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SD deer tags way down this year

sluggo6850

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Sep 27, 2009
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South Dakota
Might have a little trouble drawing deer tags in SD this year

PIERRE – 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, said Game, Fish and Parks Commission Chairman John Cooper.

The commission will review the license proposals at a meeting Thursday and Friday at Custer State Park. Cooper said 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.

“We’ve had a decrease in deer habitat across the state, especially in East River,” Cooper said.

He said intensive agriculture and the conversion of wetland sloughs to crop land have contributed to the decrease in habitat. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, which Cooper says is exacerbated by drought, has also depleted the deer population in the state. Cooper says the license numbers won’t change too much for deer hunting in the Black Hills.

East River tags are proposed to drop from about 50,600 to 30,000. The region stretches from the Missouri River to the eastern border of the state and includes mostly white tail deer. West River tags are proposed to drop from about 45,000 to nearly 20,000. That region, which has mule and white tail deer, extends west of the river, excluding the Black Hills. Deer season ranges from late November to early December depending on the region and beginning in late December for antlerless deer.

Chris Hesla, executive director of the South Dakota Wildlife Federation, said the decrease in license numbers reflects the reality of using a natural resource.

“I’m probably surprised by the percentage of the drop, but not the trend of smaller numbers,” Hesla said about the deer population. “We have been hunting the herd pretty hard.”

He said farmers are not leaving a lot of idle acres and that’s affected the pheasant population as well.

The Commission will also get an update on the pheasant season this week.

“We know that the harvest report on pheasants will be down,” Cooper said, adding that it’s been down for the last six or seven years.

The commission will also host a public hearing on a change to the state’s hunting license policy Thursday at 2 p.m.

The proposed change would allow hunters to buy “preference points,” giving them a higher priority in subsequent years when applying for limited licenses.

Cooper said other western states have similar systems, and he uses it in Colorado to increase his chances of getting a license every few years.

“It’s a system that seems to work well in other places,” Cooper said. “We’re trying to simplify and allow people another option.”

He said the commission has gotten good feedback so far on the proposed change. It will likely be used for big horn sheep, elk, mountain goats, deer and antelope.
 

BlakeA

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Dec 13, 2012
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North Dakota
Good for South Dakota. Glad they are making major changes now rather then waiting until it's too late. All it takes is an awful winter followed by terrible fawn reproduction and a spike in predator population and you are looking at a major problem. Alot of states can learn from what has taken place in ND the past few years. It's better to be safe than sorry!!!
 

MNHunter

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Dec 21, 2005
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Rosemount, MN
I’m confused on the pref point part…they already have a pref point system of sorts. What is the change???
 

boof

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Dec 4, 2012
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South Dakota
I’m confused on the pref point part…they already have a pref point system of sorts. What is the change???
I was thinking the same thing.

Maybe they are looking into just changing the system. Something like having preference points for the whole state rather than east and west river separate. Or maybe they are looking at doing away with the unlimited archery tags? That is an issue that will need to be addressed at some point.
 

boof

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South Dakota
Good for South Dakota. Glad they are making major changes now rather then waiting until it's too late. All it takes is an awful winter followed by terrible fawn reproduction and a spike in predator population and you are looking at a major problem. Alot of states can learn from what has taken place in ND the past few years. It's better to be safe than sorry!!!
South Dakota has actually been really proactive on the situation.

Southeastern South Dakota was hit particularly hard with EHD in 2012 and tags were immediately cut for many areas. It's been comforting to know they are on top of the situation, even though the average hunter doesn't really appreciate it.
 

warmer

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Sep 12, 2010
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SE South Dakota
I’m confused on the pref point part…they already have a pref point system of sorts. What is the change???
The change is adding Pref. Points to every limit tag season. Swan, nonresident waterfowl and some others. Won't change elk and sheep stuff. Will give deer applications an option for point only, something we don't have right now.
 

alwayshunting

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Jan 23, 2012
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North Dakota
The change is adding Pref. Points to every limit tag season. Swan, nonresident waterfowl and some others. Won't change elk and sheep stuff. Will give deer applications an option for point only, something we don't have right now.
I apply for west river and have applied for points only using the ZZ1 unit code, to get a point and only have to send in $5. Is this not available for east river or other deer tags?
 

boof

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Dec 4, 2012
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South Dakota
The change is adding Pref. Points to every limit tag season. Swan, nonresident waterfowl and some others. Won't change elk and sheep stuff. Will give deer applications an option for point only, something we don't have right now.
Like everyone else said, you can buy a point only for pretty much every season. I don't think it's necessary for swans since they usually have leftover tags.
 

warmer

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Sep 12, 2010
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SE South Dakota
Preference point-only license applications
•Within GFP Administrative rules section 41:06 Hunting Seasons and Methods; chapters with seasons that offer a limited number of licenses include language eligible persons the ability to apply for preference points.
•The department will recommend removing preference-only unit descriptions within these season chapters, as they are open, in an effort to remove unnecessary duplicative rule language.
•The net result would provide one rule to provide the allowance of applying for a preference-only unit to accrue preference points.
•This would make a preference point available for any limited license application. ie, nonresident waterfowl, tundra swan, special Canada goose, etc...
•Commission voted to approve the proposal

41:06:01:16. Purchase and accrual of preference points. In lieu of applying for a license for any hunting season with a limited license allocation, a person who is eligible to apply for the license may apply for a preference-only unit.

I was wrong about the deer points. I apologize. These two come from Commission minutes and meeting summary from April.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2011
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SLC, Utah
I don't know SD very well, but according to the information related, it seems that much of the disease outbreaks are close to agricultural areas where habitat loses have occured. Does that sound about right to you folks in the know?
 

boof

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South Dakota
I don't know SD very well, but according to the information related, it seems that much of the disease outbreaks are close to agricultural areas where habitat loses have occured. Does that sound about right to you folks in the know?
Well EHD was the big killer in 2011. I don't think it matters what kind of land is around when EHD hits. A drought is a drought.

The southeastern part of the state was hit hard, which is agriculture land. The central part of the state was hit hard, which is river breaks. The western part of the state was hit hard, which is ranch land.
 
Joined
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Interesting, thanks boof. The reason I ask is there seems to be a correlation emerging that may link EHD to mineral imbalances. Several ungulate diseases and anomalies can be linked to mineral problems of one kind or another. I think it may be pretty relevant if that proves to be the case, as the mineral issues might be able to be worked out, who knows. The reason I asked about agricultural areas is that is where most pesticides, herbicides, etc. are being utilized, and they may act as synergistic pathway inhibitor between the soil, microbes, funguses and flora. Anyway, thanks again.
 

jvanderlinde

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Jun 13, 2012
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302
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Mayer, MN
So when I finally think I can draw a great tag this happens. Well hopefully New Mexico elk will satisfy my needs. I'm glad the gfp is smart enough to do this now while they can still fix it.
 
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