When you think of outdoor activities in these winter months you probably think of things like skiing and ice skating. But a special hunting season in Sioux Falls is working to make your drive safer.
When a herd of deer grew out of control in Northeast Sioux Falls, the state Game, Fish and Parks Department and Sioux Falls police brainstormed the idea of a special hunting season. This is the second year for the antlerless deer bow hunt.
"We've had no complaints from the public or any issues with the land owners. We have not had any this year," Sergeant Kyle Hoekstra of Sioux Falls Police said.
That's even with seven more hunters getting access to this year's event, which is just one of a few minor changes organizers made compared to last year. The season closes next Tuesday and at this point, hunters have taken 23 deer; that's up two from last season.
“Obviously, we'd like more deer taken out there. But if we can remove any deer out there, it minimizes the traffic crashes. You just have less deer out there and less that will populate in the future. So, I think it's a success overall," Sergeant Hoekstra said.
Sergeant Hoekstra says the department is hopeful a few more deer will be tagged before the season ends next week. But he says even the hunters who have not brought home a deer have been happy with the experience.
"The majority of the people I've talked to have been very happy with the hunt, regardless if they get a deer or not," Sergeant Hoekstra said.
Now, the departments organizing the hunt will collect data and information from this year's group of hunters, and track car-deer crashes in the region. That information will be used as they plan for the hunt to resume again next autumn.
A few hunters have expressed worries about other people trespassing on land while they are hunting. The Sioux Falls Police Department says it has tried to address that problem with additional presence in the area.