South Dakota Elk Contingency Licenses Approved for 2021

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission approved twenty elk contingency licenses at the September GFP Commission meeting in Rapid City.

“Due to this year’s dry conditions in areas of the Black Hills, GFP used a variety of sources to help generate a recommendation for the GFP Commission to consider; including input from the Black Hills National Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, forage model production outputs, and a decision-support tool found within the elk action plan,” stated wildlife division director, Tom Kirschenmann. “Elk contingency licenses are a management tool as a means of responding quicker to environmental conditions such as drought, like we have experienced this year.”

“The most up-to-date information and input from cooperating agencies were used in developing the department’s recommendation for the Commission to act upon,” Kirschenmann noted.

The application process for these additional antlerless elk licenses will begin on September 9 and additional information will follow soon for applicants.

To learn more about the management of elk in South Dakota and the use of elk contingency licenses, visit