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GFP News - June 6, 2016


 

Archery Deer Season Allows for More Antlerless Deer Harvest

Pierre, S.D. -The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission opened more of the state for deer hunters to harvest antlerless whitetail deer during the archery season.

In recent years, GFP has closed certain areas of the state for antlerless deer harvest due to lower deer populations. Whitetail deer numbers are increasing across much of the state and the Commission chose to ease restrictions. To view a map of these areas, visit gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/docs/2016/May/may-materials.pdf.

Resident and nonresident hunters may purchase one statewide any deer license or one East River any deer license and one West River any deer license. Residents and nonresidents may purchase one antlerless whitetail deer license as well.

The archery deer season will run from Sept. 24, 2016 - Jan. 15, 2017. From Jan. 1-15, only antlerless whitetail deer licenses would be valid.

The Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve will see an increase in the number of antlerless whitetail deer archery access permits from 20 to 25 and have five any deer resident archery access permits. Five any deer archery resident access permits will also be available for Good Earth State Park.


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More Black Hills Deer Hunting Licenses Available

Pierre, S.D - Deer hunters will have 400 more resident and 32 more nonresident antlerless whitetail deer hunting licenses for the 2016 Black Hills deer hunting season.

Black Hills deer hunters will also have 200 resident and 16 nonresident any deer licenses and 3,500 resident and 280 nonresident any whitetail deer licenses available in 2016. The Black Hills deer hunting season will run from Nov. 1-30.

The Commission added 10 antlerless whitetail deer licenses to the 2016 Custer State Park deer hunting season. This season will run Nov. 5-18, 2016, and will have 10 any whitetail deer licenses and 30 antlerless whitetail muzzleloader licenses available in 2016.

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East River, Muzzleloader and National Refuge Deer Hunting Seasons Finalized

Pierre, S.D - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission increased the number of East River deer hunting licenses for 2016. There will be 4,220 fewer one-tag licenses, 5,075 more two-tag licenses and 1,400 more three tag licenses compared to 2015.

The Commission established an antlerless deer unit within Bon Homme County; south of SD Highway 50 and SD Highway 52 and east of US Highway 37. To view a map of this proposed area, visit gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/docs/2016/May/may-materials.pdf.

The East River deer hunting season will run Nov. 19 - Dec. 4, 2016. There will also be nine days of antlerless deer hunting from Dec. 31, 2016 - Jan. 8, 2017, when only antlerless tags are valid.

The muzzleloader season will run from Dec. 1, 2016 - Jan. 15, 2017, and will have 1,000 any deer licenses and unlimited antlerless whitetail deer licenses available. From Jan. 1-15, only antlerless whitetail deer licenses would be valid.

Similar to antlerless archery deer hunting, antlerless muzzleloader deer hunting has been expanded to a larger geographic area. To view a map of these areas, visit gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/docs/2016/May/may-materials.pdf.

The Commission also finalized the National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) deer hunting seasons. The seasons and tags available are:

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West River Deer Hunting Season Finalized

Pierre, S.D -The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission has finalized the 2016 West River deer hunting season.

A total of 14,345 one-tag, 5,420 two-tag licenses will be available for residents and 1,151 one-tag, 434 two-tag licenses would be available for nonresidents.

The season will run from Nov. 5-8 and Nov. 21-27, 2016, for Gregory and Mellette counties. For all other hunting units, the season will run from Nov. 12-27, 2016.

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Changes to Antlerless Deer Licenses for Landowners

Pierre, S.D - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission changed the utilization of free antlerless deer licenses available to landowners.

These licenses are available to any qualifying farmer or rancher for use in the West River, East River, Youth, Archery and Muzzleloader seasons. Prior allowances for using these free antlerless licenses were based on previous year drawings and areas of the state where antlerless deer harvest restrictions were in place for archery and muzzleloader seasons. The requirements and equipment restrictions for each deer hunting season apply to any free antlerless license issued.

The Commission adopted a change to this validation process and will now make these free antlerless whitetail deer licenses available to those eligible landowners in hunting units offering deer licenses with multiple tags for antlerless deer in the lottery drawing for the East River and West River deer seasons.

