Archive for August, 2012

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Washington

Is the information easy to find?

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Hunting Regulations page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

Finding the hunting seasons and public hunting areas is quick and easy from the main page,  but finding the license costs was something of a scavenger hunt requiring the user to use the top menu of the page and navigate away from Hunting to Licensing and Permits, then follow the link for ‘Online License Sales,’ then find the link to ‘License Fees and Types‘ on the right, to finally bring up the cost of hunting licenses and permits.

The site doesn’t have a very logical flow to the information, it desperately needs a ‘Start Here’ segment that leads a user through the information sequentially.

Grade: C

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Washington state does issues both quota hunt and over the counter licenses depending on what species, where and what type of equipment the hunter is applying to use.  The Special Hunt Permits & Raffles page has details on all of the programs available.

Grade: B

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Washington resident deer hunting licenses are priced at $44.90, though please note that is valid for one deer ONLY, nothing else.  Nonresident licenses are priced at $434.30, with the same restriction as the resident permit, this is for one deer only.

No archery, muzzleloader, crossbow, or wildlife management unit access fees are listed.

One of the highest priced single-deer permits reviewed so far, and what appears to be only a partial list of fees detract from the user friendly aspect of this page.

Grade: C

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

Hunting seasons are presented both as a page and hot links to the appropriate section on the Summary of General Seasons page.  The hunts are broken up by equipment, species, and unit type, with various legal harvest definitions differing per unit:

White-tailed Deer* Oct. 13-26 101, 105, 108, 111, 113, 124 Any buck
373 Any deer
117, 121 4 pt. min.

This is an extremely micromanaged system. Hunters should make a list of every game unit they intend or even consider hunting, and make a chart of their own to carry with them with the list of dates and legal deer.

Grade: C

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

The Washington DFW Hunting Access page lists public hunting opportunities such as private landowners that are working with WDFW to provide hunting opportunities, along with a Wildlife Areas page with drop down menus.  There is also a Hunting Forecast page available from the Access page.  There do not appear to be a wide variation of regulations for these areas; the units listed in the main seasons page is most likely the actual seasons per WMA.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease is not present in Washington state at this time.  The WDFW Chronic Wasting Disease page has a useful map of North America with cases of CWD marked in red.  As always, be careful and read the regulations carefully.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade B-

This state has one of the highest prices found to date for a single deer at $434.30 for the 2012 season.  The web site is useful and for the most part easy to navigate, however having to work to find the license prices, the price of the licenses, and the incredibly micromanaged unit-by-unit seasons and legal deer by equipment type are phenomenally complicated.   All things considered, short of an exceptional invitation from an outfitter or personal friend, this state would not be near the top of the ‘to hunt’ list.  I would recommend: divide the state into 4-6 overall units and base the seasons, legal deer, and other regulations off of that list.  Either lower the price of nonresident licenses and split off WMA fees and any other fees to keep the prices flexible, or find a way to make the license more attractive at the current price.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeUtahVermont, Virginia,

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Virginia

Is the information easy to find?

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries Hunting and Trapping regulations page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

From the main page, links to Licenses and Fees, Public Hunting Lands, and Dear Seasons can be quickly found.   All three links lead to exactly what a user would expect, good information on those topics with detailed information and related links.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Annual hunting licenses, deer tags and bonus deer tags are all available over the counter in Virginia: there are quota hunts for areas that are limited access, but those are in addition to the standard tags.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident hunting licenses are priced at $23.00 in Virginia, with deer tags listed at $23.00, Archery, Crossbow and Muzzleloader permits listed at $18.00 each, and a bonus tag valid for six antlerless deer priced at $18.00.  Nonresident hunting licenses are priced at $111.00, with deer permits priced at $86.00, Archery, Crossbow and Muzzleloader permits priced at $31.00 each, and the same bonus deer tag for six antlerless deer is priced at $31.00.  Virginia also requires permits for National Forest access, $4.00, State Forest access, $16.00, and visitors can either purchase a day-by-day Wildlife Management Area permit at $4.00 per day, or an annual permit at $23.00 per year.

