South Dakota Deer News

New study areas: New challenges July 16, 2015 South Dakota, Public Opinion 
... Since the start of 2015, Game, Fish & Parks staff was busy across the state capturing and collaring a total of 340 adult and yearling deer. In an effort to better understand survival rates ... Monitoring deer in Brown County ...  capturing 100 adult deer, we contracted with a helicopter capture crew ...

We’re letting another predator go down June 22, 2015 New Mexico, High County News 
... the New Mexico Game and Fish Department unveiled its latest proposal to benefit hunters who think lions are taking too many deer and elk: leg-hold traps... South Dakota’s anti-lion policy is clearly working. The state is said to be home to an estimated 225 lions ...

GFP eliminates post-Christmas hunt for antlerless deer in west June 6, 2015 South Dakota, Black Hills Pioneer
... Commissioner Scott Phillips of rural New Underwood strongly argued for eliminating the late-season hunt for at least the West River counties. He said there is landowner fatigue by that point in the year...

More Black Hills Deer Hunting Licenses Available in 2015 June 5, 2015 South Dakota, GFP News
      Black Hills deer hunters will have 500 more resident and 40 more nonresident any whitetail deer hunting licenses available for the 2015 Black Hills deer hunting season.  In its entirety, the Black Hills deer season will have 200 resident and 16 nonresident any deer licenses along with 3,500 resident and 280 nonresident any whitetail deer licenses available in 2015.
      South Dakota West River deer hunters will have fewer days to hunt antlerless deer in 2015 after the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Commission voted to eliminate the nine days of antlerless hunting beginning the Saturday after Christmas. However, East River deer hunters will retain those nine days of deer hunting and be allowed to hunt with unfilled antlerless deer tags during that nine day time period.  
     Hunters will see a slight increase in the number of East River deer hunting licenses for 2015 with 250 fewer one-tag licenses, and 1,050 more two-tag licenses as compared to 2014. The Commission also established an antlerless deer unit within Yankton County; south of SD Highway 50 and west of US Highway 81. The East River deer hunting season will run from Nov. 21 to Dec. 6, 2015.
      West River deer hunters will see a slight decrease in the number of licenses available for the West River deer hunting season in 2015 with the number of one-tag licenses reduced by 250 for residents and 20 for nonresidents as compared to 2014. A total of 16,440 one-tag, 1,620 two-tag licenses are available for residents and 1,319 one-tag, 130 two-tag licenses are available for nonresidents.

Deer hunters get added chance at licenses June 4, 2015 South Dakota, The Capital Journal
... Adding weight to preference points was one of the only ideas that a even a slim majority of hunters,  about 54 percent, supported on a GF&P survey about hunter attitudes about deer licensing and possible improvements to it ...

...  two deer carcasses, apparently killed by bow and arrow and left for waste, Jan. 4 and 5, ... on Ellsworth Airforce Base ...  Turn in Poachers Hotline at 1-888-OVERBAG

GFP to Hold June Commission Meeting in Pierre May 29, 2015 South Dakota, 
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission will hold their monthly meeting in Pierre at the Ramkota River Center on June 4-5.  The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday.  The Commission will take action on proposals concerning:  East River Deer Hunting Season, West River Deer Hunting Season, Black Hills Deer Hunting Season, Refuge Deer Hunting Season, Archery Deer Hunting Season, Archery deer access permits for Newton Hills State Park, Crossbow requirements ...
     Written comments on the above proposals can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be included in the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CST on January 15 and have your full name and city of residence.  The public hearing will begin at 2 p.m. CST on Thursday, January 15.

For more information, visit: http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx
GF&P Commission seeks input on deer hunting licenses May 28, 2015 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal 
... seeking public comment on a proposal to decrease, slightly, the number of West River deer hunting licenses in 2015... Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be part of the official public record, comments must be received by noon on June 4...

