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GFP News - april 8, 2016


Hunters to See More Flexibitlity in the Second Elk Drawing for 2016

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission agreed to allow individuals the option of using their preference points to draw a leftover antlerless elk tag in the second drawing, but only if they are willing to give up their preference points and future eligibility (nine years). 

"This is a significant change to the second drawing for the Black Hills, prairie and archery elk hunting seasons," stated Scott Simpson, chief of administrative services for the GFP Division of Wildlife. "Anyone can put in an application for the second drawing; if they do not already have a 2016 license. Through the online application system, applicants will now have the option to select whether they want to relinquish their preference points and eligibility if successful. Those that choose to use their preference points, will receive the opportunity to draw a leftover antlerless elk tag prior to those who choose not to use their preference points."

There are no changes to the first elk drawing from the current status. Individuals applying for elk licenses will use preference points when their application is submitted.

The deadline for the first drawing requires paper applications to be postmarked by May 20 and online applications must be submitted by May 25 at 8 a.m. CT.

The second drawing is online applications only and the deadline is June 22 at 8 a.m. CT. No paper applications will be accepted for the second draw.

"If antlerless licenses remain after the first drawing, applicants could increase their odds of going elk hunting by being able to use their preference points when applying for those licenses," concluded Simpson.



Custer State Park and Prairie Elk Seasons finalized

PIERRE, S.D. -The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized several elk hunting seasons for 2016 and 2017 on Thursday. Additional information on the 2017 hunting seasons can be found online at

There will be nine resident any elk licenses for Custer State Park (CSP); an increase of one license from 2015. The any elk seasons dates for CSP are Sept. 17 - Oct. 2, 2016.

The CSP elk hunting season will also allow for 20 antlerless elk licenses in two separate hunting units. These two unit hunting dates will be Oct. 8-16 and Oct. 22-30, 2016.

The Commission also modified the unit boundary for the CSP antlerless elk season. Antlerless licenses will not be valid throughout CSP, but limited to the southern portion of the park. See map below.

The Commission also added 51 licenses for the 2016 and 2017 prairie elk hunting seasons.

Unit 9A (Portions of Butte, Lawrence and Meade counties)

Sept. 15 - Oct. 31 and Dec. 1 - 31
10 any elk and 40 antlerless elk licenses

The Commission modified this unit to include Meade County north of the existing unit boundary, east of Interstate 90, south of SD Highway 34, and west of Middle Alkali Road.
Unit 11A, B, C, D (Bennett and portions of Jackson and Mellette counties)

11A: July 15 - Aug. 31
11B: Sept.1 - Oct. 14      
11C: Oct. 15 - Nov.30     
11D: Sept. 1 - Dec. 31       
24 any elk licenses and 30 antlerless elk licenses

Unit 15A (Portions of Butte County) 

Sept. 1 - Oct. 31 and Dec. 1 - 31 
10 any elk and 10 antlerless elk licenses

Unit 27A (Portions of Fall River County)

Oct. 1 - 31 and Dec. 1 - 31 
15 any elk and 10 antlerless elk licenses

Unit 30A (Portions of Gregory County)



Archery and Firearms elk Seasons Finalized

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the 2016 and 2017 archery and firearms elk seasons Thursday at their April meeting.

The archery season will run Sept. 1-30 in 2016 and 2017. In comparison to the 2015 season, the season has an additional three any elk licenses and 84 additional antlerless elk licenses.

The Commission also finalized the 2016 and 2017 Black Hills elk hunting seasons with an increase of 768 licenses from 2015; with 13 additional any elk licenses and 755 additional antlerless licenses. The season will run Oct. 1-31, 2016, for hunters possessing an any elk hunting license.

The Commission also created an antlerless elk hunting subunit in Unit 2, and a new format and timeframe for antlerless hunting. In Units 2 and 3, there will be subunits with an antlerless license allocation and each will have approximately a two week period to hunt. Those time periods will be either the second half of October, first half of December, or the last half of December.  In all remaining antlerless hunting units, hunters will have the ability to hunt the second half of October and the ability to come back during the first half of December to hunt.


Early Goose hunting Season and August Management Take Season finalized

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the 2016 early goose hunting season with two changes from 2015; changing the start date of the season from Sept. 1 to the first Saturday in September and to modify the boundaries of Units 1 and 2 by adding portions of Yankton, Clay and Union counties near the Missouri River to Unit 2. To view unit boundaries, visit

Only areas in Unit 1 are open to the early fall Canada goose season, which will run from Sept. 3-30 in 2016 and Sept. 2-30 in 2017. This season has a daily limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45.

The Commission also removed Brookings, Brown, Clark, Codington, Day, Deuel, Hamlin, Hanson, Hutchinson, Grant, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, Marshall, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Roberts, Spink, Turner and Union counties from open areas for the August Management Take. This will leave Pennington County west of the Cheyenne River as the only open area to hunt Canada geese during the Aug. 20-31 dates.

The August Management Take will allow for a daily bag of 15 geese, no possession limit and is open to residents only.


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