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Public Works Committee reviewing GF&P Annual Deer Harvest recommendations

(KY3)
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 1:23 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The City’s Public Works Committee is in the process of reviewing a Parks and Recreation Department proposal for the 2021-22 deer hunting season. The proposed number of deer recommended for harvesting within the City limits is 250. This is the same proposed number that the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department has recommended for the last 3 years. This number is arrived upon based on an annual deer trend survey taken in early November.

After approval by the Public Works Committee, the measure will be voted on by the City Council.

The Deer Management Program began more than 25 years ago, and the number of deer harvested in a particular year has been mas high as 300, depending on the recommendations.

The harvest is planned to begin after the holidays, will target antlerless deer, and will conduct the activities in the late evening hours. The 250 deer will be harvested by certified shooters and the meat will be donated to Feeding South Dakota. The City’s Parks Division and Black Hills Sportsmen cover the processing costs of the first 150 deer with Sportsmen Against Hunger covering the costs of the next 100 deer.

“The purpose of the Deer Harvest Program is to effectively manage deer in the City limits at a safe and healthy level,” said Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Biegler. “The meat is donated to people in need so the program is a positive on various fronts.”

Nearly 6,600 pounds of meat were donated to Feeding South Dakota as a result of last year’s deer harvest.

The City’s Urban Wildlife Committee and Parks Division concurred with the recommendation.

Carcasses will be confined in a refrigerated trailer provided by the South Dakota GF&P until testing for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is completed. Once negative test results are received, the carcasses will be sent for processing.

The purpose of the Rapid City Deer Management Program, which has been in effect since 1995, is to provide guidance to the Rapid City Mayor, Council, and staff, the Rapid City Urban Wildlife Committee, and involved stakeholders for the management of white-tailed and mule deer within the city limits of Rapid City. The Deer Management Program is an effort to foster healthy deer populations and to maximize aesthetic and recreational opportunities while minimizing negative impacts to private interests. The Deer Management Program addresses problems associated with an overabundance of deer within the established boundaries of Rapid City. Current problems include deer/vehicle collisions, landscape, garden and property damage, and public safety issues including aggressive encounters with deer.

DEER HARVEST NUMBERS (by year):

2021-22: 250

2020-21: 250

2019-20: 250

2018-19: 250 (actual harvest: 226)

2017-18: 150

2016-17: 100

2015-16: 100

2014-15: 150

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