Based on information gathered from hunters, the Game, Fish and Parks Department has issued a report summarizing the 2012 elk hunting seasons in South Dakota.

A total of 570 licenses were issued for the Black Hills Firearms Elk season, and 416 elk were harvested for a 73 percent success rate. The harvest breakdown: 291 bulls, 125 cows.

Elk hunters averaged more than six days in the field, and 85 percent of them said they hunted public land.

There were 97 licenses sold for the Black Hills Archery Elk season, and 38 elk were harvested for a success rate of 40 percent. Thirty-three of those elk were bulls. Archery hunters averaged nearly 12 days hunting, and 90 percent said they hunted on public land.

The Prairie Firearms Elk season had 97 licenses sold and 46 elk harvested for a success rate of 47 percent. Hunters averaged about 5 days in the field.

Information for harvest surveys is gathered from a complete sampling of all licensed hunters. GFP uses the data to determine the success of a hunting season and to provide information for planning the next year’s hunting season.

The 2013 elk seasons will be finalized by the Game, Fish and Parks Commission on April 4-5 at the Holiday Inn Express in Winner. The application process will open in mid-April, with a May 17 application deadline.

Image courtesy South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

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