PIERRE - At their recent meeting in Lemmon, the State Game, Fish and Parks Commissioners voted to close fall turkey hunting in the Black Hills for 2001. After much discussion, the commission decided to cancel the season to prevent harvest of hens in the fall.
"The Black Hills turkey population is in good shape, but it does have room for expansion," said Wildlife Division Director Doug Hansen. "Thus, the commission felt no fall turkey licenses were needed for fall 2001. The Black Hills turkey population is different from our prairie units. In many prairie units, we do need a fall harvest to reduce or stabilize local turkey populations. There is no need to reduce our Black Hills population as there is plenty of habitat for the birds to expand into. The commission hopes that by closing the fall season in the Black Hills, reproduction may be improved in the spring."
Fall turkey applications had to be published prior to season setting, so the 2001 fall turkey application contains information on the fall, Black Hills season. Hansen said that applicants should simply disregard the Black Hills fall turkey option on the 2001 fall turkey application.