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GFP News - June 5, 2015




GFP Commission Rejects Nonresident Waterfowl Proposal

PIERRE, S.D. - Earlier today, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Commission unanimously rejected the nonresident waterfowl proposal; with the exception of creating 100 nonresident youth licenses valid during the two-day youth waterfowl hunting season.

The Commission also established an associated fee of $10 for nonresident youth who draw a license valid for the youth season only. Youth who receive a nonresident license valid during the regular season would continue to pay the same fee as adults.

Archery Deer Hunting Access Permits for 2015

PIERRE, S.D. - To assist with deer management on the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve area, 20 archery access permits will be made available this fall. The 2015 archery season will run from Sept. 26, 2015 - Jan. 15, 2016. Archery hunters can apply for a free access permit after obtaining an antlerless whitetail archery deer license. 

Free access permits will also now be required for archery hunters wishing to hunt Newton Hills State Park in Lincoln County.  Due to its close proximity to Sioux Falls and other populated areas, Newton Hills State Park is heavily used by archery deer hunters.  Any hunter possessing an archery deer license will also need to obtain a free access permit prior to hunting the park. The requirement of the unlimited, free access permits will allow the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) to collect hunter and harvest data for improved deer management.

More Black Hills Deer Hunting Licenses Available in 2015

PIERRE, S.D. - 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.


East River, West River and National Refuge Deer Hunting Seasons Finalized

PIERRE, S.D. - 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.

The West River deer hunting season dates for Corson, Dewey and Ziebach counties will follow the regular West River deer season; running from Nov. 14-29. For Gregory and Mellette counties the season will be Nov. 7-10 and Nov. 23-29.

Deer hunters wanting to hunt the Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge will find 20 more resident licenses and two more nonresident licenses. Similar to the East River deer season, hunters with an unfilled antlerless Sand Lake refuge tag will be allowed to hunt antlerless deer during the nine day period beginning the Saturday after Christmas.


Firearms Antelope Season Proposed; Archery Antelope and Custer State Park Antelope Seasons Finalized

PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota antelope hunters will have slightly more antelope licenses available for the 2015 prairie firearms antelope season if a proposal by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Commission is approved in which resident hunters would have 75 more one-tag licenses (75 tags) and 125 more two-tag licenses (250 tags) for a total of 3,030 tags available. Nonresident hunters would have one more one-tag licenses (1 tag) and 5 more two-tag licenses (10 tags) for a total of 72 tags.

The 2015 archery antelope and Custer State Park antelope seasons will follow the same season structure as 2014 as no proposed changes were considered by the Commission. The archery antelope season will run from Aug. 15 - Oct. 31; except when the prairie firearm antelope season is open.

The Custer State Park antelope season will have three any antelope licenses available with the season running from Oct. 13 - 21, 2015.

The Commission will finalize this proposal at their July 1-2, 2015, meeting at the RedRossa Convention Room 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 July 1. 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 July 1, at 2 p.m. CDT at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre.

Proposal to Remove Bald Eagles from the State Threatened and Endangered List

PIERRE, S.D. - A proposal from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Commission would remove the bald eagle from the state’s threatened and endangered list.

The bald eagle was listed as a federal endangered species in most of the lower U.S. states in 1978 due to the impact of DDT accumulation in fish (DDT is an organochloride used as a pesticide). DDT and other pesticide contamination in fish eaten by bald eagles caused eggshell thinning, premature egg breakage, embryo deaths and poisoning of adult birds. This species was also listed as a state endangered species on South Dakota’s list of threatened and endangered species in 1978. Bald eagles recovered throughout the U.S. due to banning of DDT, reintroduction programs, habitat protection and protection from illegal killing and poisoning.

Although no bald eagle reintroductions were conducted in South Dakota, this species has steadily increased from the first known successful nest in the state in 1993 to more than 100 nests today. A subset of nests is monitored each year by state, federal, tribal and private entities to estimate production and to detect any regional or statewide changes to the nesting population. The department participates in an aerial mid-winter bald eagle survey to estimate wintering birds on standardized routes along the Missouri River. Periodically, the department also conducts aerial searches for nests on likely bald eagle habitat, such as along rivers.

