PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota wildlife officials will make available more antelope hunting licenses this year than in 2014.

The Capital Journal reports that the Game, Fish and Parks Commission has decided on a total of 2,495 tags — an increase of 9 percent over last year.

Antelope numbers in South Dakota have been declining since 2009 due to a string of three severe winters, but Big Game Biologist Andy Lindbloom says the drop-off has stabilized. Hunter success last year was 66 percent, compared with 48 percent in 2013.

Biologists are still trying to determine why antelope populations haven't rebounded with the last few mild winters. Lindbloom is working with South Dakota State University on projects aimed at getting a better understanding of the antelope population.

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