GFP Commission Makes Changes to Limited Draw Preference Points

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission changed the way preference points effect 36 limited draw seasons at their January Commission meeting.

The Commission decided to take the number of times a person is in the draw and cube that number (number of preference points + 1 for the current application). This adjustment is intended to provide those hunters with a higher number of preference points a greater chance of drawing a limited license than currently exists.

“The drawing will, essentially, be run the exact same way as before,” said GFP licensing supervisor, Shon Eide. “We will still have the same breakdown of preference point pools for every season, however, now we will cube the number of times the person’s name is in the draw before that draw is run.”

While this will improve the odds for people with a higher number of preference points drawing a license, it will not guarantee them a license.

“This doesn’t change the drawing to a true top down preference point system,” Eide said. “A hunter with the most preference points would still not be guaranteed a license before another hunter with less preference points who is in the same draw pool, but their odds of drawing a license would be increased over someone else in the draw pool with fewer preference points.”

The cubing of preference points also does not impact the price of preference points or the number of preference points a hunter can acquire in any given year.

The cubed preference point system will first be applied to the 2018 elk and Gavin’s Point paddlefish snagging drawings and then used for all limited draw seasons. It will not be used for special buck, Francis Case paddlefish snagging or spring turkey drawings until 2019.

For a more information on preference points, please visit