The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed 2012 waterfowl hunting seasons with few changes from the 2011 season.

South Dakota’s waterfowl hunting seasons are subject to guidelines set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The guidelines will not be finalized until late July, but the Commission proposals fall within the expected season structure.

The proposed duck hunting season would have one change from 2011. If approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the daily limit for redhead ducks would be increased from two to three.

The season dates for duck hunting would be: High Plains Zone, Oct. 13-Jan. 17; Low Plains North and Middle Zone, Sept. 29-Dec. 11; and Low Plains South Zone, Oct. 13-Dec. 25.

With the proposed change for redhead ducks, the daily duck limit would be a total of six, with no more than five mallards (of which no more than two could be hens), three wood ducks, three  redheads, two scaup, two pintails, and one canvasback.

A proposed change for the Canada goose season from 2011 would increase the bag limit from three to five daily and from six to 10 as possession limit.

The increase would be part of continued efforts to reduce the Canada goose population, which has increased beyond management goals.

Another proposed change for the Canada goose season is a correction to the unit descriptions for Units 1 and 2, removing Perkins County from the Unit 1 description and changing U.S. Highway 14 to U.S. Highway 34 in Hyde County in Unit 2.

The Canada goose season dates would be: Unit 1, Oct. 1-Dec. 16; Unit 2, Nov. 3-Feb. 15; Unit 3, Jan. 12-20. The season for light geese would be Sept. 29-Dec. 23.

More information and highlights from the May GFP Commission meeting are available online at

People who wish to provide written comments on those commission hunting proposals may do so until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Comments may be mailed to Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD, 57501 or emailed to . Comments must have the sender’s full name and address in order to become part of the public record.

Comments may also be made in person at the next GFP Commission meeting during a public hearing at 2 p.m. CDT on Thursday, Aug. 2, at the Community Center in Milbank.

Logo courtesy of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

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