South Dakota: More pronghorns, more hunting licenses
PIERRE, S.D. — Wildlife officials in South Dakota have decided that a slowly growing pronghorn population justifies a slight increase in the number of hunting licenses available for the next two years.
The state’s Game, Fish and Parks Commission decided that it will issue resident hunters more than 900 more buck-antelope hunting licenses and 1,400 more doe-antelope licenses in 2017 and 2018 than it did last year, when hunter success reached 70 percent. The hunting unit in Stanley County will allocate 40 licenses and the unit in Hughes County will have 50 licenses for each of the next two years.
The pronghorn is a land mammal known for its speed. They’re unique to North America but are commonly called antelope because of their resemblance to the African animal, the Pierre Capital Journal reported.
Population surveys by the commission said there will be about 48,000 pronghorns in the state, still about 10,000 short of the statewide-population objective called for in the department’s antelope-management plan.
In the last five years, the state’s pronghorn-antelope herd has been recovering from a decline. Harvest and hunter success has steadily increased since bottoming out in 2013.