SD: Fall Turkey, Non-Resident Big Game License Fees, Air-Gun Hunting and Furbearer Rule Changes Proposed

CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. – Fall turkey hunters would see fewer licenses in the Black Hills and East River if a South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Commission proposal is adopted.

Fall turkey hunters would have 2,000 fewer resident and 140 fewer nonresident licenses in the Black Hills, as well as 385 fewer resident East River licenses under changes proposed by the GFP Commission at its May meeting. In addition, 3,000 resident one-tag "any turkey" licenses and 240 nonresident one-tag "any turkey" licenses would be available for the Black Hills, with unlimited two-tag "any turkey" licenses available for the West River Prairie unit.

The proposed season would run from Oct. 1, 2011, to Jan. 31, 2012.

Another GFP proposal would create a new rule establishing air-gun ammunition and performance specifications to hunt cottontail rabbits, squirrels and predator/varmints. People could not hunt those animals with air guns that are factory-rated to produce a muzzle velocity of less than 750 feet per second. Only pellets would be permitted.

The GFP Commission also proposed changes that would increase nonresident big-game license fees by $90, to $280 for a one-tag license, $330 for a two- or three-tag license, in addition to the $5 surcharge fee mandated by state law. That would include deer and antelope tags that include a license allowing for the taking of a buck. South Dakota has not changed its nonresident big-game license fees since 2005.

The Commission has finalized the skunk, opossum, jackrabbit, fox, raccoon and badger seasons, with no changes from 2010.

A proposed change to the muskrat season would forbid trapping on the Sand Lake and Waubay National Wildlife Refuges.

Another proposal would allow nonresidents to begin trapping two weeks after the opening of the resident season. No nonresident may take any mink or weasel from Feb 1 to the Friday preceding the third Saturday in November, or take any muskrat, beaver or raccoon from May 1 to the Friday preceding the third Saturday of November, or take any bobcat from Feb. 16 to the Friday preceding the fourth Saturday in December.

As proposed, the notification period would be 24 hours for a trapper or hunter to report a bobcat after the close of the season.

Those who would like to provide written comments on the proposal may do so until 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 1. Comments may be mailed to Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D., 57501, or e-mailed to . Each comment must have the sender's full name and address in order to be included in the public record.

Comments may also be presented in person at the public hearing during the GFP Commission meeting, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT on Thursday, June 2, at the Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, 43349 SD Hwy 52, near Yankton.


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