More tags likely for Black Hills deer hunters May 12, 2015 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... The number of Black Hills deer licenses available to hunters had steadily declined since 2009... In 2014, only 12 percent of the deer killed with an any-whitetail tag in the Black Hills were female. Kanta said that number of female harvests is easy to overcome when a population ... Lower predation ... "Obviously we have been harvesting a lot of mountain lions in the past few years ...

GFP Commission Proposes More Black Hills Deer Hunting Licenses May 11, 2015 South Dakota, GFP News
      The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission has proposed 500 more resident and 40 more nonresident any whitetail deer hunting licenses for the 2015 Black Hills deer hunting season.  Pending the finalization of the proposal in June, Black Hills deer hunters would have 200 resident and 16 nonresident any deer licenses and 3,500 resident and 280 nonresident any whitetail deer licenses available in 2015.
     The Commission will finalize this proposal at their June 4-5, 2015, meeting at the Ramkota RiverCenter in Pierre. 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 4. 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 June 4, at 2 p.m. CDT at the Ramkota RiverCenter in Pierre.

Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota officials requesting information on deer poaching incident May 7, 2015 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal 
... Officials discovered two deer carcasses, apparently killed by bow and arrow and left for waste, Jan. 4 and 5 ... Turn in Poachers Hotline at 1-888-OVERBAG

Antler auction brings out businessmen May 3, 2015 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... Nogy was one of at least 100 people who were in attendance at the 2015 Antler Auction held Saturday ...  antlers make an excellent crafting material that can be used to make anything from Christmas trees to chandeliers. They can even be used to make chew toys for dogs...
      Fish and Parks antler auction scheduled for RC April 14, 2015 South Dakota, blackhillsfox.com
... Fish and Parks will host its annual antler auction Saturday, May 2, at the agency's Rapid City regional office shop.  Items up for auction include antelope, deer and elk antlers ...

Elk and Mountain Goat Seasons Set April 2, 2015 South Dakota, GFP News
... The 2015 Black Hills firearms elk season will have 430 any elk and 500 antlerless elk licenses available, an increase of 260 licenses from 2014... For more information on the South Dakota elk hunting seasons, visit:http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/big-game/elk/.

On The Rebound March 29, 2015 South Dakota, Yankton Daily Press
... After the 2012 drought set the area’s deer back, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) officials say they’re seeing the population in the Yankton region starting to rebound...  a natural disease called EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) ... a couple thousand deer were reportedly found dead along the Missouri and James rivers at this time in southeast South Dakota...

Elk Season Meeting March 24, 2015 South Dakota, GFP News
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission will hold their monthly meeting in Brookings at the Days Inn on April 1-2, 2015.  The Commission will take action on the 2015 elk and mountain goat hunting seasons and a proposal to clarify the size of hunting groups.
     Written comments on the above proposals can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD, 57501, or emailed to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be included in the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CDT on April 1 and have your full name and city of residence.

Draft Elk Management Plan Remains Open for Final Review March 10, 2015 South Dakota GFP News
... The draft management plan and a reference depicting the adjustments incorporated from the initial public comment period is available for review until March 22, 2015, prior to its submission for final adoption by the GFP Commission. The draft elk management plan can be found online at: http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/big-game/elk/default.aspx. Written comments on the draft plan can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to wildinfo@state.sd.us. Comments must be received by March 22, 2015, and include your full name and city of residence.

Shed Hunting: One Of Mother Nature's Most Beautiful Art Forms March 6, 2015 South Dakota, Yankton Daily Press
...  Sheds are the buck’s antlers from the previous year shed or dropped after the rut... , deer in the upper Midwest will shed their antlers in February and March... A good trail to start looking for sheds would be those resembling a hard packed cattle trail...

GFP Commission Proposes Elk Seasons March 6, 2015 South Dakota,  GFP News
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed several elk seasons at their March meeting.  The Commission proposed eight any elk licenses for the Custer State Park (CSP) firearm season. As in 2014, four any elk licenses will be available for the CSP early archery elk season.  The CSP late archery elk and CSP antlerless elk seasons will remain closed...  To view these rule proposals in their entirety, please visit https://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx.

