Game, Fish & Parks sets hunting seasons for coming years


The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission made several decisions involving hunting seasons at its April meeting, including pheasant and small game.

2018-2020 pheasant hunting seasons approved
PIERRE — The South Dakota pheasant hunting seasons have been set for the next three years.
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed no changes to the Youth, Resident Only and Traditional pheasant hunting seasons at its April meeting. Since no changes were proposed, these seasons are set for the next three years as described here.
Youth Pheasant
October 6-10, 2018
October 5-9, 2019
October 3-7, 2020
Resident Pheasant
October 13-15, 2018
October 12-14, 2019
October 10-12, 2020
Traditional Pheasant
October 20, 2018 – January 6, 2019
October 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020
October 17, 2020 – January 3, 2021

2018-2020 small game seasons
The Commission also made no changes to the following small game hunting seasons: grouse, quail, Sandhill crane, snipe, partridge, squirrel, cottontail rabbit, mourning dove and crow.  Since no changes were proposed, these seasons are set for the next three years as described below.
Grouse
September 15, 2018 – January 6, 2019
September 21, 2019 – January 5, 2020
September 19, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Quail
October 20, 2018 – January 6, 2019
October 19, 2019 – January 5, 2020
October 17, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Sandhill Crane
September 22 – November 18, 2018
September 28 – November 24, 2019
September 26 – November 22, 2020
Snipe
September 1 – October 31, 2018
September 1 – October 31, 2019
September 1 – October 31, 2020
Partridge
September 15, 2018 – January 6, 2019
September 21, 2019 – January 5, 2020
September 19, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Squirrel
September 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019
September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
September 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Cottontail Rabbit
September 1, 2018 – February 28, 2019
September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
September 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Mourning Dove
September 1 – November 9, 2018
September 1 – November 9, 2019
September 1 – November 9, 2020
Crow
September 1 – October 31, 2018
                March 1 – April 30, 2019

September 1 – October 31, 2019
                March 1 – April 30, 2020

September 1 – October 31, 2020
                March 1 – April 30, 2021

2018-19 Elk hunting seasons set
The Commission allocated 222 licenses for the 2018 and 2019 archery elk hunting seasons. The season will run the month of September for both years and will have 142 any elk and 80 antlerless elk licenses available.
The 2018 and 2019 Black Hills elk hunting seasons will have 425 any elk and 700 antlerless elk licenses available for both years. The 2018 and 2019 prairie elk hunting seasons will have 68 any elk and 73 antlerless elk licenses available for both years.  Harding County (Unit 35A) has been added to the prairie elk hunting season.
Custer State Park any elk hunters are now allowed to firearm hunt the entire month of October with nine any elk licenses available. In addition, 60 antlerless elk licenses are available among six different units with specified season dates for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

West River deer hunting season proposed
The Commission proposed to reinstate days in which only antlerless licenses are valid for the West River season for 2018.
The proposed season would run:
Unit 30A (Gregory):       November 3-6 and November 19-25, 2018
All Other Units:              November 10-25, 2018
Antlerless Deer Tags:      December 8-16, 2018
The Commission will consider adopting this proposal during its May meeting, May 3-4 at Creekside Lodge in Custer State Park. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held May 3 at 2 p.m. MDT. Individuals can also provide written comments on commission rule proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or via email to [email protected] To be included in the public record and to be considered by the Commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing (not including the day of the public hearing) per HB 1006.

East River deer hunting season proposed
The Commission proposed that the 2018 East River deer hunting season would have 175 less licenses available. It was proposed to adjust resident license numbers from no more than 21,085 one-tag and 5,250 two-tag licenses to no more than 20,900 one-tag and 5,250 two-tag licenses.
For 2018, the season would run from Nov. 17-Dec. 2. Antlerless tags would be valid Dec. 8-16 for late season hunting.
The Commission also proposed to create a new Limited Access Unit (Unit 59L) in Hughes and Sully counties limited to all Game Production Areas, Army Corps of Engineer, and Park Recreation Area Lands north of Oahe Dam in Hughes County and west of U.S. Hwy 1804 to Bush’s Landing boat ramp in Sully County at 182nd St.; excluding the Spring Creek Recreation area. This unit is all public land and landowner preference does not apply. Hunters must obtain a free access permit to hunt archery, muzzleloader, youth or mentored youth as required on other Limited Access Units.
To accommodate the new Limited Access Unit, other modifications were proposed:
Eliminate Unit 59B (that potion of Sully County east of U.S. Highway 83).
Modify Unit 59A to include all of Sully County except that portion within 59L.
Modify Unit 36A to include all of Hughes County, excluding that portion within Unit 59L, Farm Island Recreation Area, LaFramboise Island, and the land from the entrance to Farm Island west through the city of Pierre.
The GFP Commission will consider adopting this proposal at its May meeting in Custer State Park. Comments can be made through the same methods as described above.

Commission proposes muzzleloader, archery and youth deer seasons
The Commission proposed that the muzzleloader deer hunting season run from Dec. 1, 2018 – Jan. 1, 2019, for both any deer and antlerless whitetail deer licenses.
As a result of a proposed limited access unit in portions of Hughes and Sully counties, it was proposed that this new unit be closed to where antlerless archery and muzzleloader licenses were previously valid.
The proposal requires Black Hills archery deer hunters to obtain and possess a free access permit. Access permits for the Black Hills will be issued on an unlimited basis.
The archery deer season was proposed to end on Jan. 1, 2019.
Like archery and muzzleloader deer seasons, the youth deer season will close on Jan. 1, 2019.
Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge, Waubay National Wildlife Refuge, and Waubay State Lake State Game Refuge archery seasons would also end on Jan. 1, except during the firearm deer hunting seasons already established for these refuges.


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