Moultrie Products
Commission Meeting Notes
South Dakota
Contributors to this thread:
DR 07-Oct-17
Deerplotter 11-Oct-17
grizzly 11-Oct-17
DR 12-Oct-17
Brotsky 12-Oct-17
DR 12-Oct-17
Dakota 12-Oct-17
grizzly 12-Oct-17
DR 12-Oct-17
Brotsky 13-Oct-17
DR 13-Oct-17
Dakota 13-Oct-17
Deerplotter 13-Oct-17
DR 13-Oct-17
Deerplotter 14-Oct-17
grizzly 14-Oct-17
Deerplotter 15-Oct-17
DR 15-Oct-17
grizzly 15-Oct-17
leftee 16-Oct-17
Brotsky 16-Oct-17
DR 16-Oct-17
Dakota 16-Oct-17
grizzly 16-Oct-17
DR 16-Oct-17
SD BuckBuster 31-Oct-17
Brotsky 01-Nov-17
lawnboi 01-Nov-17
SD BuckBuster 01-Nov-17
DR 01-Nov-17
SD BuckBuster 01-Nov-17
Brotsky 01-Nov-17
lawnboi 01-Nov-17
grizzly 02-Nov-17
Brotsky 02-Nov-17
lawnboi 02-Nov-17
SD BuckBuster 02-Nov-17
lawnboi 02-Nov-17
SoDakSooner 02-Nov-17
Brotsky 02-Nov-17
lawnboi 02-Nov-17
Brotsky 02-Nov-17
lawnboi 02-Nov-17
Deerplotter 02-Nov-17
Brotsky 03-Nov-17
Deerplotter 03-Nov-17
ground hunter 02-Dec-17
grizzly 02-Dec-17
DR 07-Dec-17
Brotsky 07-Dec-17
sdkhunter 07-Dec-17
DR 07-Dec-17
grizzly 07-Dec-17
DR 08-Dec-17
Brotsky 08-Dec-17
lawnboi 08-Dec-17
grizzly 08-Dec-17
DR 08-Dec-17
lawnboi 09-Dec-17
leftee 09-Dec-17
lawnboi 09-Dec-17
DR 11-Dec-17
Dakota 12-Dec-17
DR 12-Dec-17
grizzly 13-Dec-17
DR 13-Dec-17
Brotsky 13-Dec-17
Brown E 25-Dec-17
From: DR
07-Oct-17
Appears the GFP and Commission have listened some some of the public's concerns and will be seriously considering some sizable changes. We'll see what comes of it. Notes and highlights (Deer Management) from the last Commission Meeting. Deer Licenses and Season Structure Workgroup Report Kirschenmann provided a briefing on the social considerations from the deer management plan. He said social consideration have been refined into five main priority items consisting of license allocations, nonresident archery licenses allocations, season end dates, limited access units, mule deer management specifically in the black hills. Next steps will be to gather additional information on these five items to be addressed noting the licenses allocation will be the most difficult and will take longer. Robling said the goal is to provide a higher probability to draw a first choice deer licenses. Explained that input was collected in the past through hunter and landowner 551 surveys which typically indicated no change. Staff are now taking a new approach that will have direct involvement with the public. The first step is an internal development team to create up to 3 potential alternatives to be presented to deer stakeholder group for feedback. Focus groups will be utilized to see how they would respond and the options they would select then simulated license draws. Due to the time to collect data and feedback recommendations will not be brought forward until 2019. Kirschenmann stated that if the department implements a new structure or approach there would need be changes made to programing that will be a time factor. Robling reminded the Commission that this is a social issue being addressed and it will not change the number of licenses allocated.

From: Deerplotter
11-Oct-17
You referenced non-resident bow hunters so am wondering how your last line saying the number of licenses will not be changed affects those non resident archers. What have you heard?

From: grizzly
11-Oct-17
What the man at GFP is saying is in my opinion "we are still going to be allocating the same amount of licenses regardless of the drawing method" I would guess based on biological and not political reasoning. However, there is a push to cap NR bowhunters at a yet undetermined level. I think the figure I have seen is around 8%. This is the standard allotment of NR tags through the other seasons. That may have some affect on how many NR tags there are available versus how many are issued now. It does not make much sense for residents to not be able to draw a rifle any deer permit for the blackhills for the sake of improving the Mule deer age structure and numbers only to watch the NR bow hunter numbers in the area increase and reap the rewards.

From: DR
12-Oct-17
I would echo Grizzly's comments. As we currently sit, all archery permits for deer and antelope are unlimited. We have several areas of the state where it takes a resident firearms hunter years to receive a permit yet resident and NR archers get an "any deer" tag to hunt annually. Couple that with the fact that a lot of those highly coveted permit areas get a lot of NR archery pressure and we have a recipe for the current "felt need for change". SD has become a destination for archers who don't draw another western state and our public lands and resident bowhunting experience have noticed considerable negative pressure. Who knows what changes will come but a lot of the public comments have echoed the need for change in these and other areas. We will see what GFP decides.

For my part, I am in favor of limiting NR archery tags to the 8% of annual resident permits sold. As mentioned, that is SD's current formula for county specific rifle tag allotment to NRs. Extrapolated and with a preference point system, it 'appears' that SD would be an every other year or 3rd year archery draw. Now the GFP may not take that specific approach. They 'may' go with unlimited private land NR archery permits and put a cap on public land archery permits. We won't know for a few more months at minimum.

From: Brotsky
12-Oct-17
I hope the SD Bowhunters Association plans to play an integral part in these "discussions" to protect the interests of SD archers. Each individual archer should play their part as well. If we don't show up in force we will end up with a system like we have for elk in SD. You want one archery deer tag for every 3 rifle tags? That's "fair" to the GFP, especially when they start talking "social issue".

From: DR
12-Oct-17
Brotsky, we have been. We have a former president on the Deer Management Working Group and I have testified on three separate occasions and personally met with all of the key SDGFP players on this topic. Please push every archery you know to join SDBI, we need the numbers and support.

