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GFP News - November 21, 2012

GFP Encourages hunters to register for winter big game hunts

PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota hunters will soon have an opportunity to submit applications for winter big-game depredation hunts if and when they are required.

"GFP's Wildlife Damage Management Program assists landowners with depredation problems, and winter depredation hunts are a valuable tool to alleviate wildlife damage to livestock feed supplies," said Keith Fisk, Wildlife Damage Program administrator in the Game, Fish and Parks Department. "During mild winters, few hunts are needed; however, when extreme conditions cause wildlife to congregate near farmsteads and livestock feed, depredation hunts are more common."

South Dakota residents may register for potential depredation hunts for deer, antelope, and turkey starting Dec. 1 at

Applications put hunters in a pool of people who may be called upon if GFP, working with farmers and ranchers, determines that a big game hunt is necessary to alleviate depredation issues.

"Depredation hunts are time-sensitive, and winter weather can sometimes make travel difficult for participating hunters," Fisk said. "We need those hunters to be available at the hunt location within a day or two. Consequently, we encourage hunters to choose locations that are within close driving distance."

Registered hunters are selected through a random drawing process when a depredation hunt is authorized.

For more information, please visit or contact GFP at 605.223.7660.


Proper Disposal Of Deer Carcass Important Part of Hunt

PIERRE, S.D. - Deer hunters have enjoyed mild weather and beautiful scenery this fall, but successful hunts also bring a responsibility to care for the landscape.

"Mission accomplished, your deer is dressed and ready for transportation, but there is still cleanup to take care of," said Emmett Keyser, assistant director for the Game, Fish and Parks Division of Wildlife. "Now you have a large gut pile, and if you process the deer yourself, you'll have legs, hide, bones and other leftovers to discard. How do you handle those remains?"

Keyser said the answer begins with respect for the land and landowners.

"Hunters hunting on private land should never assume they are OK to leave offal and other remains from big game in the field. Discuss it with the landowner before starting your hunt. He may be comfortable with scavengers cleaning up the gut pile, but then again he may ask that you leave no trace of your hunt behind," Keyser said.

Never leave cleanings from a big game hunt where people can see them.

While it is permissible to field-dress deer on public hunting areas and leave cleanings, leaving deer carcasses near boat ramps, along roads or dumping them at public hunting areas is not only unethical but illegal.

"Legally, you cannot dump the carcass along the side of a roadway, near a boat ramp, in a creek or on public property," Keyser said. "This is criminal littering, and you can be cited for it. Sometimes, people think it is OK to dump the carcass because it is an animal, but it is considered littering."

Dumping deer carcasses in that manner also reflects poorly on hunters.

If you live in town and need to dispose of your deer carcass, you do have options.

Many communities allow disposal at landfills. Check with your local landfill to see if it is allowed, and if it is, how best to bag the remains for disposal.

Another option for hunters is to have big game processed through a wildlife processing facility.


Antlerless Deer Tags Have Extended Season

PIERRE, S.D. - The regular West River Deer season closes on Nov. 25, and the regular East River Deer season closes on Dec. 2. Nine additional days will be available to harvest antlerless deer, beginning Dec. 29 and ending on Jan. 6.

"We want to remind both West River and East River deer hunters that their 'any deer' and 'any whitetail deer' tags are only valid during the regular 16-day season, and that they will not convert to 'antlerless tags' like in previous years," said Tom Kirschenmann, chief of terrestrial resources for the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department. "Only unfilled 'any antlerless deer' and 'antlerless whitetail deer' tags will be valid for the late-season dates."

The changes were made to accomplish additional antlerless deer harvest in areas of the state that need it most while curtailing the doe harvest where deer populations are at or below population objectives.


Game, Fish and Parks Commission Proposes Spring Turkey Season

MADISON, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed a slight reduction in licenses for the 2013 Spring Prairie Turkey Season.

The commission has recommended a reduction in one-tag "male" turkey licenses by 105 and reduce the two-tag "any turkey" licenses by 200 compared to 2012.

The commission also is proposing 10 resident archery turkey licensees for the Blood Run Nature Area and 10 resident archery licensees to hunt at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve through the issuance of "access permits" via a lottery drawing.

A modification of the spring unit boundaries for the Black Hills and 49A to be consistent with the fall turkey unit boundaries was also proposed.

The proposals will be finalized at the Dec. 6-7 GFP meeting at the Pierre Ramkota.

To comment, email with your name and city. You can also comment in person at the December meeting. Proposals will begin at 2 p.m., CST on Thursday, Dec. 6.

For view the full proposals, visit

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