January 23, 2020
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed minor changes to the number of elk licenses available in the 2020 and 2021 hunting seasons. The intent of the changes is to allow an opportunity for adjustments to be made at finalization based on the results of the upcoming Black Hills aerial survey to maximize hunter opportunity and meet population objectives identified in the elk management plan.
The proposal would allow for a total of 430 “any elk” and 715 “antlerless elk” licenses for the Black Hills firearm season and 147 “any elk” and 85 “antlerless elk” for the Black Hills archery season for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The commission proposed reducing the number of Custer State Park “any elk” licenses from 8 to 7, and reduce the number of Custer State Park Early Archery “any elk” licenses from 3 to 2. There will be no Custer State Park “antlerless” elk licenses available for 2020 or 2021.
Along with the Custer State Park season recommendations, the commission proposed to remove the mandatory chronic wasting disease (CWD) sample submission of deer or elk harvested in the park. Hunters would still be able to voluntarily submit their animals for testing.
The commission also proposed 78 “any elk” and 75 “antlerless elk” licenses for the Prairie Elk hunting season. In addition, the commission proposed a new prairie elk hunting unit (PRE-WRA) that would include those portions of the state west of the Missouri River not associated with another prairie elk unit excluding Corson, Dewey, Oglala Lakota, Todd and Ziebach counties with season dates of Sept. 1 – Dec. 31.
Other proposed modifications to the Prairie Elk hunting season include:
1. Modify those portions of Unit 9 in Butte and Lawrence counties to include that area within a line beginning at the intersection of U.S. Highways 85 and 212, then east on Highway 212 to Whitewood Valley Road, then south on Whitewood Valley Road to Interstate 90, then west on Interstate 90 to U.S. Highway 85, then north on U.S. Highway 85 to point of origin. That portion of Unit 9 in Meade County would remain unchanged.
2. Modify Unit 15A to include those portions of Butte and Lawrence counties within a line beginning at the junction of the South Dakota-Wyoming border, east on Sourdough Road to U.S. Highway 85, then south on U.S. Highway 85 to Interstate 90, then west on Interstate 90 to the South Dakota-Wyoming border, then north to the point of origin.
3. Modify Unit 27A to include all of Fall River County not included in BHE-H3.
4. Eliminate Unit 30A (portions of Gregory County) and include this geographic area into the West River prairie unit.
To comment in person, the public hearing will be held March 5 at 2 p.m. CST at the Ramkota Convention Center in Pierre. Individuals can comment online at or mail comments 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). 


View All News