Agency

GFP March Commission Updates

March 1, 2019

GFP March Commission Updates

  • Nest Predator Bounty Program
  • Extension of Trapping Dates on Public Lands
  • Rule Proposal to Allow for Free Hunting Licenses, Park Entrance Licenses
  • Hunt for Habitat - 3 Super Tag Packages
  • Bighorn Sheep Season Proposed; Mountain Goat Season Finalized
  • CSP Antlerless Elk Season Closure Proposed
  • West River Whitetail Special Buck Licenses Proposed
  • Mickelson Trail and Park Entrance Exemptions
  • Changes to Specialized State Park Land Use Proposed

GFP Commission Proposal Would Allow for Nest Predator Bounty Program

PIERRE, S.D. – Earlier this week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed a rule outlining the new Nest Predator Bounty Program as outlined in Governor Noem’s Second Century Initiative.

If approved, the framework for the bounty program would include:

  • Eligible species: raccoon, striped skunk, opossum, badger or red fox.
  • Open to South Dakota residents only.
  • Animals must be harvested in South Dakota by the resident participant.
  • If under the age of 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian must submit the electronic bounty form on behalf of the youth.
  • Information on the electronic bounty form must be true and accurate.

These provisions are necessary to allow conservation officers to enforce the bounty program.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

GFP Commission Proposes Extending Trapping Dates on Public Lands

PIERRE, S.D. – With the launch of Governor Noem’s Second Century Initiative, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to extend the existing rule to allow the use of traps and snares on public lands and improved rights-of-ways through August 31.

Current rule allows for trapping on these lands through May 1.

The proposal would require owners of traps and snares to actively operate and check their equipment in accordance to trap-check rules.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

GFP Commission Proposes Rule to Allow for Free Hunting Licenses, Park Entrance Licenses

PIERRE, S.D. – Also this week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to authorize the department secretary the opportunity to issue a free state park entrance license or small game hunting license as part of a digital crowdsourcing effort to find habitat management solutions across the state.

As part of this process, any member or the public whose idea is implemented would receive a free state park entrance license or small game hunting license. Constituents with habitat improvement ideas should visit the South Dakota Habitat Solutions Facebook page or submit ideas via email to habitatpays@state.sd.us.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting these proposals on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

GFP Commission Proposes Hunt for Habitat: 3 Super Tag Packages

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to create three super tag license packages earlier this week as another part of Governor Noem’s Second Century Initiative. 

Each license package would include a tag for one any elk, any deer and any antelope. In addition, the creation of one Custer State Park trophy bison license was also proposed.

Both residents and nonresidents would be eligible to submit applications for these super tags, but no more than one of the three license packages could be issued to a nonresident. Both residents and nonresidents would be eligible to submit applications for the trophy bison license.

A $10 application fee is being proposed for residents and a $20 application fee is being proposed for nonresidents. An unlimited amount of applications can be submitted.

Preference points would not be accrued for super tags. Super tag winners would be able to choose the current or following year for when their tag(s) would be valid.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

GFP Commission Proposes Bighorn Sheep Season; Finalizes Mountain Goat

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission, proposed a slight change to the Unit 3 boundary for the 2019 bighorn sheep hunting season by removing an area south and west of Badlands National Park.

The proposed hunting season would run Sept. 1 – Dec. 31, 2019, and have four ram bighorn sheep licenses available. One of the three bighorn sheep licenses continues to be allocated as an auction tag.

The GFP Commission proposed no changes to the 2019 and 2020 mountain goat hunting season. By rule, these seasons are finalized with dates of Sept. 1 – Dec. 31 for 2019 and 2020. Two any mountain goat licenses will be available each season.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the bighorn sheep hunting season proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

GFP Commission Proposes to Close Custer State Park Antlerless Elk Season

PIERRE, S.D. – A proposal by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission would close the antlerless elk hunting season in Custer State Park (CSP) with a current elk population estimate of approximately 552 elk.

