Right about now phone calls are being made and text messages are being sent between friends and family with a bit of subdued urgency. And the question asked in each of these phone calls is something along the lines of "So what are you thinking of doing this fall?"

The deadline for deer applications is coming up quickly. After doing a bit of looking and checking, I think the accurate deadline for online applications for all seasons listed on the paper application is 8:00 am on June 17. Paper applications for all of those seasons must be postmarked by June 12. The Deer page on the GFP website has various dates that appear to conflict with the pdf or paper application. I would work off the date of 8:00 am on June 17. Updating websites annually is hard.

I've received two phone calls this week alone asking "What are you doing for deer this fall? I wanted to check before I put my application in."

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This question is bigger now than it used to be before the draw structure changed. Now that you can only apply for two of the main six firearm seasons in the first draw (East River/Special Buck, West River/Special Buck, the Black Hills, Muzzleloader, Refuge and Custer State Park) you have to do more planning instead of using the shotgun approach where you just apply for everything and hope you get something.

Now you have to balance what you want to do, what you have points for, what do your friends and family have points for, and who is actually going to show up if you decide to get a faraway West River tag.

Anyway, you have less than a week to apply. Good luck!