GFP briefs 7-31-20


Fee established for nonresident deer and antelope licenses

PIERRE – During the 2020 South Dakota Legislative Session, the Legislature created a provision to allow for nonresident landowners to be eligible for West River deer and firearm antelope licenses for their own land. In response to this action, the Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized fees for these licenses at their July meeting.

This rule will set these licenses at one-half the fee of the deer or antelope license which has been applied for. With a fee structure of one-half, the cost would be $140 for an “any deer” license, $140 for an “any antelope” license, and $165 for an “any antelope + doe/kid” license.

Turkey season finalized

PIERRE – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission finalized their proposal to decrease the number of licenses available for the 2020 and 2021 fall turkey hunting seasons.

After receiving public comments, the Black Hills season will see a 50% reduction in tags with 100 resident and 8 nonresident, single-tag “any turkey” licenses. The prairie units will have 400 single-tag and 35 double-tag “any turkey” licenses for residents and 28 single and 3 double tag “any turkey” licenses available for nonresidents.

Gregory (Unit 30A), Mellette (50A) and Tripp (60A) counties will be closed for the fall turkey hunting season, with the opening of Bon Homme County (Unit 12A).

The seasons will run Nov. 1, 2020 – Jan. 31, 2021 and Nov. 1, 2021 – Jan 31, 2022.

Lost license fee removed

PIERRE – The Game, Fish and Parks Commission removed the $20 administrative fee for lost or destroyed licenses, permits or game tags. However, the license agent’s fee established by SDCL 41-6-66.1 will still be charged by license agents and the department.

This change is a direct action to provide enhanced customer service. The replacement cost was inadvertently creating a barrier to participation in certain circumstances.

Authorized license agents and the department, as per SDCL 41-6-66.1, will charge a license agent’s fee of $4 for resident and $8 for nonresident licenses.

Unrestricted shooting preserve licenses proposed

PIERRE – In response to requests from shooting preserve operators, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed to create an unrestricted license option, allowing for unlimited bag limits on shooting preserves who choose to offer this option to clients.

Hunters who desire to purchase the unrestricted license at a proposed fee of $150 would need to have already purchased a small game or preserve hunting license. They would also be required to purchase a habitat stamp, which is $10 for residents and $25 for nonresidents. 

Additionally, if an individual would like to exercise their unrestricted license while party hunting, all members of the hunting party would be required to possess the unrestricted license.

Individuals can comment online at gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions or mail comments to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

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).

The next GFP Commission meeting will be held Sept. 2-3, tentatively at the Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City.

Board proposes expansion of bobcat season

PIERRE –  The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks proposed to expand the bobcat trapping and hunting season to the entire state at its July meeting.

The commission also proposed to modify the East River season to run from Dec. 26 – Feb. 15, bringing the East and West River seasons into alignment.

Hunters or trappers east of the Missouri River would still be limited to one bobcat per season.

Individuals can comment online at gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions or mail comments to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

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).

The next GFP Commission meeting will be held Sept. 2-3, tentatively at the Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City.

Dates for elk license raffle may be changed

PIERRE – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission proposed to move the drawing time period for the elk license raffle.

By rule, the department has the ability to offer an “any elk” license to a non-profit, wildlife-related organization to use as a raffle fundraiser.

“The reasoning behind this proposal is to allow additional opportunity for unsuccessful applicants from the regular elk hunting season drawings to purchase raffle tickets for this license,” said Chad Switzer, Wildlife Program Administrator. Individuals can comment online at gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions or mail comments to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

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).

The next GFP Commission meeting will be held Sept. 2-3, tentatively at the Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City.

Board to look at ice fishing rues

PIERRE – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Park Commission proposed to require safety signage and marking of open water areas when aquatic aeration systems are being used on waters with public access during times of ice cover.

Aeration systems are used to prevent fish kills during the summer and winter, and to prevent ice from forming that may damage permanent docks or other structures anchored in the lakebed. Operation of aeration systems during the winter can cause significant public safety issues because they create open water and weakened ice conditions. Requiring signage would inform the public of potentially dangerous conditions.

Signs of highly visible size and design indicating “Danger Open Water,” clearly showing the location of the open water created by the aeration system, would need to be posted at all boat ramps and public access points any time the aeration system is in operation. Conspicuous markers, sufficient to notify the public of the location of the aeration system, would be placed around the open water area during periods of ice cover.

All signage would have to be removed by March 30.

Individuals can comment online at gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions or mail comments to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

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).

The next GFP Commission meeting will be held Sept. 2-3, tentatively at the Outdoor Campus West in Rapid City.

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