South Dakota changes allocation of nonresident archery licenses
South Dakota is changing its allocation of nonresident archery licenses – and joining every other state in the nation. This week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission unanimously approved the change, which will cap deer and antelope archery licenses for nonresident hunters on public land, according to the South Dakota Search Light.
Based upon the change, there will be 2,200 archery deer tags and 450 archery antelope tags available to nonresidents on public land. Nonresident licenses for private land remain unlimited. While some supported the change, Sam Kezar, a hunter from Lennox, pointed out that separating the tag allocations between public and private land was “not science-based wildlife management.”
“To try and separate the tag allocations between public land and private land misses the point of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, that our wildlife is a public resource,” said Kezar.
In 2021, nonresident bowhunters accounted for about one-fifth of South Dakota’s archery licenses and made up about half of the mule deer buck harvest, according to the South Dakota Search Light.
Dana Rogers, a spokesperson with South Dakota Bowhunters Incorporated (SDBI), said the change was “net positive” even though he was “unsatisfied with ‘the hands’off approach to private land,’ noting that wildlife is ‘all the same public resource.’”
SDBI president Justin Broughton urged the commission to “shift the focus to benefit our resident hunting.”