Deer licenses reduced, refunds offered due to die-offs

PIERRE – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department has been monitoring die-offs of white-tailed deer across portions of the state and must make adjustments to some West River deer hunting units.
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) has been confirmed in white-tailed deer, and many of the deer deaths being reported by the public are suspected to be the result of that disease.
In response to the disease, all unsold licenses will be removed from the following deer hunting units for the West River deer season: Bennett County: 11A-09 and 11B-17; Gregory County: 30A-19 and 30B-19; and Jackson County: 39B-09. In addition, 200 licenses will be removed for Meade County: 49B-09.
“As the department continues to monitor the outbreak of EHD over the next couple of weeks, we will provide additional recommendations to the Game, Fish and Parks Commission at its October meeting to address East River deer units,” said GFP Secretary Jeff Vonk.
“Currently, the department plans to recommend that the commission remove all unsold licenses in Bon Homme, Hutchinson and Yankton counties and make significant reductions to leftover licenses in Brule and Charles Mix counties for the second draw of the East River deer season. Between now and the next commission meeting, we will continue our surveillance efforts with the possibility of additional license reductions.”
Aside from conducting ground surveillance and collecting reports from the public, GFP is also using aerial flights to help determine the severity of deer mortalities.
“Reports of dead deer are coming from across the state, and in some instances landowners are telling traditionally hosted hunters that opportunities will be limited,” Vonk said. “With that in mind, GFP is notifying deer hunters that they can voluntarily return a deer license for any season prior to the start of that respective season and receive a full refund.”
Hunters desiring a refund for a deer license should send their license, including all associated tags, to: GFP Licensing Office; 20641 SD Highway 1806; Fort Pierre, SD 57532.
EHD is common in white-tailed deer and is typically detected in late summer or early fall. The virus is spread by a biting midge and causes extensive internal hemorrhaging. Many deer exhibit no clinical signs and appear perfectly healthy, while others may have symptoms such as respiratory distress, fever and swelling of the tongue. With highly virulent strains of the virus, deer can be dead within 1-3 days.  In an attempt to combat the high fever, affected deer are often found in low-lying areas or near rivers, ponds and other waters.
GFP continues to ask individuals who see sick deer or find dead deer to contact their local conservation officer or call the Pierre office at 605-773-5913.
EHD is not infectious to humans. For more information on the EHD virus visit

Comments are closed.

  • Weather

    September 30, 2022, 10:44 am
    real feel: 59°F
    humidity: 45%
    wind speed: 18 mph SSE
    wind gusts: 27 mph
  • Upcoming Events

    September 2022
    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    August 28, 2022 August 29, 2022 August 30, 2022 August 31, 2022 September 1, 2022 September 2, 2022 September 3, 2022
    September 4, 2022 September 5, 2022 September 6, 2022 September 7, 2022 September 8, 2022 September 9, 2022 September 10, 2022
    September 11, 2022 September 12, 2022 September 13, 2022 September 14, 2022 September 15, 2022 September 16, 2022 September 17, 2022
    September 18, 2022 September 19, 2022 September 20, 2022 September 21, 2022 September 22, 2022 September 23, 2022 September 24, 2022
    September 25, 2022 September 26, 2022 September 27, 2022 September 28, 2022 September 29, 2022 September 30, 2022 October 1, 2022
  • Recent Posts

  • Contact Us

    Ph/Fax: 605.796.4221

    PO BOX 218
    Woonsocket, SD 57385
  • Archives