South Dakota Deer News

Sioux Falls, Archery Hunt To Thin Deer In Northeast Sioux Falls August 17, 2016 South Dakota, Keloland
...  the city is teaming up with Archery Outfitters to help thin the deer herd between Interstate 229 and Rice Street... opening up 30 acres of wooded land near the Big Sioux River ...

GFP Asks Landowners and Hunters To Report Dead Deer August 10, 2016 South Dakota, Yankton Daily Press
... first deer mortality in 2016 due to hemorrhagic disease, also known as epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) or blue tongue ... symptoms such as respiratory distress, fever and swelling of the tongue ... for more information ... 

No Elk Contingency Licenses Recommended for 2016 July 28, 2016 South Dakota, SDGF News
... at the August Commission meeting, the Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) will recommend the Commission not authorize issuance of any contingency licenses... “After a discussion with the U.S. Forest Service earlier this week, we do not believe there is a sufficient enough need that exists to issue elk contingency licenses this year. Following the elk management plan, the Commission already increased the antlerless license allocation by a total of 839 to slow the growth of the Black Hills elk population,” ...complete details on the 2016 elk hunting seasons

Deer Lottery Held, Antlerless Licenses Remain July 25, 2016 South Dakota, KFGO 
... The first lottery application process – deer gun, muzzleloader, youth and landowner – had more than 102,000 applicants, and over 51,000 were unsuccessful...

GFP Commission Seeking Input on Land Purchasing Guidelines July 20, 2016 South Dakota, GFP News
... The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission is seeking input on proposed land acquisition priorities and guidelines through Aug. 3, 2016... This document sets forth GFP acquisition priorities and details the guiding principles by which land purchases are conducted. To view the document, please visit gfp.sd.gov/land-acquisition.pdf. Please email comments and feedback to Paul.Coughlin@state.sd.us.

State Legislature review committee looks at regs July 13, 2016 South Dakota, The Capital Journal
... The Game, Fish and Parks Commission is offering free hunting licenses for landowners to use on their own properties for antlerless deer.  This became legal in 2011 ...

...  the antlerless tags offered for all three hunts were for whitetails only, and not for mule deer.  "The mule deer population in the Hills is stable, to growing very slowly," he said. "We are getting comments from lots of hunters who want to see more mule deer." ... 

Rapid City, Deer making their way into town not uncommon July 7, 2016 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
...  deer moving into Rapid City doesn't necessarily mean the predators, such as mountain lions, will follow them. "It's possible, especially in outlying areas," he said. "Sometimes we get reports of coyotes or mountain lions, but they usually don't want human interaction." ... 

GFP continuing deer research in northeast region June 24, 2016 South Dakota, AberdeenNews.com
...  preliminary results from all collared deer indicate annual survival estimates are 80 percent for adult does, 58 percent for adult bucks, 83 percent for juveniles 5-18 months old and 63 percent for fawns under 4 months old...

Keep dogs away from does and their fawns June 23, 2016 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... "The doe will want to protect their young ... The deer will paw at them, swing their hooves at them the same as they would do with other animals, in extreme cases we've seen dogs killed by deer." ... 

Study checks survivability on youngest deer June 13, 2016 South Dakota, Black Hills Pioneer
... from the recruitment estimate and other information such as harvest estimates and deer surveys, "we can get a population estimate. … Based upon that is how we allocate tags," he said. "Without this information, we can only take  a stab in the dark on how many deer survive... 

Deer herds rebounding, more tags available June 9, 2016 South Dakota, Black Hills Pioneer
 ... several mild winters have allowed populations to rebound.  “The deer herds are starting to recover, so it’s time to start (issuing) more licenses,” ... “The mule deer population in the Hills is stable, to growing very slowly,” ...

    In recent years, GFP has closed certain areas of the state for antlerless deer harvest due to lower deer populations. Whitetail deer numbers are increasing across much of the state and the Commission chose to ease restrictions. To view a map of these areas, visit gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/docs/2016/May/may-materials.pdf...  

Free deer tags for landowners? May 19, 2016 South Dakota, Daily Republic
... the GF&P Commission is formalizing a proposal to give some landowners up to two free antlerless whitetail deer tags. ... The GF&P Commission has asked for public input before finalizing its proposal at its next meeting on June 2 and 3 at the Ramkota Convention Center in Watertown. Written comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us and must be received by 12 p.m. on June 2. A public hearing will be held at 2 p.m. on June 2...

South Dakota's Deer Population is on the Rise May 13, 2016 Wide Open Spaces
... Beginning in 2010, South Dakota experienced a series of very harsh winters that took a toll on deer population. Since then ... We’ve had some very nice, mild winters ... With the rising population, the Game, Fish, and Parks commission has decided to increase the number of tags ...

