South Dakota saw jump in GFP license sales

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Game Fish and Parks Department

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Sales of South Dakota hunting, fishing and trapping licenses rose quite a bit in 2020. State Game, Fish and Parks Commission members reviewed the report Thursday.

“We really had a fantastic year last year,” wildlife administration chief Heather Villa said.

The numbers showed a 53.5% overall increase from 2019, but habitat stamp sales were included for the first time in 2020.

Photo courtesy: Game, Fish and Parks

For licenses that existed in 2019, sales to residents in 2020 went up in all 12 categories. Increases ranged from 2% for furbearers, to 29% for annual fishing, and 31% for junior combination (fishing / small game.)

Nonresident sales were mixed. Small game went down 2%, while 1-day preserves fell 14% and 5-day preserves dropped 16%. On the positive side, annual fishing climbed 21% and 1-day fishing jumped 57%.

Habitat stamps are now required of people who buy a South Dakota outdoors license. In 2020, residents bought 58,385 at $10 each, while nonresidents purchased 82,421 at $25 apiece. The law took effect July 1, after many residents had already bought their 2020 fishing and hunting licenses.

Revenue from resident sales went up $1,413,015 including $583,850 of habitat stamps. From nonresidents, revenue rose $2,357,652 including $2,060,525 of habitat stamps.

Villa said license sales generally looked good so far in 2021. “We have some great momentum and are looking forward to what the year brings,” she said.

Photo courtesy: Game, Fish and Parks

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