Antelope season proposed in Custer State Park
Custer State Park contains some of the state’s most abundant and accessible wildlife. The park’s superintendent now says, however, that the park’s antelope are becoming a bit too abundant. He told the Rapid City Journal that the park’s population of antelope has swollen from 200 to about 370 in recent years.
As such, the superintendent has proposed a very brief, residents-only hunting season for antelope in the park. The season would run nine days from Oct. 13 to 21, or until 13 antelope are harvested. The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission is scheduled to vote on the proposed season today.
According to the Journal report, the park already has some other limited hunting seasons:
The park has other limited hunting seasons for elk, turkey, deer and buffalo. The elk seasons in the park are open to residents only, as is the spring turkey season. The 10 park buffalo hunts are open to anyone, cost $5,000 each and are awarded in a drawing that attracts 35 to 50 applicants each year.
The park has suspended its limited bighorn sheep hunts in recent years because of disease-related die-offs in the sheep population there.
For those who want to view the park’s wildlife without doing any hunting, there’s a fantastic, 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road through the park. Driving the loop gives motorists a good chance of seeing buffalo, antelope, deer, wild turkeys or any of the park’s other wild animals.
If you’re interested in basing your vacation at Custer State Park, there are campgrounds and lodges to choose from. There’s also a one-of-a-kind, publicly viewable buffalo roundup each fall.