Whitetail deer study taking place in Brown County February 27, 2015 South Dakota, AberdeenNews.com
... “After deer are captured, they’re transported through the air to a processing station no more than 2 or 3 miles away where eight of our staff are ready to monitor vitals, draw blood and perform an ultrasound,” Ermer said. “The blood and/or the ultrasound will tell us if the doe is pregnant, which is another important part of the study.” ...

SDSU researches which cover crops are likely to attract deer February 13, 2015 South Dakota, Tri-State Neighbor
... Fall cover crops, such as clover, turnips and peas, can provide nutrient-rich winter forage and help lure hungry deer away from hay and other stored livestock feed, according to Distinguished Professor Jonathan Jenks ... Cover crops are an indirect way of possibly preventing depredation and redistributing deer densities ...

Sioux Falls, Deer Harvest Almost Complete In Sioux Falls February 5, 2015 South Dakota, Keloland
... City police 30 hunting permits to help control the deer population within city limits. So far, police have filled 28 of the 30 deer tags.  There aren't as many deer in southern Sioux Falls as there used to be...  police say there haven't been any complaints and there haven't been any issues...

Sioux Falls, Police to hunt deer in southeastern Sioux Falls January 14, 2015 South Dakota, Sioux Falls Argus Leader
... The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks granted permits allowing for the harvesting of up to 30 deer in southeastern Sioux Falls ... 

South Dakota Moves to a Multi-Year Schedule for Setting Hunting Seasons January 5, 2015 SDGFP News
     With the start of the new year, comes the start of a new multi-year season setting schedule for several hunting seasons and regulations in South Dakota.  Historically, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) and the Commission reviews and discusses all hunting and fishing seasons as well as other regulatory items at monthly Commission meetings held across the state... The multi-year season setting process was a recommendation of the independent big game management review in 2013. “This revised process will help us be more efficient with our time and more effective with our management strategies,” stated Tony Leif, director of the GFP Division of Wildlife... 
     Hunting seasons for big game species such as elk, deer, antelope, mountain lion, turkey and fishing regulations will now be reviewed and set in two-year intervals. Hunting seasons for species such as pheasant, quail, grouse, dove and partridge will now be reviewed and set in three-year intervals. Depredation hunts and any refuge seasons will also be reviewed and set in three-year intervals.  The multi-year season setting schedule was presented to the Commission by the Department and was approved this past November. To view this new season setting schedule, visit this link

Deer hunters show little interest in licensing changes December 14, 2014 South Dakota, Capital Journal
... about 41 percent of surveyed hunters support keeping the current system while about 33 percent said they didn’t have an opinion ... Deer numbers have been declining in recent years, which led to far fewer licenses being made available to hunters...

South Dakota’s Elk Management Plan Available for Review December 10, 2014 GFP News
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Division of Wildlife has drafted a five-year elk management plan and is seeking comments from the public.  “The South Dakota Elk Management Plan is a draft plan on how the state proposes to manage this unique big game species associated with South Dakota’s diverse habitats and land ownership,” stated Tony Leif, director of the Division of Wildlife. “All individuals interested in elk management have from now through Jan. 5, 2015, to provide comments.”
     The draft management plan can be found online at: http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/big-game/elk/default.aspx. Written comments on the draft plan can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to wildinfo@state.sd.us. Comments must be received by Feb. 6, 2015, and include your full name and city of residence.

Aberdeen, Deer feeding ban to include area a mile outside Aberdeen December 2, 2014 South Dakota, Aberdeen News 
... The enforcement area of the city ordinance prohibiting deer feeding was expanded to include property within one mile of Aberdeen’s city limits...

Depredation hunts may be coming up November 28, 2014 South Dakota, Watertown Public Opinion
... Winter depredation hunts can be a valuable management tool in certain situations to alleviate wildlife damage to landowners’ stored-feed supplies.  These hunts actually are a good way to haze deer away from stored feed; they are not meant to lower deer populations...

