If you hunt deer in South Dakota this is going to matter to you.

The Department of Game, Fish, and Parks has the idea that all of the various firearm deer seasons may need to be combined when it comes to applying for tags. Currently a person can apply separately for any of the seven seasons he or she wishes. While some of those seasons are much harder to draw than others, you could conceivably draw a tag in all seven season. GFP has proposed to alternatives to the current system.

The first alternative is that drawings for East River, West River and Black Hills deer seasons would be at the same time. You could only apply for one tag in one unit of one of the three. If you fail in the first draw you could apply again in the second. But if you are successful in the first draw, you could not apply for another tag in either of the other two seasons until the third draw.

The second alternative is that drawings for East River, West River, Black Hills, National Wildlife Refuge, Custer State Park, and Muzzleloader deer seasons would be at the same time. The subsequent rules would also apply.

The third alternative is that things would stay as they are now.

This is the link to the license survey that is buried at the end of the video and won't show up for some people when they watch it. If you have strong feelings on this, take the survey. It's short.

The reason for this change in allocation comes from the vague description of "people who would like to get their preferred deer license" more often. What that actually means, I don't know.

I theorize that some of this noise is legitimate. People who live in highly populated counties East River who want to get a tag in their county with few deer and deer licenses are upset they can never get a tag. That is a math problem. There are few deer in the eastern counties and not much habitat for them and also the largest populations are there as well.

I also suspect there are other unscrupulous factors at play that I don't know about and have no proof of.

I don't hunt anywhere near Sioux Falls because there aren't many deer here, there are lots of people, very little public land to hunt on, and very few tags to draw. I want to hunt every year. I don't care as much about the particular tag I get, but I want to hunt. So I go west. I also get between two and four tags each year. I'm not even collecting buck tags. Some are buck, some aren't.

What I know for certain is that there is not a glaring problem with the current system. A handful of people will get a their preferred tag a little bit more often, but not enough to punish others who pay for several licenses every year and spend money all over the state trying to fill those tags.


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