Bag limits are based on location with an east/west division in the state:

Bag Limits

East of the Blue Ridge (except on National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties)
The bag limit for deer shall be two a day, six a license year. Of the six deer limit, no more than three may be antlered deer and at least three must be antlerless deer (unless noted in the exception below).

  • The daily bag limit for deer shall be unlimited in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties. However, no more than three antlered deer may be killed in a license year.
West of the Blue Ridge and on National Forest lands in Amherst, Bedford, and Nelson counties
The bag limit for deer shall be one a day and five a license year. Of the five deer limit, no more than two may be antlered deer and at least three must be antlerless deer (unless noted in the exceptions below).

  • The bag limit for deer shall be two a day on private lands in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties and in the City of Winchester.
  • Only one antlered buck taken in the counties of Rockingham or Shenandoah per license year may have less than four antler points one inch or longer on one side of the antlers.

So, depending on which area is hunted, the bag limit is five or six, unless the hunter(s) purchase the bonus antlerless tags.

Grade: A

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The Virginia DGIF Deer page covers all of the seasons for deer, and even though the seasons are formatted in a nice, bullet point style, this page would have been much better with a table showing the seasons right at the top.  There are also quite a few ‘small’ seasons within the state’s regulations.

Grade: B

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

There are over 200,000 acres of public hunting in the state of Virginia, with 36 of 39 Wildlife Management Areas open for hunting.  By using the Wildlife Management Area Locator map, users can quickly find which WMAs are near their planned hunt.  The DGIF also provides a one-page summary of the Wildlife Management Area regulations, which is an excellent reference to print out and tape inside a map or notebook for the hunt.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease is present in Virginia, details can be found at the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries CWD page, with other issues such as West Nile Virus and Rabies covered on the Diseases page.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade A

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has done a wonderful job of presenting the information needed by residents and nonresidents with their web site.  The format, flow, and general ease of use is excellent, with the only minor negative being an easy to read and print chart showing hunting seasons by species and/or hunting method.  The bag limit is generous for the cost of the licenses, and there are options available for anlterless tags, daily hunting passes for Wildlife Management Areas, State, and Federal forests.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeUtah, Vermont

From my deck it’s 31 yards to the woods, and a sharp dropoff, behind the house.  I wish it was 60 yards, but 31 is a good hunting practice distance.

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Vermont

Is the information easy to find?

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Hunting Digest page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The Vermont FWD web site has a very nostalgic style, reading the various pages brings back memories of the 4″ x 6″ hunting regulation booklets Ohio and Pennsylvania released each year in the 70’s and 80’s.  The standard information needed to plan a hunt, how much do licenses cost, when is hunting season and where to hunt, are all quickly and easily found. Vermont’s full Fish and Wildlife Regulations guide has also been converted into an eRegulations website.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Over the counter licenses are the norm in Vermont, while there may be some limited access or limited quota areas that require a drawing, other than moose permits and antlerless permits (such as muzzleloader), no lottery-type general permits were found at this time.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Vermont resident annual hunting licenses are priced at $22.00, with a $20.00 fee for an archery permit and a separate $20.00 fee for a muzzleloader permit.  Nonresident annual hunting licenses are priced at $100.00 with a $35.00 archery permit and $40.00 muzzleloader permit available. Nonresident hunters have the option to purchase a archery-only deer hunting license for $75.00.   The bag limit in Vermont is three deer, with two being antlered and one being antlerless.

The lack of a short term license is offset by the reasonable price points and the option for an archery-only tag.

Grade: A

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

All of the seasons can be found on the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife Calendar page.  Only four seasons exist for deer hunting, Archery Deer, Youth Deer Weekend, Rifle Deer Season and the combination late Archery and Muzzleloader season.  The first link, Archery, leads to an error page, the other three lead back to the Hunting and Trapping Big Game page.

Other than the archery season link leading to an error the seasons are easy to find and read.

