GFP Commission Discusses Changes to 2021-2022 Apprentice, Youth and Mentored Deer Hunting Seasons

April 9, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. –  The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed a simplification of the Youth and Apprentice deer licenses. The proposal would state that any resident or nonresident hunter under the age of 18 would be able to purchase a Youth license. Any resident hunter over the age of 18 who has not had a deer license in the past 10 years would qualify for an Apprentice license. This proposal would also remove the rule that requires adult accompaniment for apprentice license holders.

In addition, the commission continued discussions on proposals that would reduce the harvest of antlerless mule deer in select units for the 2021 and 2022 mentored, youth and apprentice deer hunting seasons. These changes would align mentored, youth, and apprentice deer license types and hunting units.

The change would create two units, Unit MHD-03/YOD-03/APD-03 (shaded) and Unit MHD-13/YOD-13/APD-13 (white) for mentored, youth, and apprentice licenses.

Mentored, Youth, and Apprentice hunters could obtain either a single tag “any antlerless deer” license for Unit MHD-03/YOD-03/APD-03 or a single tag “antlerless whitetail deer” license for Unit MHD-13/YOD-13/APD-13. 

The establishment of these units and license types will reduce harvest of antlerless mule deer in select hunting units to increase mule deer population numbers, while maintaining current apprentice, youth, and mentored deer harvest and desired growth rates in other hunting units.

The proposed Mentored, Youth, and Apprentice Hunter Deer Seasons would be:

·        Sept. 11, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022

·        Sept 10, 2022 – Jan. 1, 2023

Individuals can comment on this proposal by visiting Comments can also be mailed to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

To hear the discussion on this proposal, audio from the meeting is available through South Dakota Public Broadcasting and will soon be available on the GFP website as part of the meeting archive. To see the proposal in its entirety, visit

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 be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on May 2.

The next GFP Commission meeting will be held May 6-7 in Custer State Park. 


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