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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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David P. - posted 8 months ago on 09-03-2019 07:14:39 am

Kyle L.,
A little off the subject but I believe I will take your advice and come to PA to hunt....I DREW A RIFLE BULL ELK TAG IN UNIT 11!

Kyle L. - posted 8 months ago on 09-02-2019 08:21:22 pm

This would be my luck.. I spent 8 months planning my first out of state hunt (to SD), buying gear, looking at maps, talking with people who've hunted mulies in SD. Buying more gear, studying more maps, scheduling vaction to hunt the archery opener... Just for SD to take a dump on my 2019 season.. SD residents want to b!tch about too many hunters, not enough land? Come hunt PA once haha.

jacob m. - posted 10 months ago on 07-10-2019 11:08:19 pm

South Dakota hates nonresident hunters. These new rule changes make it clear. They only want you to hunt there state if you’re paying an outfitter. Half the state if you’re non resident you can only archery hunt. The other half of the state had half the units removed from nonresident archery and a drawl must be done to obtain a rifle tag. Also they shorten the application period only for nonresident ONLY IF HUNTING PUBLIC GROUND. They also won’t allow any nonresident to hunt PUBLIC ground for the first month. If your hunting on private ground most these rules don’t apply. Clearly the state is promoting payed hunting. Looking way into the details South Dakota pulled a really slick move. South Dakota doesn’t allow any camping in the field, only on designated camping sites, South Dakota removed all the units around perrie from the archery tag so if you want to hunt anywhere you’re going to have to drive a minimum of an hour to get there.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 year ago on 04-17-2019 05:52:23 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Just wanted to let everyone know that Alafair has been removed from the website. They had a chance to be civil, but couldn't keep things in order without talking bad about hunting.

Joel M. - posted 1 year ago on 04-16-2019 09:06:28 pm
West Jordan, Utah

Just because someone has different opinion or view doesn't make them wrong. It doesn't give you the right to name call or belittle. It just means you are different. Hunting has been happening since the beginning of time. Its only been in the last couple hundred years that some peoples views and ideas of hunting have changed. There are arguments that say that a vegan kills just as many critters as an omnivore, through farming practices and methods. A fact that anti- hunters can't argue is that hunters/ anglers by group put more time, effort and generate more money to benefit/ protect wildlife than any other group in the United States. Dollars that go towards wildlife is generated through tags, license sales and excise taxes(Pittman- Robertson Act, Dingell- Johnson Act). And donation dollars to wildlife Organizations and foundations which sole purpose to conserve and protect wildlife.
What's more immoral going out in the wild and killing your food or going to the store and buying it pretending nothing was harmed or killed?

Alex M. - posted 1 year ago on 04-14-2019 08:05:09 pm

Hey Rick, you crack me up. I mean, I’m spitting up my martini due to laughter here, Jethro! “ a relaxing place for hunters”? I thought that was when you were laying around with your big guns waiting to shoot an innocent being just going about their day! You Neanderthals are priceless? How about going back to middle school and learning 3rd grade English. Perhaps then we can have a chat. Enjoy your cancer, mate. Oh and also your inability to get the proper care for it (since Donnie Dump and his clan are gonna CUT YOU OFF ]

rick b. - posted 1 year ago on 04-14-2019 07:41:27 pm

my ex wife used to call them children too. you’re both misguided crazies. and i’m dumb enough to engage with you. just know that i am going to shoot two bucks this year and my 9 year old son is getting really good with his bow. I may get lucky and get a bull elk too and my son and i will eat them all year long. My son is going to grow up yo be 6’5 and have a 140iq just like his dad and he can’t wait to get his first elk and deer. You’re the degenerate. you’re not evolved you’re an evolutionary dead end. I won’t take your stupid bait anymore. I just hate that you’ve come to this website which is a relaxing place for hunters to read and study. It’s making me think of cancelling my go hunt membership except i’m sure that’s what you want. I just wish Gohunt would boot your ass. i don’t pay for this crap