Grade: A-

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Vermont DFW offers maps and short summaries of the Wildlife Management Areas on the Maps page.  While a more interactive web page would have been useful, the summaries include some history, wildlife information and a .4 mile scale topographical map of each WMA in alphabetical order, sorted by region.  The regulations appear to be the same as the general state regulations, however as always, research the areas involved in any hunt during the planning phase.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease has not been found in Vermont as of this time.  Other minor issues discovered while researching this information that hunters should be aware of include regulations such as tracking a wounded deer after shooting hours:

RECOVERY OF BOW & ARROW DEER AFTER HOURS: Department policy allows a hunter who has wounded a deer with an arrow to look for the deer after the close of legal shooting time under the following conditions:

  • The hunter must request permission from the State Game Warden. Call the nearest State Police office, giving exact location and circumstances.
  • The hunter may not take a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow on the search, only a knife to dress the deer.
  • The hunter must notify the landowner of his/her intentions before starting out to recover the deer.

To some degree, this is common sense. It’s far better to call the local game warden and let them know that you are tracking a wounded deer (some wardens I’ve known in the past will come HELP) than have one come across a group with hunting gear at night.   As always, carefully read the regulations before setting out to hunt, finding regulations like this one could mean the difference between having an enjoyable hunt and ending up in the local jail overnight.

Grade: A

Summary: Final Grade A

The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife presents not only a very user friendly web site, with information exactly where users would expect based on the links and text, but a second eRegulation website that is every bit as good as the first one.  The prices are reasonable, with an archery-only option that would allow hunters to save some money provided their only interest is hunting deer with archery equipment.  The seasons are simple, and event the public hunting presentation maintains the nostalgic feeling by including bits of history with the hunting information.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennessee, Utah

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Utah

Is the information easy to find?

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Hunting page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

There is a lot of information available on the Utah DWR hunting website, and the information is wonderfully organized.   For big game hunters, the go-to document is the Utah Big Game Application Guidebook PDF.  Normally difficult to deal with, this PDF is well written, with an information flow that the user will be able to use to find information in a specific sequence that will widen their knowledge of opportunities and regulations in Utah. The text, format, and language used is easy to read and in plain English, without the usual bureaucrat-speak that can make this sort of regulatory handbook confusing.  License fees are available from the License, Permits and Miscellaneous Fees page, and seasons are listed on the Buck Deer table page that is accessible from the Hunt Tables, Maps and Boundaries page.

Utah also provides a Frequently Asked Questions page that is, again, outstanding.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

From the Utah Big Game Application Guidebook, all big game licenses are buy drawing, though in July left over permits are available on a first-come, first serve basis.  There are MANY different applications and types of licenses, including the 3 year “Dedicated Hunter” program which, while still a drawing, guarantees hunting for three years provided the hunter completes an ethics class and agrees to other stipulations.  Utah does utilize a preference point program, with the grace period being three years between applications to maintain any preference points collected.

Grade: B

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident hunting licenses in Utah are priced at $26.00, with general deer season tags priced at $40.00.  Nonresident hunting licenses are $65.00,   nonresident deer permits are $268.00, which includes an annual fishing license. There are many different options on the license page, 18 different options for nonresidents alone.

The options are nice, however it feels as though micromanagement is creeping into this system. There is no short term license in this system, and the $65.00 hunting license is required to apply for big game permits according to the Big Game Application Guidebook (page 8).

* Hunting and combination licenses are valid for 365 days from the day you buy them. Combination licenses allow you to fish, hunt small game and apply for big game and other hunting permits.

Grade: C

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

Hunting seasons can be found using the Hunt Tables, Maps and Boundaries page, select the species from the links in the center of the page. Finding the seasons is easy, and they are formatted logically, however there appear to be over a hundred different entries.  What makes the list usable is the fact that the header on each column is sortable, therefore if the hunter has drawn a permit for Hunt number 1000, sorting the list by hunt numbers, then clicking 1000 will bring up the specific page for that hunt, including a Google Earth map.

Despite having an incredible number of specific hunts, this information is professionally organized and very easy to use.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

From the Hunt Tables, Maps and Boundaries page, users can follow the link to the list of Cooperative Wildlife Management Units.  From the list, select any entry, such as Blue Creek CWMU, and a Google Earth map loads along with contact information for the CMWU operator. Below the map is a massive amount of information, which at this point is devoid of data since Utah has just implemented this system. In future years, these statistics will be invaluable.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease is present in Utah, information can be found on the Disease Issues and Mule Deer page.

