In-town archery season considered
Published: Thursday, December 27th, 2012
If the City of Custer wants to move ahead with the creation of an in-town archery deer season, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) stands ready to help.
That was the message delivered to the Custer City Council at its regular meeting Dec. 17, as both John Kanta, regional wildlife manager for GF&P, and Jake Ehlert, Custer County game warden, discussed the possibility of the archery season with the council.
Ehlert presented the council with a sample ordinance for an in-town season similar to one used in Sioux Falls, where there is such a season. He stressed GF&P was just giving the city the framework for a possible season, but that it would ultimately be up to the council how any hunt would be formatted.
Ehlert also gave the council a map that showed four areas in town where such a hunt would be ideal. The city could control the hunt in those “access zones” and the city could even control what types of deer it wants harvested.
“You can let it be all buck hunters if you want,” Kanta said.
In Sioux Falls, any hunter who wants to hunt in city limits must first take a test, in which they must put three arrows in a certain area from 30 yards away.
Initially, any hunting season would only supplement the city’s deer management program. Eventually, if the herd is thinned down enough, just the hunting season could be held.
“We’re really here to help,” Kanta said. He said GF&P is supportive of archery hunts in town, but warned there have been a few issues that have popped up in Sioux Falls, such as trespassing issues and deer running off of the designated areas after they were shot.
“All in all, it’s been a success,” Kanta said.
Alderman Corbin Herman asked where deer are cleaned in Sioux Falls after they are shot. Kanta said some areas in Sioux Falls are open and wooded enough that it can be done in those areas, but said the city could also mandate a specific area where the deer are to be taken to be field dressed. He said the city could also decide whether just city residents would be allowed to participate in the hunt.
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