PIERRE, S.D. – A recent proposal by the Game, Fish and Parks Commission would extend season dates for four East River deer counties and give hunters access to a six percent increase in East River deer license numbers.
The proposal offers 2,090 fewer one-tag licenses, but increases two-tags licenses by 3,125, which is a six percent increase of 4,160 tags from last year. Overall tags available would include 21, 865 one-tag licenses plus 25,975 two-tag licenses for a total of 73, 815 tags.
Season dates would be Nov. 26 through Dec. 4 for the counties of Brookings, Sanborn, Miner, Lake, Moody, Davison, Hanson, McCook, Minnehaha, Hutchinson, Turner, Lincoln, Bon Homme, Yankton, Clay and Union. All other East River deer counties would have season dates of Nov. 19 through Dec. 4.
Game, Fish and Parks Regional Wildlife Manager Ron Schauer of Sioux Falls said the extended East River antlerless deer seasons would again be available and would run Dec. 5 – 11 and Jan. 1 – 8, 2006. "Each unfilled and unsold East River deer tag will convert to its respective antlerless tag at the end of the regular season and be valid on both public and private land." Schauer noted that 10 percent of last year’s deer harvest came during the extended antlerless season, which makes the extended seasons a very effective management tool.
Initially, all licenses are available only to residents. License remaining after the first two drawings would then be available to both residents and nonresidents on a first-come, first-served basis.