South Dakota Considers Changes to Hunting Seasons

South Dakota Considers Changes to Hunting Seasons

South Dakota Fish, Game & Parks
South Dakota Fish, Game & Parks

South Dakota – -( The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed minor changes to several fall hunting seasons, including Mountain Lion, East River Deer and Antelope.

The Commission had made an initial proposal in May to allow a harvest limit of 35 mountain lions, or 20 female mountain lions. At its June meeting, the Commission changed that proposal to increase the harvest limit to 40 mountain lions or 25 female mountain lions.

A Commission proposal would adjust the start date for East River Deer hunting from opening on the third Saturday in November to opening on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Under the proposal, the 2009 season would open Nov. 21 and run through Dec. 6.

Another change to East River Deer season would eliminate the seven-day extension at the conclusion of the regular 16-day season that allowed “antlerless only” hunting. The proposal will adjust the start date of the 9-day antlerless extension to begin the Saturday after Christmas, versus Jan.1. Last year, McPherson, Edmunds, Faulk and Spink counties were combined into one large unit for the antlerless extension. Under the 2009 proposal, they would remain separate units, just as they are during the regular season.

Changes to the Firearms Antelope hunting season would remove the split season dates in both Corson and Dewey counties. They would be part of the regular season dates, which would run from Oct. 3-18. Butte, Harding, Perkins, Meade, Fall River and Ziebach counties would have split season dates from Oct. 3-11 and Oct. 10-18.

The National Wildlife Refuge Deer season was proposed with changes to the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge to lower the number of tags available compared to 2008. There would be 75 fewer resident “any deer plus antlerless deer” permits and five fewer for nonresidents. There would be 150 fewer two-tag “antlerless deer” permits and 15 fewer for nonresidents.

The Early Fall Canada Goose hunting season was proposed with one change from 2008, to modify the season ending date from the Friday before the last Saturday of September to Sept. 30.

In addition to hunting season changes, the Commission proposed an additional water-safety zone on McCook Lake in Union County. Responding to a request from homeowners around the lake, the Commission proposed a “no-wake zone” to the waters within 100 feet of the shoreline around the outer edge of the lake from the no-wake zone on the southwest arm of the lake to the extreme southeastern corner of the lake.

Citizens who would like to provide written comments on the proposal may do so until 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 30. Those comments may be mailed to Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D., 57501 or e-mailed to [email protected] All comments must have the sender’s full name and address in order to become part of the public record.

Comments may also be presented in person at the July GFP Commission meeting, which will be held in Pierre at the Ramkota RiverCentre, during the public hearing which is scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT Wednesday, July 1.

The purpose of the Department of Game, Fish and Parks is to perpetuate, conserve, manage, protect, and enhance South Dakota’s wildlife resources, parks, and outdoor recreational opportunities for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the people of this state and its visitors, and to give the highest priority to the welfare of this state’s wildlife and parks, and their environment, in planning and decisions.