CWD was first detected in Utah in 2002. In the fourteen years since the DWR began CWD surveillance, 54 mule deer and one elk have tested positive for the disease. CWD has been found in three specific areas of central, northeastern and southeastern Utah.

No other issues were found in a quick search.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade B+

The Utah DWR seems to be at the beginning of a major micromanagement program, however their web services have certainly managed to not only keep up, but master the information in a manner that users will be able to leverage the web site to aid in planning a trip with little difficulty.  The prices are somewhat reasonable, but having to purchase a license to apply for a drawing is a bit of a stretch.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennessee,

Posted: 08/30/2012 in News

No comment needed 🙂

Justin Hoffman Outdoors

Hello All,

With summer fading fast and September on the horizon, the big bucks are beginning to show off their impressive head gear. I am fortunate to have a protected place to shoot photographs a mere ten minutes from my home and the deer I began shooting this past spring have certainly grown and matured.

Tricky thing about these big guys. They come out to the bean field late in the evening, which is not the best for shooting images. And, when the really good shots become available, the light has faded too far.

I will be following this herd over the next few months and hope to share some rutting and mating behaviour. The best is definitely yet to come!

Yours in the Outdoors,

Justin

(click on images to view full size)

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This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Texas

Is the information easy to find?

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Division hunting seasons and regulations page was at the top of the search results. While this satisfies the search terms, the TPWD Hunting page is a better place to start searching for information.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

It takes a couple of links to arrive at the Texas Hunting License price page, deer seasons page, and public hunting page, however none of these are terribly difficult to find or read.  One suggestion would be to simplify finding this information with a ‘where to start’ page or link.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

There are lottery-style hunts such as the Big Time Texas Hunts lottery however standard hunting licenses are available over the counter.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Resident licenses in Texas are priced at $25.00, nonresident licenses are priced at $315.00, both residents and nonresidents who wish to hunt with archery equipment are required to have a bowhunters education certificate and a $7.00 archery stamp. Public hunting areas require a $48.00 Annual Public Hunting permit.  There are short term licenses available, however they are not legal for deer hunting.   Bag limit is listed by county and/or WMA, for example Lipscomb County’s whitetail deer bag limit is:

White-tailed Deer

  • Archery Only: Sept. 29-Nov. 2, 2012. No permit required to hunt antlerless deer unless MLD permits have been issued for the property.
  • Bag Limit: 5 deer, no more than 1 buck, all seasons combined.General Season: Nov. 3, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013.Special Late General Season: Jan. 7-20, 2013. Antlerless and Spike deer only.
  • Special Youth-Only Season: Early open season: Oct. 27-28, 2012. Late open season: Jan. 7-20, 2013.
  • Bag limits, provision for the take of antlerless deer, and special requirements of the county, shall be as specified for the first 2 days of the general open season.
  • Licensed hunters 16 years of age or younger may hunt deer by any lawful means during this season.

So, in the case of Lipscomb County, one antlered deer and four antlerless deer are permitted in archery season.

The seasons and bag limits could be much simpler, which would be easier on both the Texas Parks and Wildlife division and on hunters who may change counties.

Grade: B

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The hunting seasons are presented on the Seasons and Bag Limits page, but as stated above, finding the bag limits requires users to choose specific counties.   This seems to be a very illogical system, since any hunter can set up a food plot 25 yards from the county line and draw deer from a low-limit county to his or her food plot.

Grade: B

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

There are over one million acres of public hunting in Texas, divided into public access and public draw hunts.  There is also a full map of Texas with various game units marked on it by region.  This system isn’t bad, but it seems to be overly complicated at times.  There is a ‘Public Hunting Q & A’ PDF that spells out hunting requirements:

What type of permit must I have and what
will it allow me to do?
1. The Annual Public Hunting (APH) Permit ($48) allows an
adult access to designated public hunting lands in this
booklet.
• Hunting is allowed for small game, turkey, white-tailed
deer, exotics, predators, furbearers, and fishing without
having to pay daily permit fees and in most instances,
without having to be selected in a drawing.
• Holders of an APH Permit may take youth under age 17
hunting free of charge on these public hunting lands.

