Photo by Brett Nachtigall/Fall River County Herald-Star
A velvet-antlered mule deer buck keeps cool in the shade underneath a CBH Coop fuel tank along University Avenue in Hot Springs. This upcoming fall/winter – from Sept. 1, 2023, though Jan. 1, 2024 – bucks like him will be fair game to archery hunters who earn one of the 75 available in-town Access Permits, valid only on one of five different city-owned properties which have been opened up for hunting.
By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – Following a month-long application process, only eight hunters applied for one of the 75 in-town Archery Deer Access Permits that have been made available by the City of Hot Springs, according to Police Chief Ross Norton.
The remaining 67 permits are now available through a second application period, which ends Monday, Sept. 25. After that date, any leftover unclaimed permits will be offered as additional hunting opportunities to the pool of successful permittees, according to Chief Norton.
Applicants previously had from July 15 to Aug. 15 to complete an application form, which are still available at either City Hall or the Police Department.
This is not an additional archery deer license for hunters, but only an additional access permit for licensed hunters to legally harvest a deer with their state-issued archery tag on one of five city-owned properties, at a specified period during the state’s regular archery deer season from Sept. 1, 2023, through Jan. 1, 2024.
In order to apply, one must be a resident of South Dakota and be 18 years of age to hunt alone. A hunter under the age of 18 must be accompanied by (within arm’s reach) a qualified adult supervisor. They will also need to possess a hunter safety education certificate and attend a mandatory briefing and proficiency test at City Brush Pile area.
On the application, the hunter is asked to rank in ascending preference order the area in which they would prefer to hunt. Once they are selected for a permit, they will then be able to request a specific, unclaimed seven day period to hunt that property. All SD Game, Fish & Parks rules and regulations on Walk-In Public Access apply to designated hunting areas.
Each designated area will have a maximum of one hunter per designated hunting period. Those five areas are as follows:
CITY BRUSH PILE (18 Permits): The area inside the access gate
SCHOOL STREET PARK (18 Permits): The Park boundaries within School Street, West Cold Brook Street and the cliffs to the west and north of the park.
GOLF COURSE ZONE 1 (7 Permits): The areas within the out-of-bounds markers encompassing Southern Hills Golf Course Holes #1, #2, #3, #7, #8, #9 and the Driving Range.
GOLF COURSE ZONE 2 (7 Permits): The areas within the out-of-bounds markers encompassing Southern Hills Golf Course Holes #4, #5 & #6.
GOLF COURSE ZONE 3 (7 Permits): The areas within the out-of-bounds markers encompassing Southern Hills Golf Course Hole #11 including the out of bounds area between the 11th fairway and the 15th Tee Box and the canyon the runs between the 14th Tees and the 14th Green.
The three golf course hunting areas will not become available to hunt until Nov. 17, due to the potential likelihood of an extended golf season. No hunting is allowed if the site is occupied by other members of the public. Applicants will rank – from 1 to 5 – their preferred hunting areas. Additional drawings will be held as successful harvesting is completed in each area until all 75 permits are issued. Updates on harvesting success will be posted on the city’s website as necessary.
Temporary trees stands will not be allowed, but blinds may be placed prior to a particular hunter’s access period and must be removed by the last day of their seven-day access window.
The proficiency test entails being able to group three of four broadhead-tipped arrows inside an 8-inch diameter circle at 30 yards. All SD Game, Fish & Parks rules and regulations on Walk-In Public Access apply to designated hunting areas.