The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Department will be holding an open house at Edgemont's Victory Steakhouse and Lounge on Aug.1 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Area legislators Senator Lance Russell and Representative Tim Goodwin will join GFP Secretary Kelly Hepler to discuss any concerns or issues relating to GFP.

“This is a great opportunity to meet South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Secretary Kelly Hepler and hear about new deer hunting rules for Fall River and Butte Counties,” said Russell.  “After the GF&P passed new rules for deer hunting on public and private lands, Secretary Hepler suggested having a joint public forum for the purpose of the Department making a presentation and answering a few questions.”   

One of the rule changes that could be discussed is GFP's establishment of a new West River deer unit 27P. 

The new unit resides entirely within the existing boundaries of Unit 27B. It is for antlerless whitetail only and only valid on private land. 

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According to the GFP, the unit was designed help aide in controlling whitetail populations causing crop depredation problems. 

GFP also listed the following as significant changes to the upcoming 2019 archery deer season including: 

  • Non-residents archery season starts October 1 for public land users. The September 1 start date will remain unchanged for resident archers and nonresidents hunting on private lands.
  • In order to hunt public land nonresident archery hunters must apply by August 1 and any nonresident archery deer application received after August 1 will be for a license valid on private land only. 
  • The Commission created 625 access permits (500 resident and 125 nonresident) for Unit 35L, which encompasses much of the Custer National Forest area in Harding County. Archers wanting to hunt in this unit will have to apply for one of these free access permits. Deadline for these free access permits is August 1.

The following lands qualify as public lands: Game Production Areas, Waterfowl Production Areas, School and Public Lands, Corps of Engineer Land, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service (National Forests and Grasslands),

Refuges, State Parks, and private lands leased for public hunting including Walk-In Areas, CREP and CHAP areas.

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