Grade: B

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease has been detected in West Texas, as detailed in this TPWD 2012 news release.  Other than CWD issues, it would be prudent to call property owners or managers before hunting in Texas to determine if feral hogs are in the area and if they may be an issue. Feral hogs could add a species to a whitetail hunt, however if they are rampant in the area being considered for hunting, they may be impacting the whitetail population.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade B+

Texas is one of my personal dream hunts, for whitetail deer, oryx, feral hog and mule deer.  The web site is organized, without any dead links or circular links, however the bag limits were difficult to find at first, even using the search function.  The sheer size of Texas may be the real issue here, with a possible fix being to split the TPWD web site into sections by game management region.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth Dakota, Tennessee,

 

Posted: 08/30/2012 in News

Ohhh, those do look tasty. I’ve found ways to make chicken parm over the years that range from “Start with a whole chicken” to “bake the frozen, pre-breaded chicken cutlet” and found that there are so many variations you can have this dish once per week and it would be a long while before you would run out of ideas. The tomato slices are a new thought for me, though I’ve made a bruschetta very similar to this. One twist I like is to layer prosciutto under the cheese for a nice flavor twist.

jenny's reciPes

chic parm

I decided to take up bowhunting as my newest little adventure. (This got me a double eye-roll from Jimmy. Most of my newfound hobbies like raising chickensselling cakes, and canning produce get me a single eye-roll, but this one, a double. He rolls his eyes because he knows from past experience that my new interests will most likely result in some form of him bailing me out, tieing up my loose ends or cleaning up after me. In this case, he’s dreadfully envisioning the moment I call him from the woods at the crack of dawn yelling through my iPhone something like “Get up! I just killed a buck! But it’s really heavy and I now need your help hauling it out of the woods!!!!!!”)

Anyway, I decided to take up bowhunting, but I have to admit, I am a little intimidated. I’ve been hunting lots of…

View original post 328 more words

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

Tennessee

Is the information easy to find?

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency’s ‘For Hunters’ page is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

The TWRA web site is well designed, starting with the ‘For Hunters‘ page, choosing the Big Game Hunting, Deer Seasons and Regulations, Licenses & Permits, and Public Hunting Areas links will provide users with the majority of information needed to plan a hunt.  One minor comment, the font needs to be bigger, using CTRL + on a Windows keyboard, or Command + on a Mac keyboard will increase the magnification of the page for easier viewing.  There is also a very interesting cooperative website that is linked from the main page called The Hunter’s Toolbox:

This web site has been developed for use of TWRA professionals and the general public. We encourage the use of this site so that you may better understand the management of wild game in Tennessee.

Grade: A

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

Over the counter licenses are the norm in Tennessee, some drawings do exist for limited access or quota hunts.

Grade: A

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Tennessee residents are required to purchase a $28.00 hunting and fishing combination license before purchasing a big game permit.   Big game permits are priced for residents at $28.00 for firearm season, $28.00 for archery season, and $28.00 for muzzleloader season.  Nonresident hunters have a choice of a 7 day all game permit for $175.00, or an annual all game permit of $251.00.  There is also a $21.00 Wildlife Management Area fee for access to WMAs.

A seven day permit for all game seems somewhat pricey at $175.00, but compared to many other states that have much higher prices an no short-term option, or higher prices for deer only permits, this is well thought out.

Grade: A

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

The TWRA Deer Seasons page covers seasons per unit and bag limits in a quick, logical manner.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

The Public Hunting Page has a short list of common sense regulations regarding hunting on various public lands.  Please note there is a typographical error at the top of the page, where it states that ‘Over 7,000 acres of public hunting lands are available…’ while directly below it notes that in Heartwood PHA over 7,000 acres of public hunting lands are available. There is a separate link to TWRA maps page, and on the left sidebar of that page is a link to Wildlife Management Area maps.  On that page, the user can either click on a region to see more detail, then choose a specific WMA to view in detail, or select from the map itself.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident? 

