After a number of consecutive harsh winters, South Dakota’s whitetail deer population is starting to rebound in a big way and state wildlife officials tabled proposals last week that would increase the number of available deer tags in 2016.
“We’ve had some very nice, mild winters that we think equate to good news for our deer populations,” senior game biologists Andy Lindbloom said.
These comments come after research revealed that fawn survival rates were around 70 percent in 2015, according to Lindbloom. Aside from fawn survival rates, the juvenile survival rate ended up around 80 percent and the adult doe survival was an impressive 86 percent last year.
This equates to good news for the state’s whitetail hunters by ways of more licenses and tags being made available, with the exception of Two West River deer units, which are experiencing a shrinking population of whitetails.
Mule deer populations in South Dakota are also on the rise, although not at such a rapid pace as the whitetail population, with fawn survival rates sitting at around 57 percent.
In total the proposal would add over 10,000 tags to what was available in 2015, bringing the total of available tags in 2016 to 42,055, or an approximate 9 percent increase in the number of licenses available.
H/T: Capital Journal