Anterless Deer Hunting Opportunity

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To encourage hunters to harvest additional antlerless deer, state Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) officials are reminding youth, muzzleloader and archery antlerless hunters that leftover licenses remain for these deer seasons that are currently open. Additionally, extensions for South Dakota’s West and East River deer seasons will be open Jan. 1-11 for more antlerless deer harvest opportunity.

"To address South Dakota’s high deer populations in some areas, GFP officials have been encouraging hunters to take advantage of available hunting opportunities for antlerless deer," said Game Management Specialist Ron Fowler. "To help accomplish this, the department increased available antlerless licenses, and we are reminding youth, muzzleloader and archery antlerless deer hunters that leftover licenses are still available in many units for these seasons."

The archery deer season is currently open. The youth deer season opened for its second go-around on Saturday, Dec. 6 and closes Wednesday, Dec. 31. Muzzleloader deer season opened Saturday, Dec. 13 and, like the archery antlerless deer season, runs through Jan. 31, 2004.

Leftovers can be found by visiting the GFP website at and clicking on "leftover licenses" under the subheading "Popular Shortcuts."

To acquire a license, one must submit a paper application with payment by postal mail (except East River deer). Applications can be found and printed by finding the appropriate link under the same subheading "Popular Shortcuts." Applications are also available at GFP offices and license agents across the state. The link to license agents is found online by clicking on "hunting" on the GFP homepage.

Extended opportunity for unfilled and unsold regular West and East River deer licenses (all converted to antlerless) opens Thursday, Jan. 1 and continues through Sunday, Jan. 11. West River is open on private lands only; East River is open on all lands. East River licenses are sold online with specially designated agents for picking up licenses linked under "Popular Shortcuts" at

Hunters are also reminded that they may only hunt with others who are properly licensed for the same seasons and hunting units. For clarification, they should consult the 2003 Hunting Handbook or contact a conservation officer or regional wildlife office.