What we 'may' wind up having is a consolidated draw where each hunter has to choose weapon and which hunts they prefer all allocated and drawn together. I am not certain of this, but I can definitely see a scenario where it happens. Personally, I think there will come a time when bowhunting does become either biologically significant (due to harvest and pressure considerations) or the voices who 'demand fairness' get loud enough as they continue to hold to only wanting to draw a hard to draw rifle permit and keep crowing about others getting multiple tags. We will see but there is plenty of opportunity for all SD bowhunters to engage and actually put some skin in this game.

From: Dakota
12-Oct-17
I have a simple question that I'm not understanding. How could you limit the number of nonresident archery deer hunters but still allocate the same number of licenses overall?

From: grizzly
12-Oct-17
Dakota, I think that if they reduce how many tags go to NR archers and they see a need for herd reduction they will probably allocate more tags in other areas to achieve the population goals. IE antlerless rifle. Still just as many tags, just in different hands. I'm not really in favor of everything I have heard as I will be one of the multiple tag people who have things changed if they do everything I have heard floated. Yet, I understand the frustration of people who cant get a tag to hunt locally. I don't know if 8% is the right number but I would like to see the breaks applied a little.

From: DR
12-Oct-17
Dakota, GFP pays little attention to bowhunters when programming in their permits to achieve management goals. It's one of the reasons I want more and better survey's...because the data for archers isn't solid. Where they hunt (private/public), how many days and where they harvest. They do a % but I'd like to see much more thorough data. For example, I was pretty shocked to learn that last year most mule deer doe were killed by youth/mentor rifle hunters. Also, that as many mule deer were killed in the hills by NR bowhunters as resident rifle hunters who waited 8-10 yrs to draw.

Thus, when GFP said it wouldn't reduce licenses, I believe they meant "programmed" tags. Those that have limits and are hard line tracked. Each counties rifle tags, BH, Muzzle loader and refuge all have finite limits. There was a significant tag reduction in much of the state this season, but most of those were eliminating or reducing double tags or reducing antlerless licenses. Even archery permits have more closures on antlerless harvest options.

From: Brotsky
13-Oct-17
The day they put the archery draw in with the rifle draw is the day that we lose as archers in SD. I plan to fight it tooth and nail and will attend every public meeting I can and those I can't I will be filling mailboxes with my comments and suggestions. I hope all the archers who hunt our great state see the train coming down the tracks right now. If we don't stand our ground and drown out the few whiny gun hunters who try to derail us we're going to be left out in the cold once again.

From: DR
13-Oct-17
Amen Brotsky! We need every Bowhunter to do the same. So many past SDBI members fought for decades to get what we have and so few seem willing to see what may be coming and try to voice concerns. With less than 1% of SD Bowhunters being actual members (much less active) we could be in serious jeopardy of losing some of those hard earned gains by past generations.

From: Dakota
13-Oct-17
DR let me throw this out at you and others to see what you think for archery deer licenses.

We were talking about the crowded campgrounds and to many nonresident archery deer hunters in Hardin County earlier.

What if we were to take the Slim Buttes, the Cave Hills and even the Short Pines and make them a limited draw. Nonresidents every four or five years and residents every two or three years. They seem to be the most crowded areas around here.

The East Short Pines were made limited draw for rifle a couple years ago and it sure has helped.

Walk-in Areas, State Land and other public land one year wait in between drawing licenses for nonresidents and every year for residents.

Private land guaranteed every year for nonresidents and residents.

Would it be possible to do that to other parts of the state that are having crowding and too many nonresident archery deer hunters in other parts of the state also? Just for conversation

From: Deerplotter
13-Oct-17
Ok good comments here. I am an avid NR archer in South Dakota for the last 20+ years. Have very close friendships with a private landowner. Obviously hate to see that and hunting opportunity lost especially at my age, with change in allocation of licenses. I hunt private eastern SD-crowding is not an issue. I know all about crowding I am from MN. I get it. I would support keeping private land NR license allocation the way it is now for private land east of the river anyway. I have intentionally stayed away from the Hills because of the issues you discuss. I did comment during the open period for such last Spring. You are all welcome to come to MN where deer Mis-management has been the norm for several years now. You have a great white tail state.

From: DR
13-Oct-17
Randy, Well the 'hypothetical' conversations have several ramifications. I could give one 'opinion' that would be my personal view and possible solution, but there are also many other opinions and decisions like this have 2nd and 3rd order effects once initiated.

During the work done by the Deer Stakeholders group and through efforts and dialogue from dozens of other deer hunters/bowhunters etc. I learned quite a bit. There were some great ideas bounced around, and as with anything, some will agree or be receptive to 'some' ideas and others will be vehemently opposed to the same.

I engaged with one gentleman who worked for years to put together a very detailed and somewhat 'radical' plan. He was quite thoughtful and had a lot of great ideas in my opinion. But some of those ideas were a bit too much and too far reaching for many. This gentleman listened to 'our' concerns and made several accommodations to the plan he had worked very hard on. I could talk a long time on the phone with you about it and go into great detail.

What I learned was that a LOT of people do have a sense there is a need for change. Some don't, a lot actually. But the resource can only support so much pressure and we as a collective have already seen a lot of degradation in our herd and quality of hunting experience.

I know that one plan did call for making the 'large' public areas a limited quota unit for everyone. I understand the Custer National Forest reference and 'get it'. It has certainly helped the quality of the herd and the quality of the rifle hunt experience. Obviously the gap between getting that 'high demand' tag is a rub that some folks can't understand the correlation in improvement to.

For my part, and the organizations I've helped draft plans for, what we'd like to try is gradual and incremental steps to improve things. Rather than a wide sweeping sledge hammer that removes resident bowhunting opportunities (public). The thought (we'll see if it comes to fruition) is let's see if reducing NR tags helps the quality of the bowhunting experience and herds first.

As with all public resources, there are many different interests that wish to pull things in various directions. I have no more idea on what GFP will actually wind up doing than anyone. I have been involved in the process quite a bit and try to pass along the information I compile so that each SD bowhunter/big game hunter can decide for themselves and perhaps think and become informed.

