The commission changed the number of licenses available for the west river season from 400 resident licenses and 400 nonresident licenses that were available in 2005, to 500 for each available in 2006.
Like last year, 400 resident licenses will be available for the east river season.
Special Buck licenses are special permits sold as part of both the West River and East River deer seasons. They allow a license holder to harvest a deer in any unit within that season boundary as long as it is on private land only.
"The season structure for the Special Buck licenses was worked out a few years ago as part of a task force of landowners, hunters and our agency," according to Division of Wildlife Assistant Director George Vandel. "It has been a valuable source of licenses for individuals who are lining up hunts with private landowners. By increasing the numbers West River, the Commission felt they would be able to meet a growing demand for those licenses without a negative impact on public hunting opportunity."
Applicants for the Special Buck licenses must include the name and phone number of a landowner where they have permission to hunt as part of the application process.
Applications are now being accepted online for both the East River and West River Special Buck seasons. Applications can be made through the GFP Web site at www.sdgfp.info. Click on the link to "Licenses and Reservations," and then on the link to "Apply for Limited Issue Licenses?".
Paper applications are now being printed and will be distributed by April 1. The deadline for paper applications will be Friday, April 14. Online applications are accepted until 8 a.m. (CDT) on Tuesday, April 18.