Nonresidents who want to hunt deer in South Dakota face new restrictions

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Nonresident bowhunters of deer in South Dakota could face application deadlines if they want to use their licenses on public lands, including parcels the state Game, Fish and Parks Department leases from private owners. 

The state Game, Fish and Parks Commission agreed Thursday the application cutoff this year should be August 1 for nonresidents to have access to public lands. For 2020 and after, the deadline would be April 1.

Nonresident hunters could still hunt on private land if they received licenses after the deadline, said Tom Kirschenmann, a state Wildlife Division official. 

The Legislature’s Rules Review Committee will take up the matter July 9. 

The commission also decided to limit how many archery deer hunters can use Unit 35L in the Slim Buttes area of Harding County. 

There would be 500 archery access permits for South Dakota residents and 125 for nonresidents. The area already has limits on the numbers of rifle hunters pursuing deer. 

The archery season opens September 1 for South Dakota hunters. The commission Thursday set a nonresident start date of October 1 for public ground. 

Commissioner Doug Sharp of Watertown opposed the changes. He thanked the Wildlife Division people who worked on the ideas. But, he said, the issue is broader and archery licenses could need to be limited in the years ahead. 

“I’m not convinced this is the right approach, to fix just one unit,” Sharp said.

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