What I see a lot of that gives me a bit of personal pause is this. We have been quite blessed here in good ole SD. With the game populations (past seasons) and limited human population, we have enjoyed a bit of a skewed bounty of opportunity in my opinion. If you look at every border state, or what I'd classify a comparable state, you will see a huge disparity in what opportunities are enjoyed. Certainly it's not all apples to apples as the western states have more public land and more NR pressure. MN, IA and NE have far less public land than we do and far more in human population. ND and NE have both opportunities for Mule deer (limited) and pretty open and generous whitetail opportunities (2 max I believe). What I'd like to see is more people caring about the resource and habitat first, then resident opportunities next, followed by NR in a limited (8% WR rifle and archery) capacity. I know it's human nature, but we all seem to say "take from them...but leave mine alone". I don't know where we are headed, but I think we need some change and hope those changes are incremental and sensible to benefit the resource and residents first.

So with that long winded response, I could certainly see the benefit and 'compromise' in the scenario you gave. I just don't want to hurt resident bowhunters until we've tried a few other measures incrementally first. It can all be a very slippery slope if not thought out and 'war gamed'. We also need as many hunters involved and active, as what Brotsky and I were discussing here.

I enjoy the discussions, keep em coming. PM me if you'd like my cell and we can talk further if you wish.

From: Deerplotter
14-Oct-17
Am I correct that your overcrowding issues etc are western South Dakota issues or are you saying complaints are statewide ?

From: grizzly
14-Oct-17
Probably not, I live east river and am not as affected by east river NR hunters as I have worked on developing those close personal relationships with a few local landowners. Specifically the Hills are one of the areas that I see the issue in. I would guess that the problems exists on all public land to some degree across the state. Then we get to the issue that I try to stay away from that can be quite divisive. The guaranteed unlimited private land NR tag can only lead to further commercialization and leasing. I do not see it helping the local archer who already has a harder time trying to get permission to hunt. That is why they get so upset when the public is also over ran with others. Being very honest, we are all looking out for ourselves. You want to guarantee that you can continue to hunt, Outfitters want to make sure they have clients and I want to be able to keep hunting. The whiney rifle folks who want to get there chosen tag every year ,even though its not possible, want to limit me in belief that it will help them out somehow. I saw a video presentation to the GFP and I could read into it that there could possibly be more NR tags available after some of the proposed changes were made. Might just be my own slanted view. Only thing I know for sure is it is at least another year out for any changes.

From: Deerplotter
15-Oct-17
Good points and very true. You are correct it it may impact land access, leases, and Opportunity for all of us. . It may go their anyway years down the road regardless. We don't see overcrowding but there isn't much public land and most Private is tied up with family hunting etc. sounds to me outfitters need to be regulated closely as part of this thing.

From: DR
15-Oct-17
Grizzly nailed it. I've heard complaints about NR pressure from across the state. Deerplotter, you may not see pressure but resident archers do and they feel the heat from NRs. Habitat and access is becoming more difficult to find everywhere. I'm not trying to be a hypocrite here because I do hunt as a NR in other states. I'd just point out that nearly every other state with decent hunting restricts NR permits. Specifically with whitetails, all you have to do is look at Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas etc. How has NR pressure effected resident opportunities? I used to hunt all of those states on a permission basis. Very tough to do that anymore with commercialization. SD residents make very low annual salaries compared to most other states. It's about quality of life to us. Being 'invaded' by NRs during our favorite time of year is tough to take for people that don't outfit, guide or own businesses that benefit from that. We do not have a guide/outfitter association and we need one to regulate, manage and limit things IMO. There are good ones and bad ones, just like any other industry. I won't lump any group all together as that's not fair. But I will say that all of the pressure and landscape changes have taken a huge toll and it's the resident archer, deer hunter, bird hunter, fisherman etc. that gets impacted the most. I'd personally prefer an 8% across the board with points and a draw. Public parcels should be monitored more closely to see how much pressure they are getting and make adjustments as needed to make those places better for when someone does get to hunt there. Opinions always vary though, so we will see how it all shakes out.

From: grizzly
15-Oct-17
Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for landowners to make a living to and some of it is sometimes in the form of hunting revenues. I have taken note of the impacts different things have on their livelihood, early season blizzards, droughts, fires and unstable markets. Ranching and farming can be a very stressfull business to be in. At other times, it is pretty good with a enviable work environment and good profits. I would like to avoid hunting becoming a rich mans sport. There are good outfitters out there. Dakota seems to be a pretty stand up guy. I cant vouch for the others. I do hear stories of pressure from larger outfits and neighbors placed upon landowners who are not enrolled in their programs. There are many who would like the opportunity to hunt elk in our state as nonresidents and that isn't a very popular subject with residents. I have heard the "its going to happen sooner or later" argument. I prefer later.

From: leftee
16-Oct-17
What Brotsky said. Tooth n nail.

From: Brotsky
16-Oct-17
My proposed solution to the archery issue is very simple:

1. NR licenses remain unlimited for private lands only. No reason to stop people from hunting their family farms or with their friends or paying an outfitter for a hunt.

2. Cap NR licenses on public lands based upon the 8% rule. These public land licenses would be good for all state owned/managed lands, walk in areas, CHAP, and federal WPA's, etc.

3. Issue special tags for the Black Hills, two different types, any whitetail and any deer. Any whitetail could be a pretty high number whereas any deer could be as low as 25.

4. Issue NR tags for the limited entry units for archery the same way they do for rifle, at the same number they issue for rifle.

There you go, all the problems are solved :)

From: DR
16-Oct-17
All viable/valid thoughts that have been discussed and brought to the table before Brotsky. Some are for and some against each point, we'll have to see where the chips fall. Thanks for being involved and sending comment and attending meetings. That's what we need more of.

From: Dakota
16-Oct-17
One thing I have not heard discussed is with the proposed nonresident archery deer Hunter numbers being decreased how will it affect the state moneywise. Not only in the game and fish application fees of licenses but also gas stations, hotels and restaurants etc. Has that been brought up at all? Just a curiosity question.

Habitat has been brought up in this discussion. What habitat changes are we looking for with the reduced nonresident archery deer hunters?

