As winter approaches, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) reminds resident hunters of unique opportunities that could exist later this winter.
GFP’s Wildlife Damage Management Program assists landowners with wildlife depredation abatement programs and services. When other methods are ineffective, GFP may utilize hunters to help reduce damage caused by wildlife.
South Dakota residents may register, free of charge, for potential depredation hunts for deer, elk, antelope and turkey. Registration opened Dec. 1.
Once registered, hunters are then put into a random drawing to determine eligibility once a depredation hunt is authorized.
With the exception of hunters registering for elk, all other hunters are encouraged to register for counties near their home or within close driving distance. Hunters may register for a maximum of 10 counties for any species other than elk. Depredation hunts are often time-sensitive and winter weather can sometimes make travel difficult for participating hunters. For a successful hunt, GFP needs participating hunters to be available at the hunt location almost immediately.
Winter depredation hunts focus on assisting landowners with wildlife damage, but can also provide hunters with another opportunity after traditional hunting seasons are closed.