Framework for winter big game depredation hunts proposed | TSLN.com

Framework for winter big game depredation hunts proposed

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission (GFP) has proposed a change to the format for big game depredation pool applications.

Interested big game hunters may apply each year for a spot in a pool of hunters who may be called upon to help alleviate depredation on agricultural land caused by big game animals.

While hunters could apply for an unlimited number of counties in the past, the change proposed by the Commission will limit hunters to a maximum of 10 counties.

In recent years it has been difficult for GFP to find registered individuals that are willing to respond to GFP's request for a depredation hunt in an adequate timeframe, primarily because of weather conditions or the distance needed to travel. By limiting the number of counties to a maximum of 10 counties per individual, GFP anticipates that individuals that entered themselves for depredation hunts will participate at a higher level when called upon.

Last winter there were 147 hunting permits issued for turkey and 195 for deer.

The GFP Commission also finalized provisions for potential elk depredation hunting seasons with no changes from 2012.

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Unlike deer and turkey depredation hunts, unsuccessful elk license holders are used if elk depredation hunts are needed. In 2012, no elk depredation permits were issued.

The big game depredation hunt proposals will be finalized at the Aug. 1-2 GFP Commission meeting, which will be at the Event Center in Watertown. To view the full proposals on those seasons, visit: http://www.gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx and look under the "rule proposals" heading.

To comment on the proposal, send a letter to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email wild.info@state.sd.us. Comments on proposal will be taken until 5 p.m. CST on July 31. To be included in the public record, please include your full name and city of residence.

To comment in person on these proposed rule changes, the GFP Commission will host a public hearing beginning at 2 p.m. CST as part of their meeting on Thursday, Aug. 1.

–S.D. Game, Fish and Parks

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