– Herd size (large enough to produce ample opportunities – on public ground)
– Access (it appears there is a lot of public ground around Rapid City & Wall) – is it decent ground?
– How hard is it to gain access to private ground? Costs?
– Lodging – is there ample lodging opportunities around Wall – I’m just assuming there is plenty is Rapid City
Thanks for any insight. Thinking of making the trip around first week of October.
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I’m hesitant to respond to your questions. My information is 2 years old. But hope this will help.
Herd Size – Until last year there were plenty of deer around. We experienced an outbreak of EHD / blue tongue last year. I would suggest contacting the SDGFP (South Dakota Game Fish & Parks) for information on effected areas. Some areas escaped the outbreak. In past years, the opportunity to take a quality animal or book buck was in your favor. Lots of shooter bucks 120 to 145 class. You could count of seeing at least one 180 class buck during a 5 day hunt. Yep, all on Public Land in the Wall area.
Access – Easy access, but most areas are foot traffic only. In some areas you are not allowed to use a 2 wheel cart for game retreval, back pack only. Check on all requlations. Best hunting is by spot & stalk. Be prepared to put in a 5 mile day. Lots of rough breaks, mostly grassland type hunting. Most of the ground is gumbo. If it rains, you will not be able to drive off of hard surfaced roads. When walking, your boots will become as big as wash tubs.
Private ground – I can’t address this for you. However, few local people archery hunt in that area. There are some private hunting ranches that have 100’s of thousands of acres tied up. They will prosecute tresspassers. The cost of these I don’t know. Should be able to search on line.
Lodging – Plenty of clean, nice, Motels in Wall. Most of the tourists should be done by October, so inquire about off season hunting rates.
Just and idea, if you apply for a West River archery deer tag, you can hunt the Badlands around Wall which has alot of Public Hunting. Or drive out in the Black Hills around Hot Springs / Custer area and have a good chance at dropping a Nice Mullie or Whitetail.
If you PM me a cell number, I’d supply a couple pics that would drive you crazy, but have not been back to find the bucks last season.