To view a map, please visit gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/docs/2016/May/may-materials.pdf.

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2016 Fall Turkey Hunting Season Proposed

Pierre, S.D - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to dissolve the West River prairie unit and offer 105 fewer one-tag licenses for the 2016 fall turkey hunting season.

Dissolving the West River unit would lead to an alignment of fall units with spring unit boundaries where licenses will be allocated. For the fall 2016 season, this will include Unit 30A (Gregory County); Unit 50A (Mellette County) and Unit 53A (Perkins County and the portion of Meade County north of US Hwy. 212).

The proposed season would run from Nov. 1, 2016 - Jan. 31, 2017, and offer 400 resident and 32 nonresident Black Hills any turkey  licenses and for the remainder of open units across the state 1,230 single tag any turkey and 50 two-tag licenses for residents along with 28 single tag any turkey licenses for nonresidents.

The proposal would also rename the current unit NE1 to 48A and will include portions of Marshall County south and east of SD Highway 25 and north of SD Highway 10 as well as Roberts County north of SD Highway 10.  In addition, the Davison and Hanson county unit would be modified to include only that portion adjacent to the city of Mitchell.

The Commission will finalize this proposal at their July 7-8, 2016, meeting at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be part of the official public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. on July 7. Please include your full name along with the city and state of residence. If you would like to comment in person, the public hearing will be held July 7, at 2 p.m. CDT at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre.

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Sage Grouse Hunting Season Proposed; First Time Since 2012

Pierre, S.D - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to re-open the sage grouse hunting season at their June meeting.

The season has been closed since 2012 due to a decreasing population. The agency sage grouse management plan states that the season could open again if the spring lek survey count is over 250 male sage grouse on all leks. This spring revealed a count of 278 male grouse on all leks.

With that, the proposed two-day season would run from Sept. 17-18 and would allow for 40 resident hunting permits with a limit of one sage grouse per hunter. If after the first drawing, permits are still available of the 40 limited, both residents and nonresidents will be able to apply. Any leftover permits will be available first come, first-served.

The Commission will finalize this proposal at their July 7-8, 2016, meeting at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be part of the official public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. on July 7. Please include your full name along with the city and state of residence. If you would like to comment in person, the public hearing will be held July 7, at 2 p.m. CDT at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre.

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Changes to State Parks Rules Proposed

Pierre, S.D - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed a clean-up in rule changes to a number of items related to the operation of state parks, recreation areas and game production areas at their June meeting.

The first proposal pertains to the time restrictions for using these lands.  Parks staff ask people to leave areas after established hours if they are not engaged in legal activities cited in rule. Current rule language states that individuals may not enter the listed areas after the established hours, but does not address people continuing to use or occupy those areas after established hours for activities not cited in rule. The addition of the words use or occupy adds clarity to the rule purpose and intent.

The next rule proposal cleans up language outlining the campsite reservation process. The current rule language was written before the availability of the current point of sale system, online campsite reservations and the 24/7 reservation call center. The proposed language updates the rule.

The Commission also changed the terminology in regards to camping stays. Previously in rule, a camper could reserve an available campsite at any state park, recreation area or lakeside use area for up to 15 consecutive days. Campers will now be allowed to occupy a site for up to 14 nights. The time allowed to occupy a site has not changed, but 14 nights is more clearly understood than 15 days. When a camper arrives and occupies a site, that is their first night’s stay. When they have reached their fourteenth night’s stay, they must leave prior to check-out time on the fifteenth day.

The Commission will finalize this proposal at their July 7-8, 2016, meeting at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be part of the official public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. on July 7. Please include your full name along with the city and state of residence. If you would like to comment in person, the public hearing will be held July 7, at 2 p.m. CDT at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre.

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State Park Events Scheduled for June 10-11

Pierre, S.D - As the summer months are in full swing, state parks are offering more activities to help families enjoy the warmer days.

June 10

June 11

See the events calendar online for more information, gfp.sd.gov.

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