SIOUX FALLS, SD -
It's in its third year and officials say the Sioux Falls deer hunt has been a success.
The Game, Fish and Parks along with the Sioux Falls Police Department are using the hunt to try to control the deer population along Rice Street between Sioux Falls and Brandon.
Rice Street is notorious for car-deer accidents. Officials use the hunt to bring crash numbers down along with crop destruction. They also made some changes to the hunt this year that the hunters asked for.
"I can’t hardly wait. I can’t hardly wait. I wish it were my time slot right now," hunter Jon Eckrich said.
Jon Eckrich is one of the few people who have received an access permit all three years of the Sioux Falls deer hunt. For him, it's a perfect opportunity for archery hunting.
"It's in Sioux Falls; I live in Sioux Falls. Twenty minutes after I leave the house, I'm in the stand. I mean you can’t beat that," Eckrich said.
GF&P Regional Supervisor Arden Peterson says they've made some changes to this year's hunt. One of them is letting people pick which dates work best for them.
"We had some people that had requested that because in the past we had just randomly drew dates and they said, well, it would be better if we could choose when it worked out in their schedule so we were able to do that. That was a helpful thing," Peterson said.
They also added preference points this year. So if a hunter didn't draw a permit, next year, they'll have a better chance. Hunters and the GF&P alike say that has been great.
"The main way that we manage deer in South Dakota is hunting and in city limits you normally can't hunt. So it gives us an opportunity with this archery season to be able to do a little bit of hunting and controlling that deer herd a little bit," Peterson said.
"From a hunter’s standpoint, who likes to see a deer go to waste because of road kill? Like they told us, it’s road kill, it’s crop damage as well as control as best you can diseases among deer. So it’s a wonderful, wonderful opportunity. It’s a great idea and they manage it very well," Eckrich said.
The hunt begins Wednesday and runs through January. Each hunter has an assigned area and two-week window to harvest a doe.
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