Can the resident hunters pick up the slack to keep the number of deer down on walk-in areas? I have family and good friends with their entire ranch enrolled in this program for one simple reason. They ranch and need the grass for their livestock.Harding County has a ton of deer and a ton of ranching and we have to keep that in balance.

Thoughts?

From: grizzly
16-Oct-17
Very good question Dakota. We would all like to believe that decisions are made based on biological reasons of carrying capacity, herd health, forage conditions,etc. We also know that any changes they make might affect their operating funds. I would guess there are some number crunchers somewhere in a backroom considering the implications. If we have the same number of licenses but a smaller number of higher priced ones, I would guess the other ones would go up in price. Same amount of hunters, many probably utilizing the local infrastructure. I would entertain the idea of giving an extra $20 on a license to go to a pool to be split by eligible landowners. The license allocation business is all political in my opinion.

From: DR
16-Oct-17
NR license fee increases were one of our suggestions earlier this year during meetings to make up for the decrease in NR tag numbers. I laid that out based on all border states and other western/plains states and we discussed that at length with a GFP panel in February. Archery take still is not considered biologically significant, population management is attained through rifle antlerless harvest and limited either sex/buck harvest. The habitat is more often controlled by landowners given the private/public distribution. That can be impacted most by Fed programs like CRP in the Ag bill. In the west, rotational grazing, controlled burns etc that increase preferred browse species. On Fed and state lands that's also done by timber harvest, rotational grazing, food plots, tree plantings and controlled burns. GFP has landowner incentive programs, they just have to be economically attractive enough to use. As for local economic impact, that's a chamber of commerce type point of view IMO. Another commercialization of wildlife type angle I'm not keen on. Sure, traveling hunters will eat, drink and fill up but the % of traveling sportsmen in SD that are deer/antelope bow hunters is pretty miniscule (in most areas) compared to the economic driven engine that is the pheasant and walleye fishing lobby. As for $$ in GFP coffers specifically, they've had a pretty significant influx from the Mt Lion tags over the past 7-8 years that was never there before. $$ that goes directly to landowners via damage claims has been established through Deer, Antelope and Elk permit surcharges from hunters/by hunters. $2.50 for deer/antelope goes to depredation claims and $2.50 to walk-in access payments. It doubles for Elk. Rest assured, the commission hears from lobbying on all sides as does GFP. They certainly hear from Ag and grazing lobbies. I'm just hopeful we can get more SD big game hunters/bowhunters to chime in on behalf of the largest segment of the population that pays for and uses these resources. There's always the issue of balance and there is certainly tons of information that impacts each issue.

31-Oct-17
In situations like this,,, if I were running the dept.,,, It's easy. A NonResident money draw. What I mean by this is you incrementally raise the cost of the Over the Counter NR Archery tag by 20% each year ($57 year 1) until you get the desired applicants that you want to have each year. There's no draw and never will be, the gfp slowly finds the magic number and everybody wins,, except of course, the NR guy that doesn't want to pay $488 for an archery tag. It's called "finding the ceiling" and it won't take long to do.

With that said,,, I don't think SD should do anything to limit the number of NR tags. Yes deer get pressure but why don't we all focus on NR success rates instead!! I've yet to see that number thrown out here. HOW MANY NR tags were filled last year? As in, what percent of the overall harvest number came from NR archery hunters? Your answer lies in that number fellas.

From: Brotsky
01-Nov-17
NR's killed 1,386 deer with archery gear last year for a success rate of 41%. Residents killed 6,294 with a success rate of around 30%. NR hunters killed 18% of the total archery killed deer. NR's kill around 5% of the total gun killed deer. We want to bring that archery number down closer to the 8% figure that we have with gun hunters. When you look at certain specific large public land tracts the numbers move closer to 50-50 resident and NR or worse. The numbers are out there on the GFP surveys. DR and I and other hunters are all over the numbers and have been presenting them to the GFP flagging the NR archery issue for several years. If you look at mule deer harvest on large public tracts the numbers are so heavily skewed to the NR side that it is scary. Do some research, it's all out there for you.

From: lawnboi
01-Nov-17
I'll throw in my 2 cents. I'll preface by saying I'm an out of stater, most guys will paint me as a target just based on that one statement.

This year I hunted the buttes, as I have before in the past. The number of hunters, near the roads was bordering on ridiculous. Many of them road hunting. I had no problem getting away from the road, finding game and harvesting a buck. The pressure I saw in sd bowhunting was greater than the pressure I saw gun hunting in Montana just a week prior. Still had a great time, respected the land and other hunters as I would in any state.

I am all for having these heavily hunted areas limited, however I think creating an across the board approach at limiting non res is a mistake. Is it really going to help the deer herd to limit nr tags? Specifically archery, where nr are only harvesting a fraction of the animals? What is it going to accomplish? Besides making the hunting theoretically easier.

I can compare what you are thinking to my own state, that sells an unregulated amount of nr tags, for both bow and gun. Our herd is in disarray, public land is severely limited, and hunting on most public is overall poor quality. It's easy to blame the nr hunters, and can be frustrating when you run into them, but that's hunting. We need to keep hunters in the woods, and limit tags when numbers when the herd needs it, not just because we want to see less people.

Add in the price concern. I personally have no problem paying a bit more at this point in my life. I do however have a serious problem turning hunting into a rich person sport, value of horns over meat, giving a handout to the guy willing to pay the big bucks for an outfitter, this doesn't help any of us diy hunters. Outfitters should always be an option, but doing what you propose makes it even more needed to pour money into guided hunts, or trespass hunts and high dollar leases. Again, all about what side of the fence you want to be on, the make money at all cost side, or the management side of the everyday average hunter.

In closing I'd like to applaud you guys for getting out and trying to make changes, hopefully for the better for all. It's easy to see an out of state plate and think negative thoughts, I'd challenge you to not think that way, as this out of stater is just a hard working hunter probably like many of you. Let's manage based on the herd, not based on people upset over seeing other hunters out enjoying what we are so privileged to have.

