PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to remove the use of rifles to hunt spring turkeys starting in 2019. This decision was proposed as a safety concern due to the increased use of life-like decoys used by spring turkey hunters.
The Commission also proposed to:
1. Offer residents 55 more one-tag male turkey licenses and 150 less two-tag male turkey licenses for the prairie units than 2018 for an overall decrease of 245 tags.
2. Offer nonresidents two more one-tag male turkey licenses and 12 less two-tag male turkey licenses for the prairie units than 2018 for an overall decrease of 78 tags.
3. Modify the season end date for turkey hunting on the prairies, in the Black Hills and during the archery season from the eighth day prior to Memorial Day weekend to May 31.
4. Adjust the hunting season end date for Sica Hollow in unit 48A to end on May 31.
Season dates for 2019 would be:
Archery: April 6 – May 31
Black Hills regular and single-season prairie units: April 13 – May 31
Split-season early prairie units: April 13 – April 30
Split-season late Prairie units; Black Hills late season: May 1 – May 31
The Commission proposed the number of tags available for the spring turkey season as:
Black Hills: Unlimited resident and nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses
Prairie: 5,657 resident and 246 nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses
600 resident and 48 nonresident two-tag male turkey licenses
Archery: Unlimited resident and nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses
Access permits would be required to turkey hunt Good Earth State (five archery permits
available) and Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve (20 archery permits available).
The Commission also finalized the Custer State Park spring turkey hunting season for 2019 and 2020 with no changes from 2018 with season dates being April 13 – May 19, 2019 and April 11 – May 17, 2020. There will be 100 resident one-tag male turkey licenses available.
The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal at their Nov. 1-2 meeting at Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls. The public hearing will be held Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. CDT. Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing.