GFP News - July 17, 2013

  • Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Proposed
  • Framework for Winter Big Game Depredation Hunts Proposed
  • State Parks Host Outdoor Activities

Waterfowl Hunting Seasons Proposed

PIERRE, S.D. -- The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed several changes for the fall duck and goose hunting seasons this fall.

Proposed changes to the 2013 duck season include increasing the daily limit for scaup from four to six; and increasing the possession limit for ducks, coots and mergansers from two times the daily limit to three times the daily limit.

The daily limit for ducks would be six and may be comprised of no more than five mallards (including no more than two hens), three wood ducks, two redheads, two pintails and one canvasback.

The duck season would be divided into four separate zones, as it has been during the past several years. Season dates within these zones would be:

  • High Plains: Oct. 12 through Jan. 16
  • Low Plains North: Sept. 28 through Dec. 10
  • Low Plains Middle: Sept. 28 through Dec. 10
  • Low Plains South: Oct. 12 through Dec. 24

Proposed changes for the goose season include increasing the daily bag limit for Canada geese from three to five; increasing the daily bag limit for white-fronted geese from one to two; modifying the white-fronted goose season from 86 to 72 consecutive days beginning the last Saturday in September; and increasing the possession limit for geese from two times the daily limit to three times the daily limit.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's framework for the white-fronted goose season provides the option of having an 86-day season with a one goose daily limit or a 72-day season with a two goose daily limit. GFP staff have received comments from hunters indicating that this recommended change would provide additional harvest opportunity for hunters and establish a season that overlaps with the peak migration of white-fronted geese through South Dakota.
The season for light geese would run from Sept. 28 through Dec. 22; the season for white-fronted geese from Sept. 28 through Dec. 8; Unit 1 Canada geese Oct. 1 through Dec. 16; Unit 2 Canada geese Nov. 2 through Feb. 14; and Unit 3 Canada geese Jan. 11-19.

The waterfowl season proposals will be finalized at the Aug. 1-2 GFP Commission meeting, which will be at the Event Center in Watertown. To view the full proposals on those seasons, visit: www.gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx and look under the "rule proposals" heading.

To comment on any of the proposals, send a letter to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email wildinfo@state.sd.us. Comments on proposal will be taken until 5 p.m. CDT on July 31. To be included in the public record, please include your full name and city of residence.

To comment in person on these proposed rule changes, the GFP Commission will host a public hearing beginning at 2 p.m. CDT as part of their meeting on Thursday, Aug. 1.

-GFP-

Framework for Winter Big Game Depredation Hunts Proposed

PIERRE, S.D. -- The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission has proposed a change to the format for big game depredation pool applications.

Interested big game hunters may apply each year for a spot in a pool of hunters who may be called upon to help alleviate depredation on agricultural land caused by big game animals.

While hunters could apply for an unlimited number of counties in the past,  the change proposed by the Commission will limit hunters to a maximum of 10 counties.

In recent years it has been difficult for GFP to find registered individuals that are willing to respond to GFP's request for a depredation hunt in an adequate timeframe, primarily because of weather conditions or the distance needed to travel. By limiting the number of counties to a maximum of 10 counties per individual, GFP anticipates that individuals that entered themselves for depredation hunts will participate at a higher level when called upon.

Last winter there were 147 hunting permits issued for turkey and 195 for deer.

The GFP Commission also finalized provisions for potential elk depredation hunting seasons with no changes from 2012.

Unlike deer and turkey depredation hunts, unsuccessful elk license holders are used if elk depredation hunts are needed.  In 2012, only elk depredation permits were issued.

The big game depredation hunt proposals will be finalized at the Aug. 1-2 GFP Commission meeting, which will be at the Event Center in Watertown. To view the full proposals on those seasons, visit: www.gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx and look under the "rule proposals" heading.

To comment on the proposal, send a letter to South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501; or email wildinfo@state.sd.us. Comments on proposal will be taken until 5 p.m. CDT on July 31. To be included in the public record, please include your full name and city of residence.

