PIERRE, S.D. – During the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Commission meeting this week, enhancements were made to an existing proposal to give all deer hunters a chance of obtaining their most preferred deer license more often. The existing proposal was reverted back to the GFP Commission by the Legislature's Rules Review Committee on Nov. 20 for more work.
Enhancements to the existing proposal include:
1. Preference points for the combined deer drawings will be free to youth age 15 or younger during the calendar year when the preference point is acquired.
2. All first-time youth hunters, age 15 or younger during the calendar year of the drawing, would receive a bonus preference point upon submitting an application for any of the four limited-draw deer seasons during the combined drawing (East River Deer, West River Deer, Black Hills or Muzzleloader). This bonus preference point would only be received to first time youth applicants.
a. Example: A first time youth hunter applying for a West River Deer license at 12 years of age would receive one preference point for submitting an application. If unsuccessful, they would receive an additional point for being unsuccessful and have two for the following year. When they submit an application the following year they would then have two preference points at age 13.
b. Parents or guardians are reminded that youth can begin accumulating preference points at ages 10 and 11. Any preference point fees previously set for these ages would also be waived.
3. Nonresident deer hunting opportunities would be pushed back to the fifth draw, giving resident deer hunters an increased opportunity to acquire multiple licenses ahead of nonresidents.