FORT PIERRE, S.D. — After making proposals for several program changes in June, South Dakota's Game, Fish and Parks Commission at their July monthly meeting finalized two major proposals and rejected one petition proposal.
The commission on Monday, July 8, finalized its revisions to the 2019 and 2020 antelope hunting seasons, for both firearms and archery. Under the changes, West River antelope hunters will be allotted no more than 4,235 one-tag licenses and 600 two-tag antelope licenses. And East River, no more than 85 one-tag licenses will be distributed, down from 100.
The firearm antelope hunting seasons will be Sept. 28 through Oct. 13, 2019 and Oct. 3 through Oct. 18, 2020. The archery seasons will be mid-August through the end of October both years, except during the time of the firearm season.
The commission also finalized a plan to move the start date for archery hunting at Brown County's Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge at the request of the refuge staff. The season at Sand Lake will now begin Sept. 1, like the statewide season's start date. Previously, Sand Lake's season began the third Saturday of October.
At the recommendation of GFP Regional Supervisor Mark Ohm of Chamberlain, the commission rejected one proposal to restrict firearm usage on GFP land located near Oacoma. A petition pushing for the change argued that it is dangerous for weapons to be fired in such close proximity to the city, but Ohm said Oacoma officials told him that no complaints have been filed about the area.