Alex M. - posted 1 year ago on 04-14-2019 05:57:37 pm

Honestly, what a bunch of low hanging fruit. Losers. Morons. The same people that think Trump has come to save them. You can never reason with inbred zombies. They don’t have he capacity to feel empathy for any one other than themselves (or their spawn, which I’m sure is endless, praise Jesus). It’s South Dakota, for fuck’s sake. Their day consists of working their minimum wage job ( maybe) and then finding whatever they can get drunk on. It’s a pisshole state, sort of like a shithole country but all white trash. Don’t waste your time, Alafair. Pity the poor fools.

rick b. - posted 1 year ago on 04-14-2019 05:26:46 am

youre frankly just a pinhead you haven’t evolved. you don’t eat meat so your brain doesn’t work properly. it’s science. we’re supposed to eat meat. that’s what we’re engineered to do. just deciding that you’re evolved doesn’t change your body’s requirements. you simply don’t get the fats and proteins your body evolved needing and your brains chemistry is off. Saying it isn’t moral to kill animals is as dumb as trying to get a wolf to eat broccoli. killing is part of nature man is and ought to be part of nature. i take great pleasure in hunting and killing a deer and in eating its meat. i feel for the deer but i eat every bit of him and i respect and abide by game laws which make sure that the herd is managed properly Evolution is something that takes way way longer than a dozen generations Your body’s dietary needs and the instincts of men to hunt wild game are not gone and they aren’t going anywhere for many many millennia. I doubt they’re going anywhere even then.

Lyle P. - posted 1 year ago on 04-13-2019 03:54:59 pm
Scottsdale, AZ, and Vancouver, WA

Robicheaux - Why do you own a dog slave? I ask that you set the non-human animal free rather than continue to pen and enslave that animal (which was savagely torn away from parents and siblings) for your perverse pleasure and misguided patriarchal behavior that you are its friend. The nerve and ignorance to house a stolen animal that spends every sad day of its life longing to once again snuggle up to mom and dad and its siblings rather than be institutionalized in your prison home where free will to leave and find parents and siblings is prevented. how can you do this? Think of the non-human animal you have enslaved. WHY????? How can you be so callous to be nothing more than the circus trainer who says the elephant likes being kept in a pen and fed by a person rather than roam with its family. WHY?????

rick b. - posted 1 year ago on 04-13-2019 12:21:06 pm

seriously we evolved as hunters.  we’re still hunters. 
don’t bring your vegan morality into our world.  it’s fake nonsense.  we eat meat as all our ancestors did and we love it.   just like the lions and wolves love it.  farmed meat is inferior and hunting is an instinct ingrained in all men.  some soy boys may listen to your crap long enough to get laid but deep down they have the instinct too. 
get a clue.  get a life.  stop trying to get control of other people’s lives. you’re mental   we should all go to your blog site and spew our beliefs all over the place until you cry uncle.  so please stay in your own echo chamber.  
Any gohunt members twiddling their thumbs between now and opening day can visit the same nonsense back on her site. her site is

alafairxvx. wordpress. com

it won’t let me post a link here so the above but without the spaces

have a nice day crazy lady

Lyle P. - posted 1 year ago on 04-13-2019 01:07:50 am
Scottsdale, AZ, and Vancouver, WA

Alafair - Legal activity. Since you have ridden up on a high horse to confidently reveal the one true path to enlightenment, how about share some information with you: Do you burn carbon fuels to heat your home? Eat food grown on land that used to be the home for wildlife but know tills them up destroying their burrows and nests with each planting? Live in a home covering up what used to be fields for wildlife? Live in a home with components made of petrochemicals? Do you recycle 100% of the items you bring into your home? Do you ever fly on airplanes for leisure trips? Do you hold investments that pay interest? Have you ever operated a lawnmower that dices up insects while you use water and chemicals to have a lawn that is likely not native to your region. Have you worn two different clothing fibers next to each other? Have you lifted more than the weight of a mustard seed on the Sabbath? Have you ever tossed a battery or lightbulb of any size into the trash rather than take to the proper recycling and waste management facility? Have you ever bought a bottle of water in a plastic bottle? How often do you check the air pressure in your vehicle's tires? What is the fewest number of people to carpool with you when you drove the past 3 months? Have you ever burned wood in a fireplace or in a campfire? Do you use electronics and, if so, have you ever not taken them to the proper e-recycle depot rather than toss in trash? How much electricity do you use accessing the internet for leisure and is any of that powered by burning coal?

