Youth Deer Changes Lessen Season Restrictions

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Game, Fish and Parks Commission changes to South Dakota’s youth deer season have made it easier for youth deer hunters to get a license and hunt statewide.

"Youth deer season changes have eliminated limited-draw units and allowed youth hunters who are still age 15 as of July 1 to purchase youth deer licenses and hunt the entire South Dakota youth deer season without county restrictions," said Regional Game Manager Ron Schauer of Sioux Falls.

Both residents and nonresidents who are or will be at least 12 years of age by Dec. 31 and are younger than 16 years of age by July 1 are eligible to purchase South Dakota youth deer licenses.

"Before this rule change, youth deer hunters could not apply if they were to turn 16 before the youth season opened in September," Schauer said. "Also, a youth deer license became invalid on the hunter’s 16th birthday, which meant the youth had to stop hunting even if the youth season was still open." He added that this action is a continuing effort to offer more licenses and get more youth involved in hunting.

Other youth deer season changes from last year include allowing both residents and nonresidents to purchase youth deer licenses right away in the first drawings and restricting youth deer hunters from purchasing more than two South Dakota youth deer licenses.

The youth deer season will open Sept. 10 – 18 and Dec. 10 – 31, statewide. Unlimited single-tag "any antlerless deer" licenses will be available.