GFP Commission Makes 50 Elk Contingency Licenses Available

August 10, 2016 | By: SD GFP

Earlier this year, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission established a pool of stand-by contingency antlerless elk licenses that could be issued if range conditions in the Black Hills dictated a need for them. Last week, the GFP Commission passed a resolution directing the Department to issue 50 antlerless elk licenses in the northern Black Hills. These licenses are in addition to all other tags previously allocated to elk hunters through the first and second elk drawings already completed.

“We listened to the livestock and grazing communities and spent a large amount of time discussing the Department’s recommendation,” stated Commission Chairwoman Cathy Peterson. “With the state’s elk management plan, we have the ability to issue more licenses when reduced habitat conditions warrant it; such as the drought we are currently experiencing in the northern Black Hills. We need to continue to work with landowners and permit holders during these challenging conditions.”

The 50 additional antlerless licenses will be spread across ten units in the northern Black Hills; five per unit. The majority will be used in Unit 2 which has the highest number of elk and an area currently being managed to slightly reduce elk numbers.

“Anyone who does not have a 2016 elk hunting license is eligible for this drawing; including those individuals that were not eligible for the first drawing,” stated Scott Simpson, Division of Wildlife’s chief of administrative services. “It is also important to note that elk hunting preference points do not count toward this drawing and applicants will be charged a $10 nonrefundable fee to their credit/debit card. If successful, the full license fee of $116 will also be charged to the credit/debit card.”

The online-only application period will open Wednesday, Aug. 17, and close Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016 at 8 a.m. CDT. Season dates for Units 1 and 7 run from Oct. 17-31 and Dec. 1-16, 2016. For Unit 2, hunters are limited to Oct. 17-31, Dec. 1-16, or Dec. 17-31; pending the time frame in which they successfully draw.

Columnist: SD GFP

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks manages SD's wildlife resources, parks, and outdoor recreational opportunities for the benefit of the people of this state and its visitors.  

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