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Dramatic action to save South Dakota deer

White Tailed Deer
White Tailed Deer
Chad Switzer (Download MP3)

Undated (KELO-AM) The South Dakota State Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed dramatic cuts in deer hunting licenses and tags as a way to reverse steep declines in the state's deer population.

State Wildlife Program Administrator Chad Switzer says, for example, that the East River 2014 deer season could see a reduction of more than 7,000 licenses and 20,000 anterless tags compared to 2013.

Switzer says a combination of harsh winters, loss of habitat and disease has caused the deer decline, He says deer can't fly south for the winter. Switzer also says farmers are plowing more acreage because of higher crop prices.  

He says hunters that he has talked to support the license and tag reductions.

The commission expects to finalize the proposal in June. People can comment on the matter by email at wildinfo@state.sd.us.