Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Big increase in antlerless elk licenses for South Dakota state park hunt

CWD is a fatal, neurological disease of deer, elk, and moose caused by an infectious protein that affects the animal's brain. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission has increased the number of licenses available for a special Custer State Park antlerless elk hunting season from 20 to 60, the GFP announced in a news release Tuesday, Nov. 7.

In addition, four new antlerless elk hunting units (for residents only) were established for these antlerless elk licenses, allowing department officials to use adaptive management to learn more about the chronic wasting disease (CWD) infection rate of elk inside Custer State Park, according to the release. This additional harvest will help GFP better understand prevalence rates, reduce numbers where elk congregate and provide additional information to construct season structures for future hunting seasons, the release said.

The online-only application period opens today, Nov. 7, and will close on Nov. 15 at 8 a.m. CST.

The additional 40 licenses will be equally distributed through the four seasons (Dec. 2-10; Dec. 16-24; Dec. 30-Jan. 7, 2018; Jan. 13-21, 2018). Preference points will be factored into the application process in which successful applicants will lose all accumulated preference points for the Custer Antlerless Elk season and will not be able to re-apply for this season for nine years.

For map details and additional information, click here.

—  South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

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