To comment in person on these proposed rule changes, the GFP Commission will host a public hearing beginning at 2 p.m. CDT as part of their meeting on Thursday, Aug. 1.

-GFP-

State Parks Host Outdoor Activities

PIERRE, S.D. -- Several state parks and recreation areas in South Dakota are hosting outdoor events and educational programs at the end of the month for visitors. The activities are a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.

  • Christmas in July Campsite Decorating Contest, Lake Thompson Recreation Area near Lake Preston, July 26-28. Celebrate Christmas in July! Bring along your Christmas lights, trees, wreaths and inflatable snowmen to decorate your campsite. Prizes will be awarded Saturday night at 7 p.m. CDT to the campsites with the most holiday cheer. Info: 605-847-4893
  • Christmas in July, Lake Herman State Park and Walker’s Point Recreation Area near Madison, July 26-28. Join these parks for a festive weekend of Christmas fun! Info: 605-256-5003
  • Halloween in July, Lake Poinsett Recreation Area near Arlington, July 26-28. Get in the spooky mood with a Halloween campsite decorating display, costume parade and even trick-or-treating! Be sure to bring candy for your guests. Sign up at the welcome center to take part in the fun! Info: 605-983-5085
  • Walk in the Woods, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run near Sioux Falls, July 26, 10 a.m. CDT. Join us for a wonderful walk in the woods and a mosaic craft. All ages welcome and children and their parents are especially invited to join. Info: 605-987-2263
  • Christmas in July, Chief White Crane Recreation Area near Yankton, July 27. It's Christmas in July! Pack an extra set of lights and decorate your campsite or a neighboring Ponderosa Pine and participate in our contest. Even Santa likes to camp at South Dakota State Parks! Info: Chief White Crane, 605-668-2985
  • Tee Walk and Leaf Bookmarks, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, July 27, 10 a.m. CDT. Join us in the parking lot by the double shelters on Sargeant Creek Road to take a hike and learn about the trees in Newton Hills State Park. We will end at the Interpretive Shelter at the end of Sargeant Creek Road where we will make bookmarks from leaves collected along the way. Info: 605-987-2263
  • The Dam Program, Palisades State Park near Garretson, July 27, 2 p.m. CDT. Learn how nature, animals and humans build dams, and just why they are so important. Info: 605-594-3824
  • Hug a Tree, Newton Hills State Park near Canton, July 27, 2 p.m. CDT. Bring a friend and come hug some trees. We are going to see how well you can use your senses. Info: 605-987-2263
  • Lantern Tour, Fort Sisseton Historic State Park near Lake City, July 27, 9:30 p.m. CDT. Come and tour the Fort by lantern light. Lanterns provided. Info: 605-448-5474
  • Constellations and Stories, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run near Sioux Falls, July 27, 9:30 p.m. CDT. Learn constellation stories from cultures around the world while looking at the Good Earth night sky through a telescope.  Info: 605-987-2263
  • Umonhon Culture, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run near Sioux Falls, July 28, 2 p.m. CDT. Join Verna and learn the history of this culturally rich site where several thousand American Indians settled between the 12th and 17th Centuries, told from the Umonhon (Omaha) tribe perspective. Samples of pottery and tools used in this Indian Village will be available. Info: 605-987-2263 or newtonhills@state.sd.us Pre-register: 605-362-2777 or www.outdoorcampus.org
  • Outdoor Cooking and Nature Hike, Good Earth State Park at Blood Run near Sioux Falls, July 31, 7 p.m. CDT. Join the naturalists around the campfire to learn some simple outdoor cooking, and take a guided hike through the park. Info: 605-987-2263

There is no cost to participate in any of the programs, but park entrance licenses are required for all vehicles entering the park.

For more information on activities in South Dakota state parks, visit www.gfp.sd.gov , contact the individual park office, or call 605-773-3391.

-GFP-