Aberdeen, Deer feeding ban advances November 25, 2014 South Dakota, Aberdeen News 
... The ordinance itself prohibits feeding deer from an unnatural food source that attracts deer and prohibits people from placing food on their property or neighboring property ... 

East River deer season starts Saturday November 21, 2014 South Dakota, AberdeenNews.com
...  Harsh weather, disease and a reduction in habitat have all contributed to the deer population's downward trend over the past couple of years... the East River firearm season saw a reduction of 22 percent in licenses and a 41 percent overall reduction in actual tags — down over 20,500 from 2013's total of 50,635 tags... the West River deer season ... saw a reduction of 17 percent in licenses and a 56 percent reduction in tags...

Nonrefundable Big Game Application Fee Increase and Bait Station Rules Adopted November 6, 2014 South Dakota, SDGFP News
    The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission adopted an increase to the nonrefundable big game application fees for elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goat at their November meeting in Sioux Falls.  These nonrefundable application fees were established in 1987 at $5, and now application fees will be $10. Additional revenue generated from the nonrefundable application fees will be used in the management of these big game species, in particular GFP’s elk depredation program.
     The Commission also adopted a reduction to the number of days individuals are allowed to use bait stations for attracting big game species for the purposes of hunting. Currently, big game bait stations are not allowed from Aug. 15 – Feb. 1, inclusive. Bait stations will now also be prohibited from March 15-May 31, inclusive and include a research allowance.

Pierre residents get week to comment on urban deer November 6, 2014 South Dakota, Sioux City Journal 
... Goodman says deer counts done in September indicate the fewest number of animals since the counts began seven years ago...

Watch out for deer September 5, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
...  there were 4,073 vehicle crashes involving wild animals in the state in 2013, resulting in one death and 59 injuries, the majority involving car-deer collisions...

Sioux Falls, Council to decide on feeding deer inside city limits November 4, 2014 South Dakota, Sioux Falls Argus Leader
... Population counts gathered by police throughout the spring and fall will help form a management plan.  Capt. Rich Miller said the plan would involve having officers kill a certain number of deer. The plan would be submitted to the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, which will approve how many deer would be killed...

Aberdeen, City Council to look into ordinance prohibiting feeding of deer November 4, 2014 South Dakota, AberdeenNews.com
... Council members agreed an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of deer is the next logical step ... Of those 46 surveys, 95 percent reported seeing deer. Out of an estimated 67 deer sightings, residents say 41 percent happen in the winter and 25 percent in the fall...

When should police shoot wildlife? October 29, 2014 South Dakota, Black Hills Pioneer
... Lead Police Department, made the call to put down a large mule deer buck because it was acting abnormally ... In the dozen years Wainman worked for the police department, about three deer without visible injuries have been put down by police. On a “bad year,” at most 20 have been destroyed after suffering injuries ...

Deer poaching reported around Aberdeen October 28, 2014 South Dakota, Argus Leader
... reports of people using poison to kill deer. It’s illegal to bait and poison wildlife...

Lead, Social media explodes over Lead deer killing October 28, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal 
... The Lead Police Department’s decision last week to shoot a trophy deer in a residential area on the town’s northeast side has created a social media firestorm critical of the action, Police Chief John Wainman said Monday... Fredericksen used Wainman’s .223-caliber rifle to shoot the buck, then gutted it, skinned it, and removed the head with its antlers...
     Lead police chief defends shooting of deer October 27, 2014 South Dakota, Associated Press 
... Lead Police Chief John Wainman says one of his officers who shot and killed a mule deer buck with large antlers in the backyard of a residence was acting on his orders and in the interest of public safety...

...  would be for the first time since the program started in 2007...  there are fewer deer in the city based on the counts ...

