deer management plan
Getting Involved :: comments due april 16, 2017
As of March 10, 2017, the South Dakota Deer Management Plan draft can be downloaded here. In addition, an abbreviated version of the draft plan including executive summary and goals, objectives and strategies can be downloaded here. All comments will be considered by GFP staff and the Commission on final development of the plan. Written comments on the draft plan can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to DeerPlan@state.sd.us. Comments must be received by April 16, 2017, and include your full name and city of residence.
Individuals and special interest groups volunteered to serve on the Deer Stakeholder Group were requested to participate in scheduled meetings to provide input and suggestions related to deer management. All information presented at these meetings and minutes of discussions can be found below.
White-tailed deer and mule deer populations provide more recreational opportunity in South Dakota than all other big game species combined. In 2014, even after several years of declining participation due to conservative license allocations, deer hunting provided nearly half a million days of recreation. Deer hunters also provide an important revenue source for management and conservation providing approximately $4,800,000 in license revenue in 2014. Deer populations in South Dakota are enjoyed by non-consumptive users as well. Both mule deer and white-tailed deer provide abundant viewing opportunities to the public.
Deer populations reached record highs in the mid- 2000s in South Dakota exceeding social tolerances in almost every management unit. Record harvests, severe winters, predation, disease, and drought all likely contributed in reducing deer populations across the state by 2010. Deer populations are now below management objectives in most units. Increased controversy over declining big game populations has brought about increased demands for more data to better manage populations.
The South Dakota Deer Management Plan will provide strategic guidance and serve to identify what the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks strives to accomplish related to mule deer and white-tailed deer management within the next six years.
The South Dakota Deer Management Plan will cover topics related to past, present and future management of mule deer and white-tailed deer in South Dakota including but not limited to:
- Historical summary of deer management within South Dakota
- Current and future deer management practices
- Hunting season setting process
- Hunting season structure
- Harvest strategies
- Population survey information for both mule deer and white-tailed deer
- Deer research conducted throughout South Dakota
- Public and private land deer habitat management
- Citizen involvement and outreach
- Deer depredation management
- Challenges and Opportunities
- Ways to improve managing deer across South Dakota
- Goals, Objectives and Strategies
Deer Stakeholder Group
Stakeholder group meeting #1
Stakeholder group meeting #2
- Meeting Notes
Stakeholder group meeting #3
- Meeting Notes
Stakeholder group meeting #4
- Meeting Notes
- December 2015: Landowner and hunter public opinion survey mailed out.
- January 2016 - Februrary 2017: Public Stakeholder Group meetings conducted.
- March 2 -3, 2017: GFP staff presented summary of the draft Deer Management Plan to the GFP Commission.
- March 10 - April 16, 2017: Draft plan available for public review and comment.
- April 6 - 7, 2017: Public testimony opportunity at the GFP Commission meeting at the Watertown Convention Center.
- April 17 - 26, 2017: Incorporate public comments into the plan.
- May 4 - 5, 2017: Seek adoption of the final plan by the GFP Commission at their May meeitng in Custer State Park.