available. As in this year, all were filled with bighorn rams.
There were also more happy elk hunters this year, the numbers show. This year’s 67% success rate for elk eclipses the meager rate of just 50% last year. Overall 39 more animals were taken, with a very modest bump in the percentage of cows/calves taken compared to last year’s harvest.
2014’s moose hunt went well for hunters – 88% of successful hunters took home bull moose compared to last year’s 84%. However last year saw a higher overall success rate – 91% – compared to 85% this year.
This decrease in success rate may be from lower populations due to natural causes, or it may be that hunters were more discerning in what size of animal they bagged this year – the harvest of cows/calves was down by 31% this year while the bull harvest was down only 3%. Caution is always recommended when reading into the runestones of statistics.