Opportunity for Input on Public Hunting Area Purchases March 11, 2016 South Dakota, SDGFP News
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is seeking input on the Division of Wildlife’s land acquisitions priorities and guidelines document through April 10, 2016... This document sets forth GPA and WAA acquisition priorities and details the guiding principles by which land purchases are conducted. To view the document, please visit http://gfp.sd.gov/news/news/march/11.aspx. Please email comments and feedback toPaul.Coughlin@state.sd.us.

... The long-term comprehensive Deer Management Plan for Sioux Falls was developed in cooperation with the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. .. The decision to harvest deer will be evaluated year-to-year by the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks, based partly on annual deer counts held in the fall...

Area deer, pronghorn to be radio-collared for state Game, Fish & Park study  March 8, 2016 South Dakota, Rapid City Journal
... GFP will be studying deer and antelope in Pennington, eastern Custer and Fall River counties to get a better handle on survival rates... will be radio-collaring mule deer and pronghorn antelope ...

Custer State Park and Prairie Elk Seasons Proposed March 4, 2016 South Dakota, SDGF News
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed several elk hunting seasons for 2016 and 2017 on Thursday. Additional information on the 2017 hunting seasons can be found online ... Nine resident any elk licenses are proposed for Custer State Park (CSP); an increase of one license from 2015. The proposed any elk seasons dates are Sept. 17 – Oct. 2, 2016.  The proposed CSP elk hunting season would also allow for 20 antlerless elk licenses in two separate hunting units. These two proposed unit dates would be Oct. 8-16 and Oct. 22-30, 2016.  The Commission also proposed to modify the unit boundary for the CSP antlerless season...

Time is right for shed hunting February 19, 2016 South Dakota, Aberdeen News
... shed deer antlers... Perhaps the best part is anyone — not just hunters — can take part. Shed hunting is a great way to get outside, get some exercise and even get the whole family involved. With kids, you can make it into a treasure hunt ...

Rapid City, Parks staff harvests 100 deer within city limits February 15, 2016, South Dakota, Rapid City Journal · 
... In 1995 the city started the program to reduce the deer population within city limits ... this year's deer harvest cost the Rapid City taxpayers $11,514 ... 

Habitat Pays: Connecting Landowners to Resources February 11, 2015 SDGFP News
... As a part of the Habitat Pays initiative, habitat.sd.gov, was developed. This website serves as a one-stop-shop for finding state, federal and non-governmental programs that provide cost-share or technical assistance to producers. The website includes contact information for habitat advisors who meet with landowners, learn the goals they have for their operation and advise them about options available to meet those goals. It also features landowner video testimonials of how they are working in concert with their local advisor to enhance habitat on their property...

GFP Harvest and Opinion Surveys Underway February 4. 2016 South Dakota, 
     The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is currently administering a number of different harvest and opinion surveys regarding the management of wildlife resources across the state... The survey data collected helps determine license numbers and assists the Department and GFP Commission in setting season structures ...

...Deer depredation is caused when deer approach farms and ranches and eat or damage hay bales or other feed  ... 2010-11 the "last big winter" seen in South Dakota since about 1997...  GF&P spent about $1.2 million on deer depredation statewide ... Wildlife Damage Management ... funded from $2.50 surcharges on hunting licenses ...

Capturing, collaring deer helps GF&P collect needed data January 28, 2016 South Dakota, Public Opinio
... In the past couple of years, the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks has made it a priority to capture and radio-collar deer across the state to monitor their survival in order to collect vital data to help manage deer populations...  in Brown County, preliminary survival rates of adult bucks were at 69 percent, adult doe survival at 92 percent, and a six-month survival of fawns at 58 percent...

Sioux Falls, Deer-Thinning Effort To Start In Sioux Falls Next Month January 20, 2016 South Dakota, Keloland
... The state has issued 75 deer tags to the city, compared to 30 for last year...

GFP Will Host Landowner Workshops as part of Habitat Pays January 15, 2016 south Dakota,
... The workshops, titled “Habitat University,” provide landowners with practical and technical information on how to create winter cover, food plots, native grass seedings and other topics... “Habitat programs and resources are out there to help landowners with improving habitat on their land,” ... Online registration is preferred, but not required. Attendees can fill out the form online athttp://habitat.sd.gov/workshops/default.aspx.

GFP plans to study outdoor recreation spending December 29, 2015 South Dakota, Black Hills Pioneer
... It will also allow us to gather information specific to South Dakota, such as the economic contribution of pheasants or the economic contribution of deer hunting in the Black Hills ...

Registration open for 'last resort' for depredation December 3, 2015 South Dakota, The Capital Journal
... winter depredation hunts, the department’s last resort to deal with landowner complaints about game animals damaging their operation...Since 1998 GFP has spent about $8.1 million to curb deer damage alone...

Rapid City, Fewer Deer To Be Killed In Rapid City Limits This Year December 2, 2015 South Dakota, Keloland 
...  The combination of better habitat outside of Rapid City and ongoing efforts to control deer inside city limits likely will result in a significant reduction in the number of deer to be killed ...
     Parks department to present city deer management plan November 30, 2015 South Dakota, Kotatv
... The plan calls for one hundred deer to be harvested between December 1 and the end of February, which is down from the 150 taken this year...

