Wildlife of the Black Hills: Educational displays to be centerpiece of new Deadwood welcome center

The number of licenses available for 2017 includes 2,750 for antlered mule deer, an increase of 200 from last year; 1,022 for muzzleloader, an increase of 94 from last year; and 245 restricted youth antlered mule deer, an increase of 20 from last year.

DEADWOOD, S.D. — Deadwood’s new welcome center will feature more than a dozen educational displays featuring full-size animal mounts as part of an effort to better inform visitors about wildlife in the area.

The Black Hills Pioneer reports the city will acquire various specimens of mammals, birds and reptiles native to the area from South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks. The city will get the animals at no cost from the state agency, but it will need to apply for special permits by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the different mammals.

The city’s historic preservation officer, Kevin Kuchenbecker, said the displays at the new Lower Main Welcome Center will be educational for both Deadwood residents and visitors about Black Hills wildlife.

“For example, if a family comes in — mom, dad, and the kids — and are trying to determine what they want to do and see in Deadwood, we want to be able to hand them a paper with 12 animals on it and say, ‘Here, go find these animals,'” he said. “A scavenger hunt for wildlife, basically, native animals they would see in the Black Hills, a dozen to start with.”

Acquiring suitable hides and antler sheds from reputable vendors is also on the city’s agenda.

The city commission has approved up to $20,000 toward the cost of the project, most of which will go to engaging regional taxidermists for their services. The funds will come from the historic preservation welcome center budget.

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