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South Dakota to Consider Offering Free Deer Tags to Landowners

High population leads South Dakota to consider offering free anterless deer tags to landowners.

In yet another move to address the growing deer herd population in South Dakota, officials at the Game, Fish, and Parks Commission are developing a proposal that would offer up to two free anterless deer tags for farmers and ranchers.

Thanks largely in part to proper management techniques and conservation efforts by the Game, Fish, and Parks department and hunters alike, South Dakota, like many other Midwestern states, has seen a dramatic rise in deer population in recent years. Both East River and West River deer seasons will see growth in the quantity of tags available for 2016. For specifics on the number of resident and non-resident tags available, click here.

The new proposal would allow landowners access to double-tag licenses in areas where traditional one-tag antlerless licenses are available. The state is monitoring the population of each county closely and has decided to maintain the existing antlerless limit restrictions in certain counties where the herd population has not reached desired levels.

As reported by the Mitchell Daily Republic, East River hunters will see an overall increase in the number of licenses available for the year, though the number of single-tag licenses will drop by 4,220. Those licenses will be replaced by 5,075 two-tag licenses and 1,400 three-tag licenses.

The new two-tag licenses, which allow for the harvesting of one any-deer and one anterless deer, will cost residents $50, while the single any-deer licenses will remain at $40. A single doe tag can be purchased for $20 while a double doe tag will require $30.

Non-resident licenses available will also increase for the year, both in the East River and West River seasons. For more information about licenses, fees, and season dates, please visit the Game, Fish, and Parks website.

The Game, Fish, and Parks department is seeking input from the public before finalizing it’s proposal in early June. Comments can be sent to wildinfo@state.sd.us and must be received by 12 PM on June 2 for consideration.

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South Dakota to Consider Offering Free Deer Tags to Landowners