Custer State Park ’03 hunting seasons set

Custer State Park '03 hunting seasons set Custer State Park's 2003 hunting seasons have been set. All elk and bighorn seasons will allow applicants not wishing to draw a license to get only a preference point.

The park's coyote season will have unlimited tags at $10 each. Also, because coyote pelts are not prime during October and very limited hunting has occurred during that time, the 7-day part of the season in October has been removed. The season will now open the second Monday in December and run through Dec. 31. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Archery antelope season will be closed for 2003.

Custer State Park's early archery elk season will be open Sept. 1-19, which is right up to the rifle elk opening. Eight, once-in-a-lifetime "any archery elk" licenses are available. Any early archery elk hunter who is

unsuccessful in filling their tag for this season can return and hunt with the late archery elk hunters (Nov. 15�Dec. 7).

Fifty licenses are available for the late archery elk season, Nov. 15 through Dec. 7.

Custer State Park's rifle elk season is open Sept. 20-Oct. 5 with 41 "any elk" permits available. The 41st tag is for fund-raising by a nonprofit organization.

The park's antlerless rifle-elk season has 100 antlerless-only tags available, split between two, seven-day seasons. The first unit is open Sept. 23-29 and has 45 tags. The second unit is open Oct. 13-19 with 55 tags available. An additional late season has been added for unsuccessful applicants. The additional season is Jan. 3-18, 2004, with 0-50 tags available (determined in October). Tags will be allocated to an alternate list of unsuccessful applicants from the earlier units. Accepting a tag for the additional January hunt will count as a successful, first-choice draw and affect a person's eligibility for CSP antlerless elk.

Tags available for the park's bighorn sheep season, Jan. 3-18, 2004, will remain at two. Hunters may hunt within the entire park for any uncollared ram.

White-tailed buck license numbers have been increased from four to 10 in unit one. Unit two will offer two, "buck-only" mule deer licenses. Buck licenses will increase in cost to match the resident special buck licenses at $150. An additional unit for 30 antlerless white-tailed deer licenses will be opened as unit three. The antlerless deer licenses cost $25. The season is Nov. 1-14. No deer hunting is allowed within 300 ft. of paved roads. Successful CSP deer applicants are ineligible for nine years, however, with the addition of the antlerless deer unit, hunters can apply for an antlerless deer as a second choice, and if successfully drawn, not lose their preference.

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