Elk Season Proposals

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The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission recently proposed South Dakota's 2002 elk seasons. Included would be a few additional licenses and an additional, December antlerless-only opportunity under the Black Hills firearms season.

The prairie elk season would offer four units, 311A, 311B and 311C (Bennett County) with expanded season dates from last year. Season dates would vary for each unit:

  • Unit 311A, Sept. 21 - Oct. 4 and Nov. 30 - Dec. 20.
  • Unit 311B, Oct. 5-18 and Nov. 30 - Dec. 20.
  • Unit 311C, Oct. 26 - Nov. 8 and Nov. 30 - Dec. 20

Units 311D and 311E from last year would be eliminated. Unit 330A (Gregory County) would be open from Sept. 1 through Nov. 8, and from Nov. 18 through Dec. 31.

Total licenses available would be increased from 42 to 46.

Preference will apply to the prairie elk season. Preference can be switched within season units, but not between different seasons. In other words, preference for Black Hills elk cannot be used for prairie elk seasons or visa-versa.

Total available licenses for the Black Hills firearms elk season would increase from 490 any elk, 160 bull elk and 474 antlerless elk to 496 any elk and 676 antlerless elk licenses. Another change would combine units 407 and 408 into an expanded unit 407. Lastly, a season would be established during December for antlerless elk licenses in all units.

Proposed changes for Black Hills archery elk would change the season date in Unit 430B from Sept. 1-30 to Sept. 1?Oct. 15 and extend the season in Unit 423A to Sept. 1-30.

License numbers would increase from 135 any elk and five antlerless elk licenses to 112 any elk and 39 antlerless elk licenses.

A person that is eligible may apply for an elk license in more than one season, but there are still restrictions that limit the number of elk licenses a person can possess. Anyone drawing elk licenses for more than one season may only accept one of the licenses. Eligibility and preference will not be affected by any unaccepted elk license.

To comment, individuals can attend the public hearing at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 11 at Holiday Inn Express in Deadwood, or write Game, Fish and Parks, 523 E. Capitol, Pierre, S.D. 57501. E-mail comments may be sent to wildinfo@gfp.state.sd.us. Comments must include full name and address.