I'd thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to archery hunt in South Dakota. If drawing an archery tag becomes ad difficult as a rifle tag for a NR, I Likly won't invest in South Dakota.

01-Nov-17
Thanks Brotsky,,, I appreciate the info!!

I know I could probly find it somewhere but you likely know this off the top off your head... What financial impact would the limitation be to the GFP and the SD economy if you went down to 8%? As in, What does the GFP bring in now in license fees and what is the new number when it's at your 8%? And what is the impact on loss of revenue for gas stations, hotels, other rental properties, state tax,, etc.?

Thanks for the INFO!!

From: DR
01-Nov-17
Brotsky, thanks man...you beat me to it. I didn't have it off hand but I'm not at all surprised to see NR success higher than resident success. And yes, we need to keep feeding that information to commissioners and GFP as well as the pressure issue. For my personal experience and anecdotal sightings, NR pressure is far higher than resident pressure on the public tracts I frequent.

lawnboi, I appreciate your input. I believe you make the point many of us are trying to avoid. That continued increases in NR pressure severely impacts the quality of the experience. With our recent battles with EHD, there aren't too many areas in our state (certainly not on public land) that are severely overpopulated with deer. I made the point above and in other threads that we have large public tracts that hold mule deer and it takes a resident rifle hunter many years to build points to get a tag to hunt...yet we have hordes (in places) of NR bowhunters there killing mule deer. It hasn't gone unnoticed.

SD Buck Buster, I thought I'd touched on it above but perhaps not. NR archers aren't on par with walleye fishermen along the river or pheasant hunters in central and eastern SD in my opinion. On this issue of 'commercialization' I point out the topic of discussion is centered on the game resource and the resident opportunity/impact (to me at least). Chambers of commerce that publicize and try to attract NR hunters for profit don't own land and provide access. They want their businesses to thrive but it's typically at the expense of the resident hunter. Certainly GFP will get 'pressure' from the special interest business lobby and so will politicians. But in my view, that shouldn't be the driving factor. If a business wants to cash in on our wildlife resources, I'd suggest they buy land and open it up to the public ;-)

01-Nov-17
Fair enough DR.. Thanks for weighing in... I was more curious on that end than anything...

From: Brotsky
01-Nov-17
Buckbuster, reducing the NR archery tags to 8% of the resident number would only reduce the total amount of NR license fees by 2.6% based upon 2016 financials from the GFP. We could raise the remaining NR deer license prices by a few dollars and recoup that in short order. The majority of the NR archers I see are camping, etc and are doing very little to stimulate local economies other than a few tanks of gas and a meal here and there. Reducing the pressure would likely spur more resident hunters to travel to these areas reducing that small loss to local economies.

From: lawnboi
01-Nov-17
So sounds like increased pressure is the only reason that you wish to see tags limited, am I correct in thinking that?

Pressure will continue to rise as long as our sport increases in popularity, you can thank forums like this for that. I still think management should go on a basis of reduction of pressure in areas that receive most of it, as many other states do very successfully.

From: grizzly
02-Nov-17
The NR bowhunters impact on mule deer that residents gun hunters cant get a license for has a lot to do with it. We are letting the Black Hills mule deer age structure grow and a lot of the gain is going to NR's bowhunters and that tilt will only increase if we don't ask for changes. The more mature mule deer NR bowhunters take, the less highly sought after tags are left for residents. The state GFP has been subdividing units and creating "special area" tags. I suspect the Black Hills will fall into that category. Im just a working class Joe ad I do not wish to see this become a rich mans sport either. Even though I live close to Wyoming and would love to go hunting there, the darn tags and bonus points have priced me out of the market. As far as these forums affecting how many people come hunting here, facebook may be having a larger impact. I wouldn't know, don't go there or tweet.

From: Brotsky
02-Nov-17
lawnboi, that is exactly what is being advocated and pushed. Limiting NR pressure in our large public tracts of land like the Custer National Forest, Black Hills, Fort Pierre, and Buffalo Gap National Grasslands, and a few other tracts. Specifically targeted at maintaining and preserving our mule deer population. It currently takes SD gun hunters 15-20 years to draw a license for a Black Hills mule deer hunt, yet NR archers can hunt them every year. Imagine if in your home state I as a NR could hunt an animal every year and you as a resident gun hunter could only hunt them every 15-20? It's a social problem here as much as it is a biological one. The amount of animals harvested and the increase in pressure on these public tracts is starting to impact the biological aspect now as well, and that is why we are pushing so hard for reform.

From: lawnboi
02-Nov-17
I understand your concern. But the thing is residents can hunt them every year, with a bow tag. If reduction in ultra high success gun tags is what is needed to maintain a healthy herd so be it, and as I said the number of deer being killed is a fraction by all bow hunters. As for waiting to hunt, I'd personally like to see hunting shut down where I live, in places that need it, until the herd was back to where it was, and the wolves are controlled.

As was said either here or another thread. The day archery season goes to a draw is the day bow hunters lose. Maybe only NR will lose, who knows, I personally hope not.

And if creating a resident utopia to hunt, just because of pressure is what's going to happen, I'll gladly spend my money on other states, because lets face it, sd herds, minus the spots hit by ehd, at least on my end from spending time in the field(which was not crowded once a half mile from the road) look very healthy. On top of that limiting hunter oppritunity to hopefully get a couple more gun tags, I think would be the opposite of what someone on a forum labeled bowsite would want.

Again everyone is entitled to an opinion, more pressure is happening everywhere, not just in South Dakota. As I said, I really enjoy hunting South Dakota, and spending time there, you have a great state, I just hope that oppritunity is not so severely limited in the future that I can't do it, all for reasons only related to people in the woods during hunting season.

02-Nov-17
It's all making sense to me now.. I get it. But if I were not an Archery Hunter in SD and I loved hunting,, I sure as heck wouldn't wait 15-20 years to draw a rifle tag. I'd pick up a bow and learn how to hunt it that way, which I have done.. This whole argument is starting to sound more and more like rifle guy against archery guy. It may not to you, and that's okay.. But it does to me.

