South Dakota Hunting News

GFP Brings Christmas in June
For a few lucky hunters Christmas is about to come early this year. The Department of Game, Fish and Parks has completed drawings for the 2006 elk hunting licenses and is now in the process of notifying successful applicants that they need to send in the appropriate license fee to receive their hunting tags.
Mountain Lion Season Proposed
A proposal from the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission would give Black Hills deer hunters a chance to harvest a mountain lion.
Mountain Lion Population Estimate Raised
Information collected by South Dakota State University researchers indicates that habitat in the Black Hills likely supports more mountain lions than previously thought.
Four State Refuges Repealed
Three South Dakota game refuges that were no longer serving their intended purpose have been repealed by the Game, Fish and Parks Commission. Four refuges were originally proposed to be repealed, according to Regional Habitat Manager Mary Clawson of Aberdeen, but there was enough public opposition to warrant keeping Dry Lake State Waterfowl Refuge in Hamlin County on the list of refuges.
Hunting Incidents Increase in 2005
"2005 saw a significant increase in hunting incidents in the state of South Dakota," Robertson said. "In fact, there were more injuries while pheasant hunting during the first three weeks of the 2005 pheasant season than were total hunting-related incidents reported for all of the 2004 hunting seasons."
Mountain Lion Mortality Figures for 2005 Compiled
Game, Fish, and Parks has been recording mountain lion mortalities in South Dakota since 1996 to better understand the state’s mountain lion population. One trend the department has noted is that in the past four years the number of annual mountain lion mortalities has been rising. This trend is but another indication that the mountain lion population in the Black Hills is expanding.
Black Hills Mountain Lion Hunters Survey
Results from a Game, Fish and Parks survey of license indicate most hunters were satisfied with the mountain lion season as conducted, even though 43 percent of the license holders did not get to hunt, and only 1 percent of those that hunted were successful.
Online Spring Turkey Application
This year’s prairie spring turkey, archery turkey, Custer State Park turkey and Black Hills turkey seasons are now open for application on the Game, Fish and Parks website at www.sdgfp.info. Paper applications are scheduled to arrive in Pierre around Jan. 27. Department offices and licensing agents should receive them around Jan. 30.
Mountain Lion Research Continues
Although the mountain lion hunting season is over and South Dakota State University researcher Dan Thompson is in his final year of data collection, mountain lions continue to be a high priority for both he and Game, Fish and Parks.
Big Game Depredation Applications Due November 28
South Dakota resident deer hunters should note that application deadlines for the 2005-2006 big game depredation pool are near. Paper applications must be postmarked on or before Friday, Nov. 25. Online applicants have up to midnight on Monday, Nov. 28.