South Dakota Deer News

Ongoing deer study in Brown County adds bucks, fawns to the mix August 7, 2015 South Dakota, Aberdeen News 
... The collared deer in Brown County are part of a larger, statewide effort in which a total of 340 adult and yearling deer have been captured and fitted with collars. The study's goal is to better understand deer mortality and survival ...

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 ...

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


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