Chronic Wasting Disease has not been found in Tennessee, and the TWRA has both testing and monitoring in place to keep ahead of the issue.  No other issues are known at this time.

Summary: Final Score A+

Tennessee may be the first ‘perfect’ score in the series, though the $175.00 seven-day license seems steep, most out of state hunters plan 4-7 day hunts, which in this case saves money for the hunters while still providing the opportunity for three deer in seven days.  The website had no issues, no dead links, and thought the font could be larger, that is simply resolved on any computer.

States CompletedAlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware,

FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndiana, IowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland

MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew Hampshire

New JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvania,

Rhode IslandSouth Carolina, South Dakota,

This is an ongoing series looking at each state from the point of view of a nonresident hunter trying to find information about deer hunting, the basic explanation is HERE.

South Dakota

Is the information easy to find?

The South Dakota Fish, Game and Parks Hunting Regulations website is at the top of the search results.

Grade: A

Website: is it easy to use and understand?

First time users will have very little trouble finding information on when to hunt, and where to hunt in South Dakota, however finding the fees for big game licenses is very difficult. After reviewing more than ten pages of information, the prices for big game are still absent.  The general links lead to pages with good information on them, paying attention to the links in the body of the page usually leads immediately to information.  Provided hunters aren’t trying to find out the cost of tags, the site is well designed. Even the left over tag pages do not contain pricing information.  (Tag pricing was finally found in the specific application PDFs by sub-unit within the area, such as the 2012 Black Hills Deer/Fall Turkey PDF.)

Grade: D

Does the state hold a lottery system for non-residents or are over the counter licenses available?

South Dakota requires residents and nonresidents both apply for big game tags through a lottery system. There is a process for hunters to review and apply for left over licenses.  The worst aspect of these pages is the same as stated above – lack of pricing information.

Grade: D

How much does it cost to hunt, and is there a short term license available?

Even a Google search did not return the price of deer tags in South Dakota.  After viewing many pages, the pricing information can be found in the location-specific PDF files, such as the 2012 Black Hills document mentioned above.  This is an exceptionally aggravating method of conveying pricing information to curious hunters.  Most people would not think to dig that far into the PDF files to find the cost of a tag.

The price for residents based on the Black Hills data is $35.00, nonresident fees are $285.00:

01: Valid for one any deer.
200 resident ($35); 16 nonresident ($285)
11: Valid for one any whitetail.
3,000 resident ($35); 240 nonresident ($285)

It’s worthwhile to note that in both instances, nonresidents are limited to less than 10% of the available tags.

Grade: C

Are the hunting seasons easy to find and laid out in a logical manner?

South Dakota uses a drop down menu on the Deer Seasons page to help hunters find the season dates quickly.

Grade: A

Is public hunting available, if so, are the rules different? If the rules are different, are they easy to understand?

Public hunting is readily available in South Dakota, with a Rules and Regulations page that spells out land type-specific regulations.  There is a very nice map page that is sortable, printable, and has easy to use controls.

Grade: A

Are there major issues in hunting this state as a non-resident?

Chronic Wasting Disease is present in South Dakota:

How often does it occur?

Surveillance by hunter-harvest survey and testing of sickly deer and elk implies CWD is relatively rare in free-roaming cervids when the number of animals present is considered. Thus far, in South Dakota, thirteen years of surveillance and testing of wild deer and elk have shown 96 CWD positive deer and 44 CWD positive elk out of 21,493 deer and elk tested. Of the 140 positive animals, Wind Cave National Park has discovered 23 elk and 8 deer that tested positive. In the 2009-2010 sampling period, 28 animals (21 deer, 7 elk) were found that were infected with CWD.

Other than Chronic Wasting Disease, there do not appear to be other major issues that would prevent hunters from enjoying South Dakota.

Grade: B

Summary: Final Grade B-

South Dakota needs to create a ‘Big Game Permit Fees’ page, the aggravation of having to find the information in PDF files specific to the area and hunt type is enough to drive off potential hunters.  The web site is otherwise interesting, interactive and very easy to use, why the list of fees is either hidden so well a dedicated search couldn’t find it, or does not exist, is an interesting question.

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