In South Dakota, nonresident waterfowl hunting issue coming to a head

PIERRE, S.D. — State wildlife officials will soon vote on a proposal that dictates how many nonresidents can obtain waterfowl hunting licenses in South Dakota, which has been a contentious issue in the state for decades.

Some resident hunters fear the commercialization of waterfowl hunting in the state, while some business interests want more nonresident hunters and their money in South Dakota.

The Capital Journal reports the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed a compromise that would cut the number of special three-day licenses the state issues by 250, bringing the total down to 1,750 from 2,000. The compromise replaces a plan put forward in April that would have allowed 1,500 three-day licenses.

The commission will vote on the issue during a public hearing on June 8.

Commissioner Gary Jensen said the compromise could settle the issue long enough for officials to devise a more scientific way of deciding how many licenses to issue.

“We need to put together some objective criteria,” Jensen said.

The state currently issues five different types of waterfowl hunting licenses for nonresidents. The most popular license covers most of the state and allows for 10 days of duck or goose hunting. The other four licenses cover specific counties in the state.

The new proposal also designates 500 licenses to be restricted to the Missouri River. Jensen said the change was made to address concerns from landowners who sell goose hunts along the river.

“My understanding is that those licenses are important because that’s when the season kicks in,” Jensen said.

Categories: Hunting News, Waterfowl

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