CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. -(Ammoland.com)- The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to offer approximately 10,500 fewer licenses for the 2017 East River deer hunting season; with a majority of this reduction to antlerless whitetail licenses.
The Commission proposed 3,580 more one-tag licenses, 4,925 less two-tag licenses (10,150 tags), and 1,400 less 3-tag licenses (4,200 tags) compared to 2016.
There would be a proposed total of 21,085 one-tag and 5,250 two-tag licenses available.
The Commission also proposed to create a new Limited Access Unit (Unit 13L) in Brule County restricted to the Army Corps of Engineer property, all Game Production Areas, and the Elm Creek Lakeside Use Area immediately adjacent to the Missouri River, and the Pease Game Production Area in southwest Buffalo County. This unit would consist of all public land and landowner preference would not apply.
In addition, the Commission proposed to modify Unit 13A to include all of Brule County excluding that portion within Unit 13L and to modify Unit 14A to include all of Buffalo County excluding the Pease Game Production Area within Unit 13L.
With the creation of this limited access unit; archery, muzzleloader and youth deer hunters would be required to obtain a free, unlimited access permit from the department prior to hunting in this area.
The proposed dates for the 2017 and 2018 East River deer hunting seasons would be:
Nov. 18 – Dec. 3, 2017
Dec. 30, 2017 – Jan. 7, 2018 for antlerless deer tags only
Nov. 17 – Dec. 2, 2018
Dec. 29, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019 for antlerless deer tags only
The Commission proposed to slightly reduce the total number of licenses available for the 2017 and 2018 West River deer hunting seasons compared to 2016 by adjusting resident license numbers with an increase in one-tag licenses by 995 and a decrease in two-tag licenses by 2,100.
It was also proposed to adjust nonresident license numbers by increasing one-tag licenses by 80 and decreasing two-tag licenses by 168. The total number of proposed licenses would be 15,340 one-tag and 3,320 two-tag resident licenses and 1,231 one-tag and 266 two-tag licenses for nonresidents.
The Commission also proposed to discontinue the split seasons for Gregory and Mellette counties and to have them align with the West River deer hunting season. It was also proposed to change the season date for Unit 24B (Little Moreau) to 16 consecutive days beginning on the Saturday 12 days before Thanksgiving.
The proposed season dates for the 2017 and 2018 West River deer hunting seasons would be:
Nov. 11-26, 2017
Nov. 10-25, 2018
The Commission will finalize these proposals June 8-9 at Cedar Shore Resort in Oacoma. Written comments can be sent to [email protected] To be part of the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CDT on June 8.
Please include a full name along with the city and state of residence. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held June 8 at 2 p.m. CDT at Cedar Shore Resort in Oacoma.