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NDOW explains combo deer/elk tags

04/03/14 -- New combination tags are available only to resident hunters. These combination hunts include an antlered deer tag and antlerless (cow) elk management tag, and a bull elk tag and cow elk management tag in certain hunt units.

The goal with adding these hunts as combination tags is an attempt to increase elk harvest without increasing hunter congestion.

When you apply for either an antlered deer or antlered elk hunt you will also have the option to apply for a cow elk management tag if available in that unit. If drawn, the cow elk management tag will be good for the same season dates as the primary hunt.

Be aware that applying for a combination hunt does not necessarily guarantee the hunter a cow elk tag even if they successfully draw an antlered deer or bull elk tag as the quotas may be different for each unit.

To further aid in dealing with the increasing elk population and expansion of the elk herds that has occurred over the last few years, the Commission added spike elk hunts including Spike Any Legal Weapon Hunt (4651) and Spike Longbow Archery Hunt (4641). These spike hunts allow for additional elk management without targeting the older aged bull elk.

To help further understand these new changes, NDOW has put together a few FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions
Can I put in for and draw both a bull elk tag and a cow elk tag in 2014?

Yes. New for 2014, clients will be able to put in for both a bull elk tag and a cow elk tag in the same draw. In putting in for a bull elk tag, clients may only apply for a single type of bull hunt – either antlered, spike or antlered depredation. Applying for a cow elk tag is different in that clients are allowed to apply for all three types of cow elk hunts – regular antlerless, antlerless management, and antlerless depredation hunts, but will only be allowed to draw a single cow elk tag in a given hunt year. As a result they could possibly draw a bull tag and a single cow elk tag and those tags could be in different unit groups, so choose wisely with that in mind.

I am in a waiting period for antlered elk; can I apply for the new spike bull hunt?

Yes. The antlered and spike elk hunts are separate bonus point categories.

If I apply for more than one type of antlerless elk hunt, will it increase my chances of drawing a cow elk tag and if so, what is the order or criteria of drawing, since I can only draw one cow elk tag?

You definitely will increase your chances of drawing a cow elk tag. The basis for which of the antlerless (cow) elk tags you will be drawn is the draw number (lower the better) associated with each application (there is a single draw number for combination hunts associated with the primary hunt). Be advised each time you apply for a different type of cow elk tag, you pay separate nonrefundable application fees.

Can I apply for the antlered deer and antlerless elk management option combination hunt AND the antlered elk and antlerless elk management option combination in the same draw?

Yes. However you can only draw one antlerless elk tag. So if you are lucky and draw your deer tag and are issued the antlerless elk management tag first and also draw your antlered elk tag you will not receive a second antlerless elk management tag. Also, you cannot earn bonus points for antlerless elk management hunts.

If I draw an antlered mule deer tag and I opted for the combination hunt, am I automatically guaranteed a cow elk management tag as well?

No. Only a portion of those hunters who put in for the combination option for the mule deer hunt will draw a cow elk management tag. While the quotas have not been set, it is unlikely that cow elk management quotas will be as large as the numbers for antlered mule deer.

What cow elk hunt would take priority if I put in for the antlered deer hunt with the cow elk combination hunt option, the bull elk hunt with the cow elk combination hunt option, the cow elk any legal weapon hunt and the cow elk depredation hunt?

It is a random draw. There is no order of importance. Once a cow tag is issued all others will be marked unsuccessful.

To Apply:
Big Game Application Deadline is April 21, 2014

Online applications go to:

For Application Questions Contact: Wildlife Administrative Services
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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