Should South Dakota's East River deer season be shorter? Mitchell man petitions yes

Dec. 7—MITCHELL — A Mitchell man is asking the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department to consider shortening the East River deer rifle season.

Pat Feterl has submitted a petition for rule change to the GFP. He's asking to shorten the season to nine days starting Dec. 1,

according to his petition

that will be considered during Thursday's regular GFP Commission meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for two days in Pierre, but is also available for the public to watch via Zoom.

Feterl, who declined comment to the Mitchell Republic on the subject, wrote in his petition his justification for the change: "People in vehicles driving around hunting / shooting rutting deer. We could be the premier whitetail state (if) not for the ludicrous rifle season."

South Dakota's East River rifle season concluded on Sunday. It opened Nov. 19 and ran 16 consecutive days. The GFP website says South Dakota deer hunting seasons have occurred regularly since the 1950s, with deer hunters harvesting approximately 95,000 deer during the record year of 2010. More recently, due to diseases, statewide white-tail deer harvest has hovered around 45,000.

Other petitions submitted for the meeting include allowance of a third fishing rod on the South Dakota-Iowa border waters and approval to snag Asian carp on the Missouri River anytime.

Any member of the public can petition to GFP for an administrative rule change by writing the text of a new rule, amendment to an existing rule or request to repeal it; identification of the rule itself; reasons for the changes; and a full name and address of the person making the suggestion.

The GFP Commission has 30 days to either accept the petition and initiate the process of making the change, or deny the request and explain reasons for the denial.

During the meeting, the commission will also be finalizing the allowance of pets in state park campground cabins and the associated fees. A full agenda can be

found here.