South Dakota considers changes to nonresident hunting regulations

Mule Deer

Photo credit: Shutterstock

After years of aggravation at the increasing number of nonresident hunters, South Dakota residents may have their dessert. The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission is considering a new proposal that would change how nonresident hunting opportunities are evaluated and also make anyone wanting to change nonresident hunting rules a few more loopholes to jump through. If approved, rule changes related to nonresident hunters would require several questions to be answered before submitting a petition, the Capital Journal reports.

“If people could come to the commission with as many of these addressed as possible, I think it’ll make everyone’s job easier,” said Commissioner Doug Sharp.

Nonresident archery deer hunting will likely be one of the first issues addressed. This is due to the state being one of the few with inexpensive nonresident hunting licenses and no restriction on the number of mule deer nonresident archery hunting licenses available to nonresidents, according to the Capital Journal.

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Within the proposal being considered, “there are five main points encompassing 17 individual criteria” to use when evaluating nonresident hunting opportunities. The five points include identifying what the issue is as well as why it’s needed and how it will be evaluated; considering historical trends; looking at biological considerations; determining social considerations; and, finally, how the proposed change “would affect how much money the state has to spend on conservation,” the Capital Journal reports.

“Some of these things are pretty basic … some of these things are going to be controversial,” said Commission chair Gary Jensen.

The Commission is accepting comments on the new criteria until the next meeting, which will be held May 2 and May 3 in Custer State Park.

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