From: lawnboi
02-Nov-17
My concerns have been shared with the state

From: SoDakSooner
02-Nov-17
Have been following this dialog for a few weeks. Interesting points made by all. I really don't have much skin in the game other than SD is "home". I am also a NR now and have been for 20+ years. While I certainly don't want to see access limited for NR archery tags, I can see the points of the locals... I am also fortunate from family contacts and the fact that my dad worked predator control for the GFP for 35 years, that if needed I have access to a bunch of private in meade and butte counties, so I never have experienced the pressure. We have hunted a bunch of walk in in butte and never saw another hunter(but a lot of deer) as well. I guess the slim buttes are just popular.

Of the NR harvest, how much of that is east river? or whitetail? or both? I live in OK and maybe I am skewed but 1400 deer total statewide doesn't seem like much. I know the population densities are a lot lower, but really how many mulies are taken on public land by Non residents? Not trying to get in a fight but just really curious. For what it is worth, haven't hunted in SD for about 5 years (bitten by elk bug with limited vacation and obviously no opportunity in SD for me) i have 4 deer pp and still may not be able to rifle hunt "my" unit next year. Last time I got a tag in that unit i bought a leftover 2 weeks before the hunt. Seems like the GFP is doing a decent job overall of managing the herd from what I see from afar.

From: Brotsky
02-Nov-17
Almost every other western state has a draw system for archery mule deer tags. You are welcome to enter those draws and play the points game once we go to a draw. Good job misquoting what I said related to the draw to fit your narrative though lawnboi. I said "As soon as we as archers are placed in with the RIFLE draw we lose." A separate archery draw for our high demand mule deer areas and tags is a foregone conclusion at this point. It should be that way, the same way it is in any other western mule deer state with the exception of Nebraska, and no one wants the Nebraska mule deer herds. We are trying to increase the age structure within the herd as well as maintaining healthy numbers.

From: lawnboi
02-Nov-17
Misquoted or not, my thoughts are just as they appear.

If we are going to be blunt, sounds like greed to me.

And no not all western states are draw for mule deer.

If you want to manage for trophy and older age class in select areas in not against that at all. If you want to create a fair draw that won't severely cripple the chances for hunters to enjoy that oppritunity that's okay too. What your requesting is management based on emotion, and the few numbers you have which point to nr archery hunters killing a small fraction of what is harvested.

What I am against is limiting oppritunity based solely on the greed of other hunters. We all want to be in the field and not see anyone. If the herd required less pressure, and less management, yes limit tags, as has been done in other states. But to propose what I'm reading here is straight up hunter greed. Call it what you will but it's plain to see.

From: Brotsky
02-Nov-17
There's a factual and biological basis to this which I have laid out ad nauseum in regard to mule deer tags, harvest quotas, and opportunity. Everyone has their own motivation, you can call it whatever you like. I personally do not hunt mule deer with a rifle. This is absolutely turning into a rifle vs archery opportunity argument from a social standpoint here in SD. As a SD archer I am taking steps to protect our opportunities and our limited mule deer resources. If that means NR's and resident archers will have to draw a tag in SD like they do in ND, WY, MT, CO, or almost every other western mule deer state then so be it.

From: lawnboi
02-Nov-17
I can fully respect that statement. And whole heartedly agree. If and when the harvest numbers show that archery hunters are or are near over harvest, limit away.

And though not otc, 3 of those states you listed can easily be hunted with no or minimal points. With extremely high draw odds. But SD is not those states I fully understand.

Again I'll reiterate, I really enjoy spending time in South Dakota. I come there semi often, you residents are truly lucky for the resources you have

From: Deerplotter
02-Nov-17
Why limit the nonresidents to 8% across the board statewide when the real issue is primarily west river ? Flock shooting the private land opportunities east river because of west river issues makes no sense.

From: Brotsky
03-Nov-17
Deerplotter, the 8% cap would apply to public lands only in my proposal(east and west). Licenses on private lands would remain uncapped. If you have private lands to hunt on you would still be guaranteed a tag.

From: Deerplotter
03-Nov-17
Thank you the clarification!

02-Dec-17
Well I like to bow hunt South Dakota,,,, I live in the big woods of the UP, so I live in another world so to speak,,,, I hunt east and west river, all walk in areas, and heck I hardly ever see anyone,,,,,, I do not venture neat the black hills or the NW area....

I can understand what Brotsky said, but I know the government business, being in it for 32 years before retiring at an early age,,,,, If you want less NR, no problem, but be prepared to anty up,,,,, SD Fish and Game, is not running on a full tank, I know that first hand, ,,,,,,,,,, If I was a resident, I would agree with Brotsky, but realize license fees will need to be increased,,,,,

just an opinion,,,,, I love to bear hunt, I wish the NR bear tags, was less and limited more, but it is all about money

From: grizzly
02-Dec-17
I don't want the NR archers to get the idea that we do not want you here. I enjoy meeting people while out hunting and I help a few where and when I can. I think we lose focus on how and why this movement to change deer license draws started. Number one, I did not start it. I am one of those people that others bitch about because I like to hunt and get several tags every year. I rifle and archery hunt. It is one of the reasons I stay in SD. The thought of choosing my only way/weapon to hunt will really crimp my style. The inability of rifle hunters to draw their chosen tag is where I believe this all sprung from. There is a belief that if they limit how many any deer tags a person can have, they will have a better odds of getting their chosen tag. They will force everyone to burn out their preference points within two years and get everyone on a even playing field. Now, I'm not a genius but I think that the 1000 people who want the 200 tags will still not get it every year regardless of how many tags I do or do not have. They will be stuck in the same 4 or 5 year wait cycle. Theoretically, you could end up with more NR tags available in some of the proposed changes. The NR archery limit is just one of the spin offs of these discussions. I understand the business aspect of commercial hunting and the financial help it provides for ranch families. There are some down sides to it. It really can put the kibosh on neighborly relations with landowners. It increases the pressure on public land which eventually leads to someone wanting to limit how many tags are allocated so you can have more of a quality hunt. This is great if you can afford to apply for several states and have more options than your average smuck. Im an average smuck and just enjoy being out there. I was fortunate and took a nice buck with bow and a nice buck with the rifle. I left two tags unfilled out west even though I had opportunities. I made an error and shot a bull calf instead of a cow elk with rifle. Even though it had less meat than a cow, it helped fill the freezer. I have ring bologna in the smoker now, sticks in the oven and two dehydrators filled with jerky running. Most of it gets shared with others. I along with every one else, will have to live with what the commission decides.

