Rapid City deer harvest concludes, 6,401 pounds of meat helps the hungry

Published: Mar. 11, 2022 at 4:44 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - In the mid 90s Rapid City began the Deer Harvest, which is a city-led operation to keep the population of deer in check.

After a survey done in the fall of last year, the number of deer to be eliminated fell in line with the last few years, which is 250 deer.

The City fell 10 dear short of 250, attributing that to cold weather where deer hunker down and aren’t interested in bait sites. Or, placement of feeds in areas deer have plentiful food.

After the survey is conducted in the Fall, Game Fish and Parks will recommend an amount of deer to be eliminated. City Officials will then hunt the animal on usually public, but sometimes private land.

Scott Anderson, Rapid City’s Parks Division Manager, says killing the deer will help foster a healthier population within the city. Which, mitigates potential damage to vehicles and yards.

”Our main goal is safety too. You know,” explains Anderson, “shooting guns in town is kind of a risky deal. So, we make sure that the properties we have the bait sites on have a good back drop. A good enough area where there’s no houses behind where the bait site is.”

Anderson says they’ve been running out of spots to shoot, because of nearby homes, and will be on the hunt to locate some new spots.

Once the deer are shot, they’re tested to see if they’re healthy. If not, they’ll be discarded.

The healthy animals are harvested and their meat is turned over to Feeding South Dakota.

”This year we did very well as far as the meat goes. A little over three tons of grounds meat for Feeding South Dakota,” Anderson says.

The hunting usually takes place over night to be as safe as possible. Which seemed to have worked, as they didn’t receive any complaints this year.

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