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.

About Author

Seth Tupper

Seth Tupper was born and raised in South Dakota and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from South Dakota State University in 2001. After college, he worked at a newspaper in Minnesota and then returned to South Dakota in 2003 to join the staff of The Daily Republic in Mitchell, where he is currently the publisher. Seth has won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2007 Outstanding Young Journalist award in the daily newspapers category of the South Dakota Newspaper Association's Better Newspapers Contest. Seth's day-job and freelance work have granted him opportunities to meet hundreds of South Dakotans and travel across much of the state. He also spends a lot of his free time exploring South Dakota's state and national parks, hiking trails and kayak-friendly rivers.


  1. Jeff Harrison
    Jeff Harrison 17 March, 2013, 15:00

    How do I apply for State run Buffalo hunt? Thank You, Jeff Harrison

    Reply this comment

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