PIERRE, S.D. –-(Ammoland.com)- Hunter surveys of the Black Hills Deer and Firearms Antelope hunting seasons indicate a decline in the number of hunters and harvest for both seasons in 2011.
“The reduction in the number of deer and antelope taken during those two seasons is in line with our management goals for both,” said Corey Huxoll, a GFP biologist who leads the harvest survey effort. “We have reduced the number of licenses available for those seasons to help increase the herds.”
The 2006 Black Hills Deer season had about 9,000 licenses issued and 5,400 deer harvested, for a 60 percent success rate. The 2011 season had about 4,500 licenses issued and 2,530 deer harvested, for a 57 percent success rate.
In 2011, hunter reports indicated 2,011 white-tailed deer bucks, 401 white-tailed deer does, 107 mule deer bucks and 10 mule deer does were harvested during the Black Hills Firearm season.
The Firearms Antelope season has seen a similar decline in harvest.
In 2008, about 12,800 antelope licenses were sold and 17,056 antelope harvested. In 2011, there were 6,209 licenses sold and 4,498 antelope harvested. Success rate of hunters for both years was 50 percent.
Hunter reports indicated 2,523 antelope bucks and 1,971 antelope does were harvested in 2011.
GFP randomly samples hunters after most big-game seasons to determine hunter success. Surveying begins as soon as a hunting season closes. It typically takes a couple of months to gather information and prepare a report. The hunting surveys are posted on the GFP website.
“The harvest information that hunters provide us after each season is a vital part of our wildlife management programs,” Huxoll said. “We are able to get a very accurate look at harvest distribution and hunter success to help us formulate the next year’s hunting seasons.”