State GFP approves fee hikes
Published: Thursday, December 5th, 2013
The cost of hunting, camping and fishing in South Dakota will go up in 2014, after the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GFP) Commission unanimously approved the fee increases at its most recent meeting.
The Wildlife Division of GFP does not receive any general support from the state legislature, while the Division of Parks and Recreation gets a small share. That means pay raises and health insurance increases passed by the legislature for state government generally have to come from within the GFP budget. It is estimated the license increases would generate about $2 million.
The campsite increases will generally be less than $5, with some under $1. Aâï¿½ï¿½firewood bundle will rise $1 to $5. Seventy percent of the campsites in the state system would cost around $19 per night, according a recent story in the Rapid City Journal. That’s $15 for a preferred site plus $4 for electricity service.
An annual small game license will rise $3 to $33, while an annual fishing license will go up the same amount to $28. The combination license would rise $5 to $55.
Big game licenses are also set to rise, with standard deer and antelope licenses going up $4. Furbearer licenses will be up $5 to $30.
For non-residents, the annual fishing license will rise $7 to $67, and big game licenses will also rise. Some licenses were raised last year for non-residents, which was supposed to raise around $1 million in revenue. However, license sales are down this fall because of low pheasant numbers.
The increases aren’t sitting too well with many local hunters and anglers.
Mitch McLain, who said he doesn’t hunt for sport, but rather, to provide food for his home, said the ever-rising cost of hunting, combined with the limited opportunity for drawing a tag in South Dakota, has caused many to wonder whether hunting in South Dakota is even worth it anymore.
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