From: DR
07-Dec-17
Here is what I posted on SD Bowhunters and SDBGC pages a few weeks back. These come from GFP. In my opinion, this should be a habitat, herd management then resident opportunity issue.

SDGFP Note to members of the Deer Stakeholders Group During the development of the statewide deer management plan, several social management considerations were identified through discussions with this group as well the public comments that the Department received during the public comment period. A consistent message that was identified was that folks wanted to have a better chance at drawing their most preferred deer license more often. As a result, the Commission tasked the Department to continue exploring alternative license allocation methods so hunters possibly would have a better chance at drawing there most preferred deer license more frequently. After several discussions with staff, 3 alternatives for allocating deer licenses have been identified. We would like to pull the stakeholder group together to ask for your feedback and input on each of the identified alternatives, as well as to discuss plans for gathering additional public input on this topic. Additionally, we would like to update the group on other Departmental work regarding the social considerations of deer management; however, discussions revolving around license allocation will be the main emphasis during this meeting. The group will meet Monday, December 11 to present these alternative allocation methods with the stakeholder members.

From: Brotsky
07-Dec-17
DR, who are the "stakeholders"? Aren't we all stakeholders as hunters? I never liked the "stakeholders" group name. Sounds like an elite group was identified to make decisions for all of us hunters since these folks by some definition have more "at stake" than the rest of us.

From: sdkhunter
07-Dec-17
I agree Brotsky... Seems like these types of groups are heavy on people being on the "In" crowd - not necessary what's best for SD or hunters. It feels like the last few years with GFP the reoccurring theme in my eyes turns into, committees upon commitees and special groups who make recommendations, 1 group doesn't like something so nothing goes anywhere... Or the study/feedback/etc doesn't jive with what GFP wants (like the elk calf predator study a number of years ago - just kinda got buried and nothing ever done or really even acknowledged).. They need to have the guts/balls to do what's right - not worry about pleasing everyone all the time - because that's never going to happen....

From: DR
07-Dec-17
Brotsky, the Stakeholders group was initiated close to 2 years ago (I believe) and is made up of approximately 27 individuals from across the state. They are hunters, landowners and representatives from GFP and GFP Commission. I can tell you that I've dealt with several of them and discussed these and other issues several times in the past. For example SDBI has a seat, the SDWF has a seat, the lead guy from the SDMDF is on there as is a leader from the SDYHA. They are taking into account hunters and landowners views as well as groups from across the state. That's why they had the open comment forums and compiled the e-mails from all who took time to send them in or testify. I suppose those that don't have the time to dive into or follow the entire process could come to the assumption you've stated above. I can tell you from being involved on several of these panels in the past year that everyone in the group has an opportunity to voice concerns or submit ideas and they are discussed openly. Certainly, not everyone agrees and at times I've been involved in some tense discussions. GFP is definitely trying to listen to all concerns and make the changes they deem best. I guess I'd simply ask anyone who questions any of the processes a couple questions. Would you rather have decisions made in a vacuum in Pierre without open input? Would we prefer to put all these measures on some sort of democratic initiative in a voting booth, instead of made by biologists and interested parties with intimate knowledge? I for one am personally glad we have opportunities to help make changes and be part of the process. I'm also very thankful for anyone who puts forth their time and effort to travel across the state to sit on these meetings to try and help make a difference for us all. I'm happy to talk to anyone who wants to know more from my perspective if they'd like to. Also, it's pretty transparent if people look into it http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/big-game/deer/deer-management-plan/stakeholder-group.pdf

I've also tried to spread the word via the SDBGC and SD Bowhunters page as well as here on the bowsite to try and inform and get people involved in the process.

From: grizzly
07-Dec-17
DR, I appreciate what you are doing. I have been following this as it develops. I have given input. I can see there is a broad cross section of interested parties involved. It really surprises me how many sports people do not read the GFP site and its news releases. Sometimes on issues like this that would be considered very important to them. From what I gather, the commision will weigh everything and then choose a course of action that may or may not reflect all of the stakeholders suggestions. Keep us posted if you will.

From: DR
08-Dec-17
Grizzly, I appreciate your words and am grateful for you and other concerned bowhunters that put in the time to do research, stay informed and put forth their thoughts to GFP and the commission. There are several "voices" that wish to make changes and some of those could push changes in ways that many SD bowhunters would not be in favor of. If we do not stay on top and involved in these discussions, I fear our voices will be muted. I will be sitting in for the SDBI rep on Monday and I will provide notes to anyone interested to help keep everyone up to date. I'm 'hopeful' we can make changes that are a beneficial to hunters to have a better chance to draw their #1 preferred license and still keep our archery permits available to residents. That all remains to be seen though. Our current system is definitely set for some changes it seem.

From: Brotsky
08-Dec-17
DR, I for one would be very appreciative if you could share the minutes from the meeting on Monday. Thanks again for sitting in for SDBI.

From: lawnboi
08-Dec-17
So basically more gun tags at the cost of oppritunity for the non resident bow hunter.

Less oppritunity for ZERO change in management. Just different tag allocation. While I can't blame you for wanting your gun tag. Your asking to cripple the oppritunity of a lot of BOW hunters to give a little to the gun guys.

From: grizzly
08-Dec-17
Heck, most of us here are asking for them to leave the archery out of it. As I see it, with the increased effectiveness of modern archery equipment and the ease with which most people can get proficient enough to enjoy archery hunting, increased hunters and success percentages, something will have to give sooner or later.

From: DR
08-Dec-17
Brotsky, I will no prob.

