South Dakota might sell ‘special’ antelope tags

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A private organization wants up to 100 more licenses to be available for hunting antelope in South Dakota — but only on private land and only with landowner permission.

The South Dakota Landowner and Outfitter Alliance petitioned the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission for the change.

Commissioners listened Thursday to a presentation from a representative for the group, lawyer Justin Bell of Pierre, during their meeting in Custer State Park and agreed to seek public comments.

The petition calls for no more than 50 resident and 50 nonresident any-antelope licenses and creating “a special antelope unit within the antelope season that is valid only on private property not leased by the (state) Department of Game, Fish and Parks for public hunting in any East River or West River antelope unit open to hunting.”

The alliance gave several reasons, such as recognizing landowner contributions to wildlife habitat and creating a license structure that mirrors the special-buck licenses available during deer season.

Commissioner Travis Bies of Fairburn called for accepting the petition. “I think this is a good concept. It’s on private property,” the rancher said.

The proposal would have a number of restrictions.

A successful special antelope licensee may not apply for a West River or East River antelope
license in the initial or second drawing. A successful special antelope licensee may not apply for a leftover special antelope license.

No person may apply for or receive the special antelope license unless several conditions are met:

The applicant has permission from an owner or lessee of private land to hunt antelope on the owner’s or lessee’s property located within the permitted area during the antelope hunting season for which the special antelope license is issued.

The applicant includes on the application for a special antelope license the name and telephone number of the owner or lessee of the private property granting the permission.

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