The South Dakota GF & P is just completing a three-year review of tag distribution. As a result, archery hunters had their request denied.

Their request entailed an increase in elk tags allocated for archery hunters. They wished it to be equal to the number of rifle tags. As it currently sits this would have only increased archery tags by 20. In addition, it would only lead to an average of nine elk harvested.

Dana Rogers of the SDBA was the lead in this request. In the petition, Rogers acknowledged that the call for archery tags isn’t necessarily high. He also recognized that bow hunters are not fighting against rifle hunters.

“The demand is definitely lower, but the percentage of demand compared to the allocated permits is skewed heavily toward rifle permits. over the last 10 years, archery applications have increased by 65%, while rifle permit applications have only gone up about 10%” – Dana Rogers

SDGF & P Wildlife Director Tom Kirschenmann agreed with some of Rogers’ viewpoints.

“These are good topics and we need to have these discussions, but this is not the right time.” – Tom Kirschenmann

In other words, the SDGF & P is aware of the situation. However, for the time being, they will not be increasing archery permits for elk.

Commissioner Doug Sharp also wants to take Rogers’ proposal under advisement.

“These need to be part of our conversations starting this fall. Archery has grown to the point where we need to take a serious look at how we are managing it in the state. They are great proposals. I can’t support them at the present time, but I do want to make sure they are part of our discussion.”  -Doug Sharp

Do you think archery elk permits should be increased? Do you prefer to hunt elk with rifles or archery? Let us know in the comments!

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