The gray wolf has been delisted as a federally protected species, after 45 years of protection under the Endangered Species Act.
According to the Game, Fish and Parks release, this allows South Dakota GF&P officials to manage wolves as a predator as defined in state law. Also according to the release, GF&P does not support gray wolf expansion in South Dakota.
Under GF&P’s management authority, trappers, sportsmen/women, landowners and livestock producers have the ability to harvest gray wolves across the state. The same license requirements needed for coyotes are needed to harvest a wolf. These include a predator/varmint license, furbearer license or any resident or nonresident hunting license. To trap a wolf, a furbearer license is required. Landowners on their own land and youth under the age of 16 are exempt from the license requirement.
“Over the past several decades, South Dakota has had a handful of gray wolves killed on both sides of the Missouri River,” said Keith Fisk, program administrator with GF&P. “The department suspects the gray wolves that have been present in South Dakota are likely transient animals that have dispersed from populations east and west of the state.”
To gather further information and a DNA sample, the department is requesting anyone who harvests a wolf in South Dakota notify a wildlife conservation officer within 24 hours and that the inspection and sampling by a GF&P representative occur within 48 hours.