Sioux Falls, City Considers Proposed Deer Feeding Ban October 14, 2014 South Dakota, Keloland 
... The city council will meet 7 p.m. Tuesday to hear the first reading of the proposed feeding ban...

Survey underway on changes to SD deer licensing October 9, 2014 South Dakota, The Capital Journal
... Declining deer populations have meant fewer deer licenses are available to hunters. That means fewer hunters are being drawn for the licenses they want... Another issue has been landowner preference, which sets aside 50 percent of nearly every deer hunting unit’s licenses for landowners...

GFP Commission Proposes Date Change to Big Game Baiting Rules October 2, 2014 South Dakota, GFP News
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to reduce the number of days people are allowed to use bait stations for attracting big game species at their October meeting.  Currently, big game bait stations are not allowed from Aug. 15 – Feb. 1, inclusive...  The GFP Commission will finalize this proposal Nov. 6-7 at the Ramada Inn in Sioux Falls. To view this rule proposal in its entirety, please visit https://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx. Written comments on proposals can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to wildinfo@state.sd.us. To be included in the public record, comments must be received by 12 p.m. CDT on Nov. 6 and have your full name and city of residence.

Alpena, Information being sought by GF&P on deer poaching case near Alpena September 30, 2o14 South Dakota, Plainsman
... a deer that was shot approximately two miles northwest of Alpena... reward ... TIPs Hotline at 1-888-OVERBAG (888-683-7224)

South Dakota Data:  Estimated 2014 deer population of less than 300,000.  Deer numbers are down significantly in much of the state due to severe weather, disease such as EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease), increased predation, and habitat loss. Deer licenses were reduced significantly in 2014 to help the herd recover.  The West River firearm season had a 17 percent reduction in licenses and a 56 percent reduction in tags, while the East River firearm season has a reduction of 22 percent in licenses and a 41 percent reduction in tags.  Doe tags were significantly reduced. An estimated 100,000 mule deer in 2013 (estimate range:  73,000 to 130,000) and 200,000 whitetails.
     Populations peaked in 2009. Harsh winters in 2008, 09, 10, and 14. Drought in 2012.  EHD hit the herd very hard in 2012.  Deer tags were reduced in the northwest because of EHD die-offs in 2013, but the outbreak was less severe in the rest of the state.  Over 2 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program acres have been lost since 2008, reducing habitat. Deer populations are down in northeastern South Dakota, coyote predation on fawns and less wheat being planted are causes under investigation.  Deer populations had a recent peak in 2009. The 2013 harvest was 25,199 whitetail bucks, 23,275 whitetail does, 4,251 mule bucks. 2,758 mule does.  The 2013 overall statewide harvest success decreased significantly to 35% from 43% in 2012.  After an outside review, the biologists will be using a computer based database system developed at the University of Montana, 
    The antelope harvest posted a recent peak of 14,100 in 2009 but has fallen significantly to 1,935 in 2013. Fawn production fell to about 59 per 100 does, from the average of about 80 per 100 does. Management of the mountain lion population has been controversial, with the lion limit reduced to 75 total or 50 females in 2014. An estimated 225 lions in the state in 2015.  Critics say that elk have been over hunted in the Black Hills.
     "Before pioneer settlement in the mid to late 1800's, deer numbers in South Dakota were far lower than present populations. Larger herbivores, such as bison and elk, numbered in the millions. Deer could not compete successfully with these larger animals to any great degree. Unregulated hunting in the late 1800's caused deer populations to be eliminated, except in the Black Hills. Through progressive wildlife management in the 1900's, deer in South Dakota have been at record levels for a number of years."  Northern.edu
 
If you spot a dead deer, the State Patrol asks that you stay in your car and call 507-285-7410 
Strategic Managment System, Adaptive Resource Management: "The Division of Wildlife will manage South Dakota’s wildlife and fisheries resources and their associated habitats for their sustained and equitable use, and for the benefit, welfare, and enjoyment of the citizens of this state and its visitors."

Click for larger image.  Data Source

Commission Meeting Schedule