Beaver hunting under the microscope in South Dakota

South Dakota News

In this Sept. 12, 2014, photo, a young beaver looks out from a cage at a holding facility in Ellensburg, Wash. Under a program in central Washington, nuisance beavers are being trapped and relocated to the headwaters of the Yakima River where biologists hope their dams help restore water systems used by salmon, other animals and people. (AP Photo/Manuel Valdes)

WATERTOWN, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks is weighing how to proceed on beaver hunting in the Black Hills and the state.

The idea for a hunting ban surfaced recently when the Game, Fish and Parks Commission discussed a proposal to create a year-round beaver hunting season across the state, with hunting only allowed in portions of the Black Hills not owned by the U.S. Forest Service from Nov. 1 to April 30.

Keith Fisk, the agency’s program administrator, says he receives at least 500 beaver complaints each year. But Commissioner Travis Bies said the population has been greatly decreased in the Black Hills.

Bies called for a study of the beaver population, a suggestion that prompted the commission to table the proposal to its September meeting.

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