2015 Hunting Forecast

STANDING ROCK INDIAN RESERVATION

Michael Gutzmer

Chris Shank

Tribal Biologists

Our big game and fall hunting seasons have been approved and we are looking forward to another excellent year of healthy, stable big and upland game populations on our beautiful and unique Standing Rock Indian Reservation. El Niño has delivered ample rainfall to our reservation this past summer and our prairie ecosystems are offering excellent habitat and cover with good nutrition.

White tail, mule deer and antelope populations are on the increase according to both recent aerial and ground count surveys. The whitetail deer to mule deer ratio appears to be approximately 70:30 and approaching our target ratio.

Counts of game species for #/hour r & #/mile from 2014 & 2015 in January

 

 

whitetail

mule

antelope

coyote

reddtail

turkey

pheasant

grouse

partridge

magpie

bald

golden

geese

# hrs

# miles

2014

#/hr

2.8

0.92

2.14

0.31

 

10.99

10.1

1.5

0.76

0.76

0.53

0.54

28.2

13.1

378

 

#/mile

0.1

0.03

0.07

0.01

 

0.38

0.35

0.05

0.03

0.02

0.02

0.06

0.81

 

 

2015

#/hr

3.1

8.6

2.74

0.23

0.11

10.97

19.42

11.1

0.31

0.11

0.11

0.34

0

8.75

269

 

#/mile

0.1

0.3

0.1

0.01

0.004

0.36

0.63

0.36

0.01

0.003

0

0.01

0

 

 

 

A total of 123 antelope were surveyed from the ground during the winter ground counts 2014/2015, this is higher from last year’s observation of 103. This increase in numbers correlates with this year’s aerial data. More surveying will help us in continuing to monitor the population in years to come. Fawn: doe surveys provide data necessary to estimate annual recruitment rates, and are critical in calculating total pronghorn population estimates.

In 2016 we will compare all months and all years for ground count information. Mr. David Jenson, B.S. in Wildlife Management will be joining our staff full-time and will expand our analysis capabilities.

Antelope numbers are up from last year. Our aerial surveys for antelope were higher in January and our overall ground count numbers have improved reservation wide since ground counts started in early 2013. Our over-winter survival rate was good so we expect high fawn recruitment across our landscape.

Our fall turkey population should offer plenty of opportunities for those deer and antelope hunters who wish to take home a tasty wild turkey with ample survey observations of wild turkey found on the reservation. Ground counts in 2015 are unchanged from 2014 levels.

Pheasant and grouse numbers appear to be solid going into the fall hunting seasons. There appear to be several roosters that survived the winter with another age class to bolster the population. The state of South Dakota Game and Fish Department reported an increase in pheasant brood size by 42% across the state. Our brood surveys showed an increase of over 50% per brood from 2014 brood sizes. Our grouse broods have also reflected the same kind of reproductive success and we anticipate good hunter harvest.

Small game and furbearers appear to be stable with migratory birds: doves and waterfowl, all in harvestable positions as well. August ground counts for doves were documented at over five doves/mile, across the SW and NE portions of the reservation.

We need the data, so please make every attempt to return your report cards!!! PLEASE obey all of our tribal laws, be safe and treat the land as if it were your own. We look forward to another successful season on Standing Rock Indian Reservation Thanks for visiting us.

If you have any questions about our fish & wildlife populations please contact our tribal biologists Mr. Chris Shank, 402.910.0581 chrisshank_09@hotmail.com or Dr. Michael Gutzmer at mgutzmer@newcenturyenvironmental.com or office phone at 402.562.9155 or cell, 402.910.3533. Hunters please know we are working hard to improve all our habitats in the coming years with project funding, innovative approaches and landowner cooperation.