Lawnboi, I'd argue that a reduction in NR archers would definitely be a significant change in how public land deer are managed currently. I know it will have a huge impact in quality of the hunting experience in many areas. I'm not going to argue with anyone on a site, I'd just try to politely point out that any states hunting opportunities SHOULD be controlled and decided by that states GFP, biologists and residents. I'd love an elk or mule deer permit every year in several of the western states but those are severely limited to maintain quality of the resource.

Grizzly, you are 100% correct sir. Resident archers have bounced in the 25-30% success range over the past decade or so but with increased pressure and success, many fear our current tags could and will be targeted. It's already happening. So far, people have successfully lobbied to keep our archery OTC system (residents). Should we become biologically significant in the take, or if the rifle only voices become strong enough, that could change quickly. I fear it's inevitable but we'll fight and work hard to keep it.

From: lawnboi
09-Dec-17
You don't make any sense. Your talking yourself in a circle. I'm not fooled.

You made it pretty obvious that this is not about managing numbers YET but whiny residents

And obtaining multiple archery permits for deer and elk in the west is not something that is 'severely limited'. You can get a tag in the same states as me with zero points or otc, not that hard to find them.

All you want to do is take away the pressure so you get more to yourself, specifically public land, which a lot of is mine just as well as it is yours.

Hopefully the sdgfp does the right thing for all hunters and keeps oppritunity there, so long as it is not effecting the herd.

From: leftee
09-Dec-17
KISS. Keep it simple,this is South Dakota.Any limitation on opportunity falls on NRs first.

From: lawnboi
09-Dec-17
I don't mean to be argumentative, but I have to stand up for my oppritunity as well. As you eluded to non res have little say, it's in the hands of the state.

From: DR
11-Dec-17
I have compiled my complete notes and e-mailed everyone on the SDBGC e-mail distro list. I will do the same for SDBI soon. As it relates to this page, Archery is not currently included in the proposals for deer tag allocation changes. Discussion points on archery focused on reducing non-resident permits by one of two possible ways. 1) Cap all NR archery permits at 8% of resident permits sold. 2) Keep NR archery permits unlimited but require a limited entry draw for large public parcels such as the Black Hills, Custer National Forest, Buffalo Gap and Ft. Pierre National Grasslands etc. (more likely I believe)

There was some discussion on limiting all archery licenses (res and NR) and possibly making archery limited entry on large public parcels as well. After going over the data showing the disproportionate number of mule deer taken by NR's vs. the resident take and pressure I believe that won't come up again for a while.

GFP will be running the same type of mock applications (firearms) on focus groups in 5 cities in a few months. They would like more data on what each individual hunter would choose #1 in various combined firearms draw options. No changes likely on firearms draw until 2019 season due to more data mining, programming and commission proposal/approval this summer.

From: Dakota
12-Dec-17
I asked DR to send me notes and highlights from the meeting and I would like to say thank you to him for doing so.

I had a light bulb turn on while reading the notes and would like your opinion on something.

From the numbers the nonresidents certainly have a higher success rate as a whole.

Is this because when a non-resident spends the time and money to put in the effort to come out and deer hunt are they more serious and dedicated.

More than likely they have a scheduled time frame with that time dedicated to hunting and hunting only.

They probably know where they are going to have a plan.

A resident may get a license and plan to go hunting, but have something come up and not make it out as many times as they planned. No big deal because the licenses are cheap and they can try again later.

Perhaps they got a license just to tell their buddies they had one. I know of such people and they really have no intent to go hunting.

Before anybody starts on me I am not calling resident hunters lazy by any means but just throwing out a thought.

I know many very hard-core and serious resident hunters.

From: DR
12-Dec-17
I would surmise that anyone that spends the money, vacation and time etc. to take an out of state hunting trip could be classified as very serious and probably quite competent or they wouldn't be doing it. Some may have hired outfitters, some may have good private land and some hunt just public. If I had to guess I'd say it's as you said, resident licenses are cheap and some guys don't necessarily go out a lot and it's not huge loss. You could also make a speculation that if someone travels out of state to hunt they aren't necessarily caring about managing another states herd and if the hunt is at it's end, they may wish to take some meat home for their trouble and expense. All speculation of course.

From: grizzly
13-Dec-17
First off, thanks for posting the information. I find it informative. There was one stat number that threw me a little bit but maybe I was missing something. It dealt with overall numbers of archers and was followed by two sets of numbers that didn't seem to add up. I may have missed something or did not comprehend it correctly. I took note of what Dakota spotted on the overall superior harvest rates of NR bowhunters in that one area. I feel the NR bowhunter is probably a more dedicated individual and could very well be a more profiecient archer. Now, don't jump on me either cause I'm sure there are some slobs in there as well. It was no surprise that the NR bowhunters are taking more mule deer bucks in the hills than the resident rifle hunters. Even an NR person should be able to fathom why that bothers people. Do not take this to mean we don't like NR bowhunters in general. Some po'd person was posting on another forum that SD no longer likes NRs. I will try and participate in one of the mock drawings. The cubed preference point system is a new twist and sounds like it would make people happy. The separation of preference points by season is also different than the loose all the points in the first successful draw that had been mentioned before. Thanks

From: DR
13-Dec-17
Grizzly, you may be referring to the Custer National Forest archery stats they gave us. They said in 2015 there were 70 mule deer bucks taken by rifle hunters and a total of 50 by bowhunters. The next stat was from 2016 where they said 270 bowhunters took 19 mule deer bucks while 134 NR bowhunters took 28 mule deer bucks. Different year stats. If that's not the correct one you can send me an e-mail or PM and I can review my notes to try and explain.

From: Brotsky
13-Dec-17
Dakota, to answer your question related to the success of NR bowhunters. What I see in my travels around the state in the fall is a lot of fork horns and MD does getting a ride back to WI and MN to say a tag was filled or to put meat in the freezer. This is especially true in the Black Hills and on other public parcels. Many resident bowhunters have more opportunities to hunt so they hold out for a mature animal often resulting in tag soup since they have other tags to fill to put meat in the freezer. Not saying it's right or wrong, just the truth of the matter.

From: Brown E
25-Dec-17
Residents should come first. Even though the land may be public, the land is being managed by that state. My out of state hunts come with restrictions such as price, points, and limited tags.

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