South Dakota Spring Gobbler Season has More Opportunities

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Abundant wild turkey populations in South Dakota have led to increased hunter opportunities in the next spring turkey season.

At its November meeting, the S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Commission approved a season proposal with a 7 percent increase in licenses offered in the Prairie Unit. At the December meeting the Wildlife Division staff recommended another increase of 50 single-tag and 50 double-tag licenses in Gregory County.

The season finalized by the commission also includes a new resident-only bonus season in the Black Hills. That provision allows residents two tags in the Black Hills Unit with the second tag to be used from May 1 through May 18.

"We're convinced that the turkey population is robust enough to handle this increased hunting pressure," said George Vandel, assistant director of the Wildlife Division. "Allowing residents to take a second bird in early May could spread out the hunting pressure."

Other changes in the season include:

  • Establishing new units in Hamlin County and Day and Codington counties and prohibiting hunting with rifles in those units.
  • Adding western Brookings, Minnehaha, Hamlin and Brown counties to the area open for archery hunting.
  • Combining Dewey and Ziebach counties into one unit.
  • Revising the area description of the Lincoln County units to include all of Lincoln County.
  • Adding Minnehaha, Moody and Jerauld counties to the areas where the use of a rifle to hunt wild turkeys is prohibited.

The 2008 spring wild turkey season will be held from April 12 to May 18 in most units. License allocations in a few eastern South Dakota units are split to be valid in two successive hunting periods. The first of these split seasons will run from April 12 to April 30 and the late split season will run from May 1 to May 18.

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