PIERRE, S.D. – Last week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed several changes to the deer drawing structure proposal. The most significant change now going into the October Commission meeting is that drawings for East River, West River, Black Hills and Muzzleloader deer seasons would be combined in the first and second drawings. In the first draw, applicants would have to choose between one of the four seasons. Special buck, Custer State Park and Refuge deer hunting seasons would remain unchanged from their current draw structure.
The Commission has now recommended the following modifications:
1. Remove Special Buck, Custer State Park and Refuge Deer from the combined deer drawing.
These seasons would remain separate drawings.
Hunters would still have to choose among licenses available for East River, West River Black Hills and Muzzleloader in the first draw, both first and second choices.
2. In the second draw, an applicant may only apply for a license if the applicant did not draw a license in the first draw.
3. In the third draw, the four seasons would no longer be drawn together and a resident would be able to submit one application for each season they do not have a license for.
The maximum number of licenses a resident could have through the third draw is four; one for each of the East River, West River, Black Hills and Muzzleloader seasons.
Non-residents without a license would still only be able to apply for a license remaining in pools originally designated for non-residents in the Black Hills and West River deer hunting seasons.
4. In the fourth draw, remaining resident and non-resident licenses would be pooled within each season.
Residents would be able to submit up to five applications in any of the four seasons.
Non-residents who do not have a license would be able to submit one application for any remaining license.
5. After the fourth draw, all licenses would be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
6. Applicants would be able to use preference points for both the first and second choices in the first three drawings. First draw applicants must use preference points for their first choice selection (as is currently required). An applicant who uses preference to acquire a license in a season would not be able to purchase a preference point for that season.
The initial proposal presented at the July GFP Commission meeting can be found and heard online at https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/archives/12/.
The current proposal, as defined above, can also be found online at https://gfp.sd.gov/userdocs/docs/2018ProposalDeerDrawStructure_Sept.pdf.
The GFP Commission will finalize this proposal in October. The public hearing will be held Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. MDT at Cadillac Jacks in Deadwood. Individuals can also provide written comments on proposals by sending them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501, or online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/. 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.