RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Last week South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (SDGF&P) Department proposed to cut more than 10,000 deer licenses for the State’s 2017 and 2018 hunting season.
The proposal was brought on after studying various factors from the previous hunting season such as weather, crop harvest and rotation, and hunter success, which decreased in many of the hunting areas in the state. That hunter success can be tied into deer population and what they discovered changed the limit of licenses for the state.
“We saw a decrease in deer recruitment last year, we saw some lower harvest rates and some areas we had some substantial winter losses,” said Andy Lindbloom, a senior big game biologist with SDGF&P. “We also saw some disease losses from hemorrhagic disease last year, so over all our deer population isn’t growing as fast as we want them to so we decreased licenses accordingly. “
There are still more than 20,000 deer hunting licenses that will be available in West River and East River these upcoming hunting seasons.
Public testimony on the subject will be heard when the SDGF&P Commission meets in early June where they are expected to finalize the proposal. SDGF&P is taking public comment via e-mail or phone through their website at http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/contacts/.