Changes Proposed For 2005 Fall Turkey Season

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South Dakota’s fall turkey season proposal suggests changing the season dates for the Black Hills, modifying, establishing and/or combining a number of prairie units and offering hundreds more one-and two-tag licenses.

"Many changes were recently proposed by the GFP Commission for the fall turkey season," said GFP Regional Wildlife Manager Will Morlock of Watertown. "One was adding many more turkey licenses, which includes offering residents 1,080 more one-tag licenses and 485 more two-tag licenses and offering nonresidents 67 more one-tag licenses and 25 more two-tag licenses. The state’s turkey populations in general have done well with the past mild winters, and additional harvest is needed to reduce their populations."

License numbers available would include:

* Black Hills: 1,500 resident and 120 nonresident one-tag "any turkey" licenses.

* Prairie:

Residents – 2,211 one-tag and 3,600 two-tag "any turkey" licenses.
Nonresidents – 79 one-tag and 268 two-tag "any turkey" licenses.

Other proposed fall turkey season changes from 2004 include:

* Change the Black Hills season dates form Oct. 8 - 23 to Oct. 1 – 31.

* Combine units 02B (central Pennington County) and 21A (eastern Custer County) into one unit.

* Combine units 15A and 15B into one unit encompassing all of Butte County and that part of Lawrence County north of Interstate 90.

* Divide unit 53A into two units where U.S. Highway 20 crosses Perkins County.

* Combine units 20A and 20B into one unit that encompasses all of Corson County.

* Expand unit 48A (Marshall County) to include that part of Day County north of Highway 12 and east of Highway 25.

* Establish new units in Hutchinson (37A) and Turner (61A) counties.

To comment on the proposals, people can attend the public hearing at 2 p.m., Thursday, May 5, at Bluebell Lodge in Custer State Park, or write Game, Fish and Parks, 523 E. Capitol, Pierre, S.D. 57501. E-mail comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. Comments must include full name and address.