SD deer harvest down

SD deer harvest down South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks officials, say fewer deer were harvested in 1998 than in 1997. The department's annual report shows hunters harvested 46,447 deer in 1998, compared to 49,943 in 1997. The number of bucks harvested was actually up from the previous year, but much fewer does were harvested. While fewer deer were taken in 1998, Big Game Biologist Les Rice said the success rate in 1998 was up 3 percent over 1997. Rice said the most successful deer harvest for the 1990s occurred in 1994. Game, Fish and Parks officials reported a 1994 deer harvest of 65,718. The deer harvest numbers in South Dakota have been down every year since then. "The hunter success rate has remained constant," Rice said. Decreased harvest for the past several years was primarily due to reduction in available licenses. The extremely harsh winter of 1996-97 and management objectives of reducing deer numbers caused herds to decline since the peak in 1994."

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