Resident bowhunters are getting the shaft once again. Good times.
Residents can only get ONE state wide archery tag. This tag would be good on public and private lands statewide which are not part of several identified large tracts of public land which would require a special limited entry permit (Black Hills and Custer National forests, Fort Pierre and Buffalo Gap national grasslands). This is a change from the TWO tags a resident or nonresident can currently get, one east of the MO river and one west of the MO river good on all lands public and private. In order to hunt one of the large public areas I listed, an archer would have to make that specific permit his first choice in the RIFLE DRAW and forego obtaining any firearms permit in the first draw(or take his chances that there may be a leftover limited entry archery permit in draw #2). So archery guys that want to hunt decent public lands that we hunt now have to give up gun hunting basically(I don't gun hunt much but tons of guys I know do and this is a big deal to them). Non-residents can only have one buck tag as I understand it. So if you hunt archery, no gun tag and vice versa. However, if you have a gun tag you can buy an archery stamp and use your gun tag during the archery season for the specified unit. Clear as mud I'm sure :) If you have a specific scenario you are applying for or something JayZ let me know and I can let you know how you might be affected.
So if I'm following you right, archers are restricted to one tag instead of the previous rules where we could get one east and one west river or one statewide? Can the rifle guys still get a buck tag in the Hills, west and east river if they draw?
As a NR this doesn't really effect me because I only hunt east river. I love the unlimited non-res tags. I spend a week or two back there every year hunting with my family. It's a season I've never missed in my lifetime. I fear the days of unlimited non-res tags for archers are numbered.
I can see how as a resident archer this would suck. The reasoning can't be anything biological it has to be political. I mean seriously how many guys are actually killing deer with their bows both east and west river?
FYI...it has nothing to do with deer management from a biological standpoint. It's about managing the tags and making sure the snowflake rifle crowd all get a buck tag. It makes that crowd feel better to make sure archery guys take their lumps too even though we do not impact tag numbers, etc for rifle hunts.
To be honest it'll be a sad day for me when I'm unable to come back and hunt with my family. It's hands down my favorite trip of the year. I prefer it over elk hunting. I prefer it over moose hunting. It'd be nice if South Dakota would consider something similar to MT where if you were a former resident there you can "come home to hunt".
Mr. Roberts was one of about 20 people on the deer stakeholders group. I have spoken to a few of the other stakeholders and they discussed many different and varied options for changing deer management/seasons/tags etc. No consensus was reached. Mr. Roberts is the only person that has actually taken the time to formulate a list of comprehensive changes to provide a map forward for GFP review. I and many others have discussed that proposal with him and he has made many significant changes to the original I saw last summer. I and others have assisted with trying to get other hunters involved to provide their own public comment and inputs on whatever changes you would like to see (or none). The thing I want to try and convey to everyone, is that there are 'forces' or 'groups' that have extremely different wishes and ideas. Not all will be 'good' for what another group would like to see or wish. So, it's very important to get involved and educated on what's going on. For example, the number of bowhunters in SD has doubled over the past 15 years (apx). Harvest rates have remained consistent from about 20-30%, averaging right about 25%. We are still 'biologically insignificant' to many, but that opinion is changing in some corners of the state. As has been mentioned above, there is a growing vocal minority of rifle only hunters that have a very hard time drawing the only tag they choose to apply for. The fact they could apply for other seasons with other weapons is irrelevant to their personal standpoint and opinion.
Mr. Roberts plan is comprehensive and pretty radical all at once but he's extremely knowledgeable and I've spoken to him and met him to discuss the issues on many occasions.
For my part and from the position of the SDBGC we have agreed to support these 4 items we'd like to see implemented for changes. 1. Eliminate NR unlimited archery and cap at 8% of resident archers permits. Make them a PP for a nominal fee. 2. Eliminate all non-depredation seasons after Dec 31. 3. Create a mandatory hunter ID, better harvest survey questions and make those mandatory. 4. Significant increase in NR deer permit fees. Comparable to MT, WY, CO, NE, IA etc
As with any other idea, not everyone will agree and that's not a bad thing. What I do encourage each of you to do as a SD bowhunter is join SDBI and get involved with GFP discussions at the local as well as state level to become better educated and aware of what's being discussed and provide your own reasoned, measured and educated and productive dialogue to the conversation.
also everyone is SD has always been great to me, locals were the best,,,,,, With that said, I can not for the life of me, understand, why a resident can not hunt both archery and rifle,,,,,, I will never understand that thinking....
I really like some of the ideas he presents but hate 0thers. I do believe intentions are good in that each area is managed for the number of bucks they want harvested from each area. They also manage overall pressure in some public areas. Take the Slim Buttes for example, there is a lot of pressure in that small area at times. But, on the other hand, take the Black Hills. I do not believe the archery pressure is even close to substantial. Rifle is much more significant.
I think the system he proposes will penalize those who do use the public land areas more so than anyone else. I hunt a prairie unit for rifle but like to hunt the hills with my bow. I have to make a decision then. And, given the land available to rifle hunters constantly dwindles, those guys who just want to hunt are going to apply for a big public unit first and reduce the available licenses significantly. Simply said, everyone without a place to hunt will funnel into those areas.
As far as limiting NR tags, I guess that is fine. The part that worries me about that is now we will have outfitters with clients who won't be able to get tags. Then, they will lobby their local legislators for a bill that will allow transferable licenses, etc. that will only lead us down and uglier road. Bad as it sounds, I say crank the price to be similar to other states and see where the numbers go.
I do agree we need better reporting and data collection from hunters. If everyone were honest about their data the GFP and others probably wouldn't be proposing such radical changes to the structure.
I for one do not buy into the trophy management of out big game herd. Certainly we can make some gains but that must be managed with those who just want the opportunity to harvest a buck. Everyone thinks we will be the next Iowa if we let the deer get big. I'll say I hunt a big unit with not a lot of pressure and I can count the number of 150" whitetails I've seen in the last 20 years on two hands. Some areas just don't grow them so don't try to force a trophy emphasis on everyone.