This species was down listed from state endangered to state threatened in 2003. In 2005, as part of an inter-agency effort to plan for the needs of endangered or threatened species that depend on the Missouri River, GFP completed the “South Dakota Bald Eagle Management Plan.” The management goal for nesting bald eagles in South Dakota is an average of 25 active bald eagle nests per year, with a five-year running average. Because the state management goal has been met and exceeded, the department recommends that protection under the state endangered species law is no longer justified. This species will continue to be protected by the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Bald eagle recovery represents an endangered species success story at the state and national levels.

It is important to realize that these birds are still protected and the killing of one will remain a federal and state offense as all this proposal does is remove them from the State Threatened Species list. Bald eagles are protected in multiple state and federal laws.

The Commission will finalize this proposal at their July 1-2, 2015, meeting at the RedRossa Convention Room 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 July 1. 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 July 1, at 2 p.m. CDT at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre.


Proposal to Change Hunting Restrictions in Custer State Park

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Commission proposed to limit hunting near roads and buildings in Custer State Park at their June meeting.

Currently, hunters are not allowed to hunt deer and elk within 300 feet of any Custer State Park paved public access roadway. Additionally, hunters are not allowed to hunt antelope within 440 yards of any public access road in Custer State Park nor can they hunt any species within 300 feet of any occupied building in Custer State Park.

The proposal would change the collection of restricted distances to one consistent distance, regardless of season. With this proposal, all big game hunting in Custer State Park would be prohibited within 200 yards of any public access road or building.

The Commission will finalize this proposal at their July 1-2, 2015, meeting at the RedRossa Convention Room 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 July 1. 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 July 1, at 2 p.m. CDT at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre.


Early Canada Goose Season Proposed

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Commission proposed a change to where September Canada goose hunters would be allowed to hunt during the early goose season.

The proposed early Canada goose season would run from Sept. 1 -30, 2015, with a daily limit of 15 and a possession limit of 45, and would be open in Unit 1 only.
The proposed change would close parts of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties and include these areas in Canada Goose Unit 2.

The Commission will finalize this proposal at their July 1-2, 2015, meeting at the RedRossa Convention Room 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 July 1. 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 July 1, at 2 p.m. CDT at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre.


2015 Fall Turkey Hunting Season Proposed

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ (GFP) Commission proposed to offer 100 more one-tag licenses for resident turkey hunters in the East River prairie units and reduce the number of licenses available in the Black Hills for the 2015 hunting season.

The proposed season would run from Nov. 1, 2015 - Jan. 31, 2016, and offer 500 resident and 40 nonresident Black Hills any turkey  licenses, 835 single tag any turkey and 50 two-tag licenses along with unlimited resident and nonresident single tag any turkey licenses for the West River prairie season.

The proposal would also modify Unit NE1 to include those portions of Marshall County south and east of SD Highway 25 and north of SD Highway 10 and Roberts County north of SD Highway 10.

The Commission will finalize this proposal at their July 1-2, 2015, meeting at the RedRossa Convention Room 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 July 1. 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 July 1, at 2 p.m. CDT at the RedRossa Convention Room in Pierre.

Entrepreneurs Encouraged to Submit Proposals for Lewis and Clark Recreation Area


PIERRE, S.D. - Entrepreneurs interested in operating a resort inside one of South Dakota’s most popular state parks can now submit their proposals.

A prospectus for the operation of Lewis and Clark Resort, located inside Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton, is now available online and through the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP). The prospectus details the terms and conditions under which interested operators may submit a proposal for consideration and also includes a detailed business opportunity, the requirements necessary to submit a proposal along with a draft concession agreement for a term of 10 years. Proposals must be received by Sept. 16, 2015, at 3 p.m. CDT.

"Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is an extremely popular outdoor recreation destination for South Dakotans as well as residents of neighboring states,” said Doug Hofer, state parks director.

The 1,045-acre Lewis and Clark Recreation Area consists of four multi-lane boat ramps, 409 paved electric campsites, two swimming beaches, four boater beaches and many other amenities such as bath/shower houses, picnic shelters and playgrounds. The resort has 17 housekeeping cabins, 24 motel-type rental units and a group lodge capable of housing over 20 guests.

The Lewis and Clark Recreational Area also has a marina; the marina concession is a separate entity. Chris Donlin, Pickstown, S.D., was approved as the concessionaire in January and is currently operating the popular marina. A copy of the prospectus is available by contacting GFP at 605.773.3391 or download it here.

-GFP-

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