East River deer season opens Saturday November 19, 2015 South Dakota, Aberdeen News
...  in 2014 drastic cuts were made in the number of deer tags — and more specifically, antlerless tags — when the overall number was reduced by 41 percent.
Disease, drought, habitat loss and harsh winter and spring weather in 2012 and 2013 drastically reduced the state's deer population ...  modest increase in tags this year ...

... West River deer season opened on Saturday, and upland game hunters are in the thick of pheasant season. ... someone hunting deer who was traveling from Wyoming had six of his nine deer untagged. The animals were seized and the hunter was cited... 

GFP giving deer tag refunds after series of deer deaths from disease November 18, 2015 South Dakota, Capital Journal 
... A total of 108 deer deaths appear to have been caused by hemorrhagic diseases in western Sully County this fall ...

Just another Saturday morning in South Dakota November 17, 2015 The Capital Journal
... The deer season has just opened and there was a story about a big buck hanging around inside the town limits. “They’re smart. They know,” said the guy with the cowboy hat ...

Disease Influencing Deer Numbers in Sully County November 16, 2015 South Dakota, GFP News
     South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has received reports of significant deer loss in western Sully County likely due to hemorrhagic diseases such as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and Blue Tongue.  In an effort to be proactive on behalf of both the hunter and the deer population, GFP is offering voluntary refunds to individuals who have already received a deer license for unit 59A...

Pierre, No deer harvesting this year November 3, 2015 South Dakota, Capital Journal
...  task force members did two deer counts in the fall ... deer used to be a tremendous nuisance in Pierre. However, the 2011 flood displaced them and greatly reduced the number of deer in the area...

Turn In Poachers Benefits S.D. Wildlife October 27, 2015 South Dakota, GFP News
... During the past year, the TIPs program reported 213 investigations initiated through citizen reports, leading to 126 arrests, $18,558 in fines and $30,100 in civil penalties.  Callers can remain anonymous, and are eligible for rewards in cases that lead to an arrest. Rewards may range up to $300 for big game and $100 for small game or fishing violations. Higher rewards may be offered in extreme cases. Last year over $5,000 in rewards were paid... Individuals may call the TIPs hotline at 1.888.OVERBAG (683-7224) to report violations, or report via the TIPs website at tips.sd.gov

2015 Trophy Deer Forecast: Great Plains October 21, 2015 South Dakota, Game & Fish
... South Dakota’s whitetail population is down substantially due to high harvest rates, three substantial severe winters and severe EHD outbreaks in some sections... mule deer population also was hit hard by the severe winters and heavy harvest the past few years...

For better or worse, technology has changed deer hunting October 13, 2015 South Dakota, The Daily Republic
... Ozonics is an in-the-field ozone generator that eliminates scent. With an Ozonics machine, a hunter doesn't concern him/herself with wind direction, as a down-wind deer will still approach and eliminating what was once a deer's primary defense...

Deer Crash To Be Decided By South Dakota Supreme Court October 5, 2015 South Dakota, Keloland 
... Zerfas swerved to avoid a deer carcass in his lane, lost control, was hit by oncoming traffic and later died ... Lawyers for AMCO insurance say there's no requirement in South Dakota or any other state that a driver has to remove road kill...

Big Game and Baiting September 24, 2015 South Dakota, SDGFP News
   South Dakota big game hunters are reminded that it is illegal for anyone to place any salt or salt lick or construct, occupy, or use any screen, blind, scaffold, or other device at or near any salt or salt lick for the purposes of enticing or baiting big game animals to the same for the purpose of hunting, watching for, or killing big game... A bait station is a location where grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay, minerals, or any other natural food materials, commercial products containing natural food materials, or by-products of such materials are placed or maintained as an attractant to big game animals for the purpose of hunting... Regulations

... The odds drivers will hit a deer in South Dakota are 1 in 73, compared to the national odds of 1 in 169...


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...

South Dakota Data:  Estimated 2014 deer population of less than 300,000.  In 2015 the estimated mule deer population is 66,000 to 142,000.  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, doe licenses especially.  The spring of 2014 was dry so downward pressure on the herd.  An estimated 100,000 mule deer in 2013 (estimate range:  73,000 to 130,000) and 200,000 whitetails.  An outbreak of EHD in western Sully county in 2015 resulted in an offer of refunds for already purchased deer tags.
     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.  Whitetails are concentrated in the east, but in all parts of the state.   Mule deer are concentrated west of the Missouri River, declining population due to loss of habitat, hard winters, drought.
    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 
Habitat Pays is a joint effort between the South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks and Agriculture to connect farmers and ranchers to the appropriate habitat resources and help them implement wildlife habitat where it makes the most sense to do so.

Click for larger image.  Data Source

EHD information (deer disease)

Tweets about South Dakota GFP (Game, Fish, and Parks)