Doug Smith

Even if the fish aren’t biting, the ducks aren’t flying and the pheasants aren’t flushing, Doug Smith says any day spent outdoors is a good day. A Minnesota native, he’s been covering the outdoors for the Star Tribune since 1995. He considers walleyes fried over a campfire to be gourmet cuisine.

South Dakota to reduce antlerless deer harvest because of declining deer population

Posted by: Doug Smith Updated: May 15, 2014 - 11:08 AM

Minnesota isn't the only state coping with declining deer populations.

South Dakota officials have announced big changes this fall to try to boost deer numbers there.

With decreased deer populations across the state, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed to reduce the number of licenses and tags for many of the state’s deer hunting seasons.

The proposed East River deer season would result in a reduction of 7,240 licenses and 20,560 tags compared to 2013. The substantial decrease in antlerless tags is intended to increase deer populations in several management areas.

Officials said the response is being implemented where deer populations have declined over the past few years due primarily to outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), habitat loss and weather.

Here's more from a news release:

The proposed West River deer season would result in 3,775 fewer licenses with a corresponding reduction in tags by 25,120 (56 percent). Similar to the East River deer season, the most significant reduction in tags for the West River season will be antlerless tags, which are proposed to decrease by 86 percent or 23,145 compared to 2013.

The commission proposal for the Black Hills deer hunting season would have no antlerless licenses for 2014. The Black Hills proposal calls for 200 resident and 16 non-resident any deer licenses and 3,000 resident and 240 non-resident any whitetail deer licenses.

The Department of Game, Fish and Parks recommended no changes to the Custer State Park deer hunting season and will again have 10 any whitetail licenses and 20 antlerless whitetail muzzleloader licenses.

The proposal for the 2014 archery deer hunting season would only allow the harvest of whitetail deer on antlerless deer licenses. Each hunter could only have one antlerless license. In addition, several management units in both the eastern and western parts of the state would be closed to antlerless archery deer licenses. 

Youth deer hunters could have one antlerless license; which would be valid statewide under the Commission’s proposal.

The commission will finalize these proposals at itsr June 5-6 meeting in Yankton at Lewis and Clark Resort. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us To be part of the official public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. on June 5. Please include your full name along with the city and state of residence. If you would like to comment in person, the public hearing will be held Thursday, June 5, at 2 p.m. CDT at Lewis and Clark Resort in Yankton.

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