South Dakota GFP Commission Finalizes Elk Seasons

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The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission has voted to reduce the number of "antlerless elk" tags available to hunters.

The Black Hills Firearms Elk Season will have 570 total tags available, with 175 being antlerless.

The Black Hills Archery Elk Season will have 97 total tags available, with 15 antlerless.

Custer State Park will have four resident "any elk" tags available, and the Late Archery Season in the park will be closed for 2012.

The Commission reduced the proposed number of antlerless tags after considering public input at a meeting in Rapid City. While the elk population is low in some parts of the Black Hills, the Department of Game, Fish and Parks is still receiving depredation complaints from landowners in the Hills where the elk population is still good.

The Commission also set the 2012 Prairie Elk Season. The season will offer 47 "any elk" and 53 "antlerless elk" licenses, compared to 49 "any elk" and 79 "antlerless elk" licenses in 2011.

A new Prairie Elk Unit was added in the portion of Fall River County, south of the Cheyenne River and west of Highway 385. That unit, 27A, will have a season from Sept 1 - Oct 31.

Unit 09A, which includes portions of Butte and Lawrence County, will now have a split season for elk. The new season dates are Sept 15 - Oct 31 and Dec 1- 15.

Unit 30A, which includes portions of Gregory and Boyd County, Nebraska, will have a split season running from Sept 29- Oct 28 and Dec. 1- 31 to coincide with the changes made by Nebraska for that shared elk unit.

In other Commission action, the Custer State Park Deer Season was finalized with 10 "any whitetail" and two "any deer" tags available.

The Bighorn Sheep Hunting season will have two "any bighorn sheep" licenses available, a reduction of one tag from 2011.