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GFP News - april 2, 2015

Elk and Mountain Goat Seasons Set

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the 2015 elk hunting seasons at their April meeting.

The Commission finalized the allocation of eight any elk licenses for the Custer State Park (CSP) firearms season. As in 2014, four any elk licenses will be available for the CSP early archery elk season. The CSP late archery elk and CSP antlerless elk seasons will remain closed.

The 2015 Black Hills firearms elk season will have 430 any elk and 500 antlerless elk licenses available, an increase of 260 licenses from 2014. The Commission also allocated a pool of antlerless elk contingency licenses, not to exceed 20 percent of allocated antlerless licenses for the Black Hills firearms season. These licenses will only be utilized in extreme situations such as those created by drought conditions. Contingency licenses would be authorized through a GFP Commission resolution and considered in August.

The Commission finalized 48 any elk and 50 antlerless elk licenses for the 2015 prairie elk season, an increase of five licenses from 2014. No licenses will be issued for Unit 30A (portions of Gregory County). The portion of Jackson County south of Highway 44 and BIA Highway 2 will be added to Unit 11 A, B, C and D. The season dates for Unit 11C have been adjusted and will run from the second Sunday of October to Nov. 30.

There will be 144 any elk and 56 antlerless elk licenses available for the 2015 archery elk season, an increase of 93 licenses from 2014.

The Commission also re-opened the mountain goat hunting season, the first time in the state since 2006. The season will offer two any mountain goat licenses and the season will run from Sept. 1 - Dec. 31, 2015.

For more information on the South Dakota elk hunting seasons, visit: For more information on the South Dakota mountain goat hunting season, visit:

Several Small Game Seasons Set

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission reviewed several small game seasons with no changes made from 2014 at their April meeting. Season dates for upland game hunting in 2015 are as follows:

Pheasant: Oct. 17, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016
Grouse (prairie chicken, sharp-tailed and ruffed): Sept. 19, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016
Cottontail rabbit: Sept. 1, 2015 - Feb. 29, 2016
Crow: Sept. 1 - Oct.31, 2015 and March 1 - April 30, 2016
Mourning dove: Sept. 1 - Nov. 9
Partridge: Sept. 19, 2015 - Jan. 3, 2016

For more information and additional details on the above listed hunting seasons, visit

Black Hills Mountain Lion Hunting Season Ends

PIERRE, S.D. -- The Black Hills mountain lion hunting season officially closed on March 31, 2015. The season also would have closed if hunters harvested a total of 75 lions or 50 female mountain lions.

This year, hunters harvested a total of 43 lions; 22 of those were female lions.

The season remains open for areas outside the Black Hills Fire Protection District year round. 
For more information on South Dakota's mountain lion hunting season, visit:

Spring Turkey Hunting Seasons Begin

PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota's spring turkey hunters will get their chance to bag a gobbling tom this weekend as the 2015 archery turkey season begins April 4 and runs through May 17, 2015.

The traditional prairie firearms turkey hunting season as well as the Black Hills and Custer State Park seasons will run April 11-May 17, 2015. Leftover prairie licenses are available on a first come, first-served basis. South Dakota residents are eligible for two Black Hills licenses, while non-residents are eligible for one.

For more information on South Dakota turkey hunting opportunities, visit:

South Dakota Anglers and Boaters Asked to Select Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots

PIERRE, S.D. - The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation's (RBFF) Take Me Fishing™ campaign is again asking boaters and anglers to cast their votes in its 2015 America's Top Family Fishing and Boating Spots Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes features five parks in South Dakota, aiming to increase awareness of family-friendly parks across the country and to get more families out fishing and boating.

"Fishing is a large part of our economy and culture in South Dakota," said Lynn Spomer, Visitor Services coordinator for South Dakota State Parks. "We have many wonderful facilities and areas where families can come and fish."

The 2015 Sweepstakes features 276 parks from across the U.S., including 5 from South Dakota. Entrants can vote for up to three parks daily. The parks with the most votes will be placed on the list of 2015 America's Top 100 Family Fishing and Boating Spots.

The South Dakota parks featured in the 2015 promotion are Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, Yankton, S.D.; Lake Alvin State Recreation Area, Harrisburg, S.D.; Family Park, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Hartford Beach State Park, Corona, S.D.; and Custer State Park, Custer, S.D.

Entrants to the sweepstakes will have a chance to win weekly prizes. The grand prize is a three-night, four-day stay for four at the Walt Disney World® Resort, including a Guided Fishing Excursion.

For more information about Take Me Fishing™ or to vote in the sweepstakes, visit

Trophies, Bows and Scholarships Awarded at the 2015 NASP Tournament

PIERRE, S.D. - Approximately 400 young archers from across South Dakota gathered in Rapid City last weekend to claim top honors in the 2015 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) state tournament sponsored by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP).

The top scoring teams and individuals in the elementary, middle school and high school divisions received trophies and GFP awarded the top individual winners with bows.

Schools had an opportunity to bring teams to the tournament to shoot a total possible score of 3,600 points. Teams must have consisted of at least twelve students and a minimum of four males and four females.

Winning Teams:


  1. Eagle Butte- 2,482
  2. Gettysburg- 2,379
  3. Rockyford- 1,454

Middle School

1. RC East Middle- 2,995

2. Gettysburg- 2,803

3. OLL-Porcupine- 2,709

High School

1. Avon-3,119

2. RC Central-3,084

3. Dakota Christian-2,867

In addition to the team competition, each individual archer shot for a total possible score of 300 points.

Elementary Division Winners:
1.       Matthew Birkeland-Jones County -273
2.       TC Lawrence-Eagle Butte- 244
3.       Emma Faller-Dakota Christian- 243

Middle School Division Winners:
1.       Dylan Westover-OLL Porcupine- 286
2.       Jacob Birkeland-Jones County- 279
3.       Gabriel Sanchez-Rockyford- 273

High School Division Winners:
1.       Tanner Williamson-RC Central- 286
2.       Mekayla Kelly-Red Cloud-282
3.       Austin Stromberg-McCook County Central- 280

Scholarships totaling $1,000 were also awarded to students who participated in the tournament. Scholarship winners were Ashton Larson of Gettysburg, Jeila Schuh of Red Cloud and Taylor Johnson of Avon. Funding for the student scholarships came through the South Dakota Parks and Wildlife Foundation, Cabela's, Jones County Sportsman's Club and the NASP Foundation.

To become part of next year's tournament, contact Curt at or call 605.220.2130.



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