South Dakota Deer News

Butte County, Deer numbers down, but not long-term danger July 16, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal 
... most recently that drop may be due to the early and ongoing winter storms this past year - or maybe predation from a large coyote population... "With the mule deer, we backed off on those licenses a couple years ago to rebuild those populations," ...

Help GF&P find deer solution July 16, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal 
... Deer populations in the state have dropped dramatically in recent years, and the GF&P is struggling to find ways to help the deer rebound while satisfying the hunting demand ... will survey the 66,000 hunters ...

2014 Antelope and Early Fall Goose Hunting Seasons Finalized July 10, 2014 South Dakota, SDGFP News
... The firearms antelope season will run from Oct. 4-19 and have 2,705 licenses available for residents and 61 licenses available for nonresidents. Tripp and Lyman counties as well as the Fort Pierre National Grasslands unit are closed for both firearms and archery antelope hunting this year... To view these rule proposals in their entirety, please visit https://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx. Written comments on these 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 Aug. 7 and have your full name and city of residence.

State feels pocketbook pinch from reducing deer permits July 10, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... state officials decided to reduce the number of deer permits available to hunters to help bolster a thinning deer herd...  the fiscal impacts will be declines of $291,800 from fewer East River licenses and $418,428 from fewer West River licenses ...

Deer license cuts in South Dakota slice revenue July 9, 2014 Aberdeen News
... The Wildlife Division estimates it will lose about $757,000 of revenue from reductions in deer hunting licenses for the 2014 seasons... The goal is to rebuild populations in many areas...

Counting deer: SD Biologists taking new look at fawn survival July 8, 2014 South Dakota, Capital Journal 
...  GF&P has designated five study areas across the state, in which both does and fawns are captured and fitted with radio collars. Biologists already have a pretty good idea of adult doe survivorship, what they don’t know is how many fawns, on average, survive their first year. That is where this new study will be most useful.  “The primary purpose is to figure out what’s affecting fawn recruitment,” ...

2014 Hunting Applications Available June 27, 2014 South Dakota
... Apply online using the new licensing application system that launched earlier this month: http://gfp.sd.gov/licenses/general-hunt-fish/license-open.aspx. The most notable change from last year will be the reduction in the number of licenses and tags available to hunters. Learn more about these changes.

2014 Deer Hunting Seasons Finalized June 17, 2014 South Dakota, GFP
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized all 2014 deer hunting seasons at their June meeting in Yankton.  The most notable change from last year will be the reduction in the number of licenses and tags available to hunters. 
     The West River firearm season will have 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.  “These adjustments are intended to increase the deer population in areas where populations are below desirable management levels,” said Tom Kirschenmann, chief administrator of wildlife... 

This time, antelope permits may fall June 11, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... South Dakota's antelope herds are dwindled so much there isn't any need to count them this year, according to biologists for the state Wildlife Division ... The antelope harvest was 7,056 in 2008 and peaked in recent years at 14,100 in 2009. Since then it dropped every year: 8,949 in 2010; 4,493 in 2011; 2,637 in 2012; and 1,935 in 2013.  Severe winters after 2009 hurt the population. Reproduction fell to a record low in 2013, with 59 fawns per 100 does ...

Game, Fish & Parks reminds the public to leave deer fawns alone June 7, 2014 South Dakota, Vermillion Plain Talk 
...  the animal’s instinctive behavior in its first weeks of life is to remain motionless and let danger pass. A young fawn may appear helpless, but it is behaving normally in response to a perceived threat or even a predator. Adult female deer visit their fawns sparingly to nurse for only a short time then leave to find food. This short visit is an adaptation that further helps fawns avoid detection by predators...

GFP might reconsider deer license distribution June 5, 2014 South Dakota, AberdeenNews.com
... in the western and far eastern parts of the state deer are down ... the commission looks at reducing the harvest of does and other antlerless deer as a step toward rebuilding the populations in some areas ...

West River deer permits could be cut drastically in 2015 June 5, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... West River deer hunters may see deep cuts in deer hunting permits available in 2015 ... due to increasing concerns over the size of South Dakota's deer herd... The West River proposal for 2014 calls for 16,075 any-deer licenses, a reduction of 1,675 from 17,750 in 2013. The West River antlerless-only licenses would be eliminated for mule deer for 2014 ...

