Elk Hunters Get Extension in Black Hills and Custer State Park

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The Game, Fish and Parks Commission has extended the hunting season for Black Hills Antlerless Elk license holders. The action was taken to harvest additional elk in areas where high elk numbers are becoming a concern.

In Custer State Park, antlerless elk license holders from units 501B and 501C with unfilled tags will be able to hunt in Custer State Park from December 24, 2002 through January 26, 2003.

Black Hills Firearms Elk season units 403 and 404 will also be extended and reopened. All unfilled antlerless elk tags for units in this season, including units other than 403 and 404, will be valid for this extended season. All hunters, except those with unit 404B licenses, must hunt in Unit 403. However, hunters from unit 404 with unfilled antlerless elk tags will be restricted to Unit 404 only.

Hunters with an "any elk" license or hunters from the Black Hills archery elk season are not permitted to hunt this season extension. Licenses are limited to the antlerless license holders for three primary reasons:

  • It was determined that additional cow harvest is necessary to curb growth of the overall elk herd in unit 403, and the unfilled antlerless elk licenses should provide an adequate pool of hunters for that harvest.
  • Bull harvest was determined to be sufficient and additional harvest of bulls was not desirable in these units.
  • The purpose of this extension is not to provide recreation, but to harvest more elk in a quick and efficient manner. Landowners have already been through a long fall of hosting hunters and it is desirable to limit further inconveniences to their normal activities.