South Dakota GFPC Proposes Changes
The Game Fish and Parks Commission proposed several changes to upcoming big game seasons.
Proposed changes to the archery antelope season would open Campbell County to hunting and would allow sportsmen to choose from an "any antelope" or an "any antelope" plus two doe/fawn antelope license.
A proposed change to the archery deer season would allow hunters to purchase one antlerless license that would be good for the entire state. Archery hunters can also purchase "any antlerless deer" licenses that are valid for anywhere archery hunting is open, excluding the Black Hills Fire Protection District and the counties of Roberts, Grant, Codington, Lake, Moody, Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties.
As in the past, archery hunters will be able to purchase no more than five archery deer licenses, regardless of type.
"The reason behind limiting archery hunters to one antlerless tag in the Black Hills and the seven counties in eastern South Dakota is that deer numbers have reached a level where it is appropriate to reduce our antlerless harvest efforts," said Game Fish and Parks Game Chief Tom Kirschenmann. "We want hunters to be able to go out and still have the opportunity to harvest an antlerless deer in these areas. This proposed change only applies to antlerless licenses, so hunters can still purchase a statewide "any deer" license or an East River and/or West River "any deer" license."
The one state-wide antlerless tag is being proposed for the upcoming muzzleloader season as well.
"We have seen the popularity of the muzzleloading season and the success of muzzleloader hunters increase significantly over the past few years," Kirschenmann said. "Hunters will still have a chance to draw an "any deer" license that will be valid statewide and have an "any antlerless" tag valid for the entire state, but other "antlerless" licenses will be valid everywhere except the Black Hills Fire Protection District and those seven eastern counties."
A proposed change to the youth deer hunting season would limit the number of youth deer licenses a hunter can have from five to two.
"Youth deer licenses are valid statewide, and if additional licenses are desired, youth deer hunters are still eligible to apply for licenses in the regular hunting seasons", said Kirschenmann. "The harvest of antlerless deer by youth hunters is part of deer management, however the main purpose of the youth season is to provide an opportunity for youth to experience an educational and meaningful hunt."
Citizens who would like to provide written comments on the proposal may do so up until 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 5. Those comments may be mailed to Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501 or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments must have the sender's full name and address in order to become part of the public record.
Comments may also be presented in person at the May GFP Commission meeting, which will be held at Custer State Park, during the public hearing which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 6.