GFP Commission to finalize deer hunting May 28, 2014 South Dakota, GFP News
... The SD GFP Commission will be finalizing all proposed deer hunting seasons at their June 5-6 meeting in Yankton. To view the proposals, click here.  The GFP Commission meeting will be held June 5-6 at the Lewis and Clark Resort, near Yankton. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 5, with the public hearing being held at 2 p.m.  Click here to comment on any of the proposals. Please submit your comments before 12 p.m. June 5 and include your full name and city of residence.

GFP Commission proposes state’s deer hunting seasons May 20, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... 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.... View the full deer hunting season proposals here... The YouTube video below gives an update on South Dakota deer management.

... South Dakota's deer population has taken a tumble the past few years and state game officials are taking action.    ... "The most significant decline in deer tag allocations with take place along the MN border from North Dakota all the way down to the nebraska border." ... 

GFP Commission Proposes South Dakota Deer Hunting Seasons, Harvest Data May 15, 214 GFP News
     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 a reduction of 20,560 tags compared to 2013. A substantial decrease in antlerless tags is intended to increase deer populations in several management areas. This management 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...
     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. [See an explanation for the policy below]

SD GFP Sr. Big Game Biologist, Andy Lindbloom, shares harvest data and research on deer populations in South Dakota, as well as recommendations for the upcoming 2014 deer seasons.



Deer-mortality study enters second year May 9, 2014 South Dakota, Aberdeen News
... “Survival rates reaching 6 months of age have varied from 43 percent in southeastern South Dakota to 58 percent in the northeastern part of the state, with West River six-month survival rates sitting between 50 to 56 percent,” Robling said. “Our data shows that 44 percent of fawn loss was attributed to probable predation, where 42 percent of fawn loss was unknown....

GF&P responds to deer crisis May 8, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... It wasn’t too long ago that the GF&P increased hunting licenses in response to landowner complaints that there were too many deer. At last week’s commission meeting at Custer State Park, some landowners threatened to bar hunting on their land if steps were not taken to rebuild deer numbers... The drastic cuts in antlerless-only licenses indicates there’s a serious problem ...

State proposes huge reductions in antlerless-only deer licenses May 2, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal 
... They plan to slash antlerless-only licenses by some 41,000 for the East River and West River firearms seasons... The goal is to rebuild deer populations in many parts of South Dakota by keeping more does alive... landowners ...were ready to call for a boycott of the West River season if antlerless mule deer licenses weren’t taken away...

GFP wants to rebuild deer herds by allowing hunters fewer does April 30, 2014 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal 
... The overall effect of the Wildlife Division’s plan would be tens of thousands fewer does killed by hunters this autumn and therefore many more does available to bear fawns next year... Another effect of the changes being considered could be fewer hunters taking multiple deer...

Commission expects drop in South Dakota deer tags April 29, 2014 Lexington Herald Leader
... The number of South Dakota deer hunting licenses is expected to drop substantially this year due to habitat loss and a disease that thrives in dry weather ... the total number of tags proposed for the East River deer season is down by about 40 percent. West River tags will be down 56 percent...

Number Of Deer Hunting Licenses Could Be Reduced April 24, 2014 South Dakota, Keloland · 
...  The state for a long time tried to reduce the number of deer across South Dakota. Now, state officials are trying to protect the doe population...

... The division’s big-game biologists and regional managers will be tapping the expertise of a University of Montana specialist, Paul Lukacs, to develop a computer database system for deer population work... Human dimensions — essentially opinions of sportsmen and others — will be integrated to a greater degree into management planning...

White-tailed deer survival study April 3, 2014 South Dakota, Public Opinion
...  A helicopter with trained wildlife wranglers dangled in the sky to assist with capturing 50 deer for the Department of Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) new doe and fawn survival study.  “Over the last few weeks, we connected with landowners in the two counties for permission to do the study on their land, and signed up over 50,000 acres for the study,” said Julie DeJong, regional wildlife manager....

Bad weather, habitat loss hard on deer, pheasants March 29, 2014 South Dakota, Aberdeen News
...  decline in pheasant and deer numbers ... Habitat and weather have played a role in the declining numbers, according to Wildlife Conservation Officer Josh Thompson ...


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South Dakota Data:  Deer numbers are down significantly in much of the state due to severe weather, disease such as EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease), and increased predation. Deer licenses were reduced significantly in 2014 to help the herd recover.  The West River firearm season will have 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.     
     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. 
    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. Critics say that elk have been over hunted in the Black Hills.
 
If you spot a dead deer, the State Patrol asks that you stay in your car and call 507-285-7410 

Other useful links:
South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks
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."

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South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks News, direct link to page below

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