Derek L. - posted 1 year ago on 04-12-2019 07:44:17 pm

ALAFAIR R why are u a go hunt member if you don't even hunt. You non hunters are so rediculous

Gary H. - posted 1 year ago on 04-12-2019 12:09:07 pm

On another note I bet you the state is in panic mode now that they have gotten used to the cash from raping the non-residents for all these years. There is no way they could decrease their budget at this point with all of their staff and coushie jobs.

Gary H. - posted 1 year ago on 04-12-2019 12:06:42 pm

The controversial part will be when someone tries to limit the number of NR tags issued and they are asked to come up with a way to cover the lost revenue. It's the double edged sword states with good hunting face, do residents want to pay more or do they want to see out of state plates all over.



David P. - posted 1 year ago on 04-12-2019 03:44:49 am

I have hunted SD for 35 years. NR in no way outnumber R ever in regards to biggame. Might recall a number of years there were 0 NR antelope tags? East River deer is off limits to NR already and R that know the game can and do get a handful of deer tags annually. They also have exclusive opportunity at elk, sheep, and mountain goat. I would have no problem with the NR archery tags going to a draw, probably should be. SD needs to remember that NR hunters as a whole supply the $$$ that supports the state.

rick b. - posted 1 year ago on 04-11-2019 09:20:28 pm

hey alafair why don’t you go back in time and have every single one of your ancestors who hunted to keep your bloodline fed and make sure the genius of you is with us today, go back in time and have them play paintball so that you won’t be here as the spawn of hunters spouting clearly demented nonsense. Gohunt? can we keep these looney toons on CNN?

Richard S. - posted 1 year ago on 04-11-2019 07:48:42 pm

As an avid hunter that hunts in multiple states where I buy non resident license and tags, if you have to raise fees to reduce amount of non resident license sales then so be it! Fees very in Idaho, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico etc., but still worth the trip!

Dan L. - posted 1 year ago on 04-11-2019 06:55:52 pm
La Crosse, Wisconsin

The sickening part about south Dakota is in a given year residents can pull up to 4 deer tags if everything works out for them. Guys are complaining about resident opportunity, but they don't want to give up their east river, West River, black hills deer etc etc tags. Non-resident bowhunter success by the numbers is still less than 25%. For the amount of money it brings in, it's like cutting off your nose to spite your face

Greg C. - posted 1 year ago on 04-11-2019 03:46:52 pm

Being a nonresident hunter from Minnesota I think the mayo clinic should only be for residents only!

David R. - posted 1 year ago on 04-11-2019 10:00:03 am

Residents are getting much more vocal about their distaste seeing more out-of-state hunters hunting in SD every year than in-state residents. The issue is a product of proliferation of privatized pheasant and deer hunting operations and dwindling walk-in access to private lands coupled with declining deer numbers, particularly mule deer. There just isn't the same hunting opportunity for residents who do not own land as there used to be and increasing out of state hunter numbers using public lands have created a tense situation. Add in all the forced changes to the deer licensing system and repeated increases in license fees for residents and there alot of frustrated South Dakota residents.

Jason H. - posted 1 year ago on 04-11-2019 08:27:27 am

The controversial part will be when someone tries to limit the number of NR tags issued and they are asked to come up with a way to cover the lost revenue. It's the double edged sword states with good hunting face, do residents want to pay more or do they want to see out of state plates all over.