2014 deer hunting seasons finalized

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PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized all 2014 deer hunting seasons at their June meeting in Yankton. The most notable change from last year will be the reduction in the number of licenses and tags available to hunters.


The West River firearm season will have a 17 percent reduction in licenses and a 56 percent reduction in tags, while the East River firearm season has a reduction of 22 percent in licenses and a 41 percent reduction in tags.


“These adjustments are intended to increase the deer population in areas where populations are below desirable management levels,” said Tom Kirschenmann, chief administrator of wildlife.


Deer hunters participating in the archery, muzzleloading and youth deer seasons will see decreases in the number of available deer licenses and where antlerless deer tags are valid. For the archery and muzzloading season, hunters will be limited to one antlerless license for each season and those licenses will only be valid for whitetail antlerless deer and in certain areas within the state. Youth deer hunters will be limited to one any antlerless deer tag but will be able to hunt statewide.


In addition, deer hunters with an archery, muzzleloading or youth deer license will be required to obtain a free access permit to hunt on the Hill Ranch Game Production Area in Fall River County (Unit 27L), Custer National Forest lands in Harding County (Unit 35L) and the Little Moreau Game Production Area in Dewey County (Unit 24B). Permits are free of charge and unlimited. The issuance of these permits will allow the department to collect important management information such as hunter use and harvest information from hunters who use these areas during these seasons.


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