From South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department
-- Big game licenses for mentored hunters are now available through the S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Department website.
The big game licenses allow mentored youth to hunt antlerless deer, antelope and turkey. Available to resident mentors for a $5 fee, the licenses are valid during the youth deer season, the archery and firearms antelope seasons and the fall turkey season.
The last session of the S.D. Legislature passed a law that allows children as young as 10 years of age to take part in mentored hunts. The availability of mentored hunting licenses for three big game seasons is just the latest step in providing more hunting opportunities for young people.
License applications may be submitted through the website at www.sdgfp.info or by printing out a paper application available on the site and through license dealers. To apply by computer, on the GFP home page hold the cursor over "Licenses and Reservations" and then click on "Limited Issue Licenses." Then follow the instructions to complete and submit the application. A credit card is needed for making the payment online.
The purchase of a mentored hunting license does not affect the eligibility of the parent or guardian to purchase a license in other deer, antelope or turkey seasons. "However," said GFP Licensing Office Supervisor Scott Simpson, "the purchase of such a license renders the mentored youth hunter ineligible to purchase regular licenses for the youth deer, antelope or fall turkey hunting seasons."
With the first mentored hunts set to take place this fall, the Game, Fish and Parks Department is anticipating plenty of interest and plenty of questions.
"The Resident Mentored Hunting pamphlet available online is a good source of information about the requirements and restrictions governing these hunts," said GFP Licensing Office Supervisor Scott Simpson. "Even if a mentor applies for the licenses online, printing out the pamphlet and keeping it on hand is still a good idea."
Other online sources of information can be found by clicking on "Mentored Hunting" under the "What's New" tab on the home page of the GFP website. The information there includes regulations governing young hunters and mentors as they take part in small game and big game seasons and frequently asked questions.