DEADWOOD - Ducks Unlimited wants a South Dakota license for hunting an elk in the Black Hills that the non-profit group can offer as the prize for raffle tickets.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation currently receives an elk license from the state Game, Fish and Parks Commission that the foundation raffles.
The elk foundation has used its raffle proceeds for elk purposes. The ducks group wants to use its potential raffle proceeds for habitat improvement, presumably for waterfowl.
The two sides sent representatives to testify Thursday at a public hearing the state commission held.
Commissioners decided Friday to delay making a decision and directed the state Wildlife Division to work on the Ducks Unlimited request.
The issue will return during the commission's Nov. 1-2 meeting at Good Earth State Park at Sioux Falls.
Tom Kirschenmann has been leading the division's consideration of the Ducks Unlimited request. He told commissioners Friday there should be a special account that tracks funds so data can be shared with the commission and citizens.
The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation raffle netted an annual average of about $30,000 during the past five years, Kirschenmann said.
Commissioner Russ Olson of Wentworth said the elk foundation set the bar. Olson said he's a member of both organizations and suggested a system requiring a non-profit receiving a license to guarantee a level of proceeds that would be spent on wildlife.
Commissioner Scott Phillips of rural New Underwood said Black Hills elk tags are "very, very coveted."
Phillips said there are hunters who have accumulated many preference points in the hope of being randomly selected for an elk license and found it "a little bit strange" that Ducks Unlimited wanted to raffle an elk tag.
Commissioner Doug Sharp of Watertown agreed with Olson on setting a floor for a non-profit to meet. Sharp mentioned figures of $30,000, $40,000 or $50,000 and suggested the money should be spent in meaningful ways.
"I think some more work needs to be done on more narrowly defining this," Sharp said.
Commissioner Mary Anne Boyd of Yankton wondered whether two raffles would dilute interest. Kirschenmann said it's difficult to predict.
"I don't think we could even answer that question right now," Kirschenmann said.