Game, Fish, and Parks recommends harvesting 250 deer to help manage the local population

RAPID CITY, SD – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks recommends that 250 deer be harvested in Rapid City for the season beginning after the holidays.

The city’s public works committee approved the proposal Tuesday afternoon.

Since 1995, Rapid City Parks and Recreation has operated the deer management program to help maintain healthy populations.

The recommended harvest number comes from this year’s annual deer trend survey. Game, Fish and Parks says the focus is on antlerless deer.

“Game Fish and Parks is very adamant they don’t want trophy deer hunting and that kind of thing under this program,” said Rapid City Parks and Recreation Manager Jeff Biegler. “It’s part of their normal hunting schedule. So it makes sense to catch more does and have more effect on the overall deer population in the future.

The program also helps resolve and alleviate issues that residents and their pets may have with animals.

“We’re doing this to try to reduce the number of deer-related vehicle accidents, property damage caused by deer entering people’s yards and gardens, etc.,” Biegler said. “Also to reduce the amount of potential aggressive interactions between animals and humans and pets.”

The proposal goes before the entire municipal council for a vote on Monday, December 6.

If agreed, authorities will begin culling the deer population in January. All deer will be treated and examined for chronic wasting disease before the meat is collected and donated to Feeding South Dakota.

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