The population objective for CSP elk is 800 wintering elk and will generally range from 700-900 depending on habitat conditions.

The antlerless season opened in 2017 to allow the department to learn more about several areas of the CSP elk herd, including: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), concerns of over-utilizing forage, and to evaluate future management actions. With the recent dispersal of elk from this antlerless unit and no identified management response actions if CWD reaches a certain threshold, there is no need for this season.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

GFP Commission Proposes West River Whitetail Special Buck Licenses

PIERRE, S.D. – A proposal by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission would give deer hunters another option for the 2020 deer hunting season and beyond.

The proposal would establish a special any whitetail deer license for both residents and nonresidents in the West River deer hunting season. This license would be valid only on private land.

The cost of the new license would be $169 for residents and $554 for nonresidents.

The proposal calls for an allocation of 4 percent of the total resident West River deer licenses that includes an any whitetail deer tag from the previous year or 500 for each for resident and nonresident hunters; whichever is greater.

Other stipulations within this proposed season would be:

  • If a person successfully draws a special any whitetail deer license the licensee will not be able to apply for a West River deer license in the first and second deer license drawings.
  • If a person successfully draws a West River deer license they may not apply for a leftover special any whitetail deer license.
  • Applicant must have permission from an owner or lessee of private land before applying.
  • Applicant for special any whitetail buck must also include the name and phone number of the owner or lessee providing permission.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting the proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

GFP Commission Proposes Mickelson Trail and Park Entrance Exemptions

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed several rule changes related to entrance and use fees that would expand opportunities in state parks across the state.

The Commission proposed exempting the Mickelson Trail pass requirement for past and present military personnel along with their family and guests if participating in an approved military group event held on the trail. It would include South Dakota military veterans, members of the South Dakota National Guard and military reserve units, patients of veterans’ hospitals in South Dakota and family members and guests attending the event. Event organizers would need to complete an online special event application before the event.

The change would officially include the Mickelson Trail in a rule that provides the same benefits in all other state park areas, which was implemented three years ago.

The proposal would also eliminate a $15 late fee on the Mickelson Trail, which could be charged if a user was on the trail without current pass. With the late fee eliminated, users would be required to immediately purchase either a daily or annual trail pass at regular cost.

The Commission also proposed exempting any enrolled Crow Creek tribal member and their family from the park entrance license requirement at West Bend Recreation Area.

Another proposal would set the expiration of a daily park entrance license at 11 p.m. year-round. This would extend use hours and replace the 9 p.m. expiration currently in place during the parks’ shoulder season (October through April).

The GFP Commission will consider adopting this proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

GFP Commission Proposes Changes to Specialized State Park Land Use

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed rule changes that impact state park land use, including commercial use, .22 firearms and tree stands.

The Commission proposed a fee structure for permitting commercial activities in South Dakota State Parks. Examples of typical for-profit commercial activity are commercial photography and filming, food vendors, kayak lessons, horseback and bicycle tours, rock climbing schools and concerts. Commercial users would need to secure a permit and pay applicable fees. The proposal would also remove agricultural activity from the permitting requirement, as it is already required by statute and therefore redundant.

The Commission also proposed repealing a rule that prohibits uncased .22 rimfire firearms in the state parks, opening up the opportunity for hunters to pursue small game during legal hunting seasons.

Another proposed change would extend the time that tree stands are allowed in state parks. The proposed timeframe would be from Aug. 1 to March 31, allowing earlier installation of tree stands to accommodate archery hunters and to allow extra time to remove them due to weather restraints. The current rule allows tree stands from Aug. 25 to Feb. 15.

A proposed rule change regarding the time limit for occupying a campsite would not change the rule, but seeks to eliminate confusion. The phrase used to describe the time limit would change from 15 consecutive days to 14 consecutive nights to be consistent with use elsewhere in rule.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting this proposal on April 4-5 at the Outdoor Campus in Rapid City. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held April 4 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. 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 (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

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