GFP Commission Proposes Refuge, Archery Muzzleloader and Youth Seasons

May 16, 2013 | By: GFP

The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission has proposed changes for the upcoming Refuge, Archery, Muzzleloader and Youth Deer seasons.

Most of the proposed changes are a result of deer numbers beneath management objectives in some areas of the state. In particular, the limitation on the number of "any antlerless deer" licenses has been proposed in response to the high deer loss caused by Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease ( in the southeastern area of South Dakota last year.

The Archery Deer Season would run from Sept. 28, 2013 - Jan. 15, 2014.

Like last year, hunters may purchase a maximum of five total archery licenses, but no more than one statewide "any deer" license, or one East River and one West River "any deer" license. Hunters may purchase one "any antlerless deer" license valid for most of the state, and multiple "any antlerless deer" licenses within the five-license maximum.

Proposed changes to the 2013 Archery Deer Season are:

  • Only unfilled "any antlerless deer" licenses are valid from Jan. 1-15
  • Antlerless deer licenses would not be valid in Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Douglas, Grant, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Turner, Union and Yankton counties
  • Change the name of "Blood Run Nature Area" to "Good Earth State Park"
  • Not issue any  "any antlerless deer" archery access permits for Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve  and Good Earth State Park  and increase the number of "any deer" archery access permits from five to 10 for Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve
  • Changes were also proposed for the 2013 Muzzleloader Hunting Season, which would run from Dec. 1, 2013 - Jan. 15, 2014. Like last year, the proposed season would have 1,000 "any deer" licenses available, and unlimited single and double "any antlerless deer" licenses
  • A hunter could possess no more than five general muzzleloading deer licenses regardless of type, and only residents are eligible to apply for "any deer" tags. Residents and nonresidents may purchase "any antlerless deer" licenses
  • Similar to the Archery Deer Season, only unfilled "any antlerless deer" licenses would be valid from Jan. 1-15, and muzzleloading antlerless deer licenses would not be valid in Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Douglas, Grant, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Turner, Union and Yankton counties
  • The net result of the proposed adjustments to both the archery and muzzleloader seasons limits the areas and numbers where antlerless licenses are valid. Those results are 1) the Black Hills and Bon Homme, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Douglas, Grant, Hutchinson, Lincoln, Turner, Union and Yankton counties are closed to antlerless licenses; 2) allow hunters to use one single-tag antlerless license anywhere outside the areas closed to the use of antlerless licenses; and 3) allow hunters to use both single and double-tag licenses except in the closed areas and Brookings, Deuel, Hamlin, Lake, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody, and Roberts counties.

The proposed Youth Deer Hunting Season would run from Sept. 14, 2013 - Jan. 15, 2014.

A resident parent or guardian is eligible to purchase up to two Youth Deer licenses for resident or nonresident children who will not be 18-years-old on June 30. Only one of those licenses would be valid statewide. The second license would not be valid in the Black Hills or Bon Homme, Brookings, Charles Mix, Clay, Codington, Deuel, Douglas, Grant, Hamlin, Hutchinson, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, Moody, Roberts, Turner, Union, and Yankton counties.

The commission has also proposed the National Wildlife Refuge Deer hunting seasons.

The proposal would change the start date for the first Sand Lake Refuge season to the second Saturday in November and all other start dates for Sand Lake would adjust accordingly. The proposal also would allow only unfilled "antlerless deer" licenses to be valid during the nine days, beginning on the Saturday after Christmas. "Any refuge deer" units would be restricted to muzzleloaders and also have a proposed allowance for optics that are not magnified.

The proposal would also remove the youth deer license restriction for Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge, and Waubay National Wildlife Refuge. That change would allow each refuge to provide access for youth deer hunting at its discretion.

The season proposals will be finalized at the June 6-7 GFP Commission meeting at the Capitol Lake Visitor Center in Pierre. To view the full proposals on those seasons, visit: and look under the "Rule Proposals" heading.

To comment on any of the proposals, send a letter to: South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email [email protected] . Comments on the proposal will be taken until 5 p.m. on June 5. To be included in the public record, please include your full name and city of residence.

To comment in person on any of the seasons, the public hearing will begin at 2 p.m. CDT at the Capitol Lake Visitor Center on Thursday, June 6.


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