GFP News - November 5, 2012
- Mountain Lion Licenses Available
- Feed Winter Birds and Be a Citizen Scientist
- Grant Hits A Bullseye In South Dakota
- Fire Precautions Needed During Deer Seasons
Mountain Lion Licenses Available
PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota mountain lion hunting licenses for 2013 are now available.
The season will be open to South Dakota residents, who may apply for and receive one license.
The 2013 mountain lion license is valid statewide from Dec. 26, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2013. However, in the Black Hills Fire Protection District the license is valid Dec. 26, 2012, through March 31, 2013, or when a harvest limit of 100 mountain lions or 70 female mountain lions is met within the Black Hills Fire Protection District.
Application for a mountain lion hunting license may be made through the state Game, Fish and Parks Department big-game application website at https://appsf5.sd.gov/applications/gf79biggame/login.asp or by submitting the completed paper application and fee to the GFP License Office. Licenses are sold throughout the hunting season.
In addition to the regular license, hunters who wish to have the opportunity to hunt in Custer State Park may apply for a limited number of free Custer State Park Access Permits.
Hunters may apply for one or more of the eight designated hunting periods: Dec. 26-Jan. 8 (30 permits), Jan. 9-22 (30 permits), Jan. 23-Feb. 6 (30 permits), Feb. 7-13 (four permits, dogs allowed for hunting), Feb. 14-March 1 (30 permits), March 2-8 (four permits, dogs allowed for hunting), March 9-24 (30 permits), and March 25-31 (four permits, dogs allowed for hunting).
The limited Custer State Park Access Permits will be issued by random drawing. The deadline for applying for the permits is 12 noon CST on Dec. 5.
Application must be made online through the Game, Fish and Parks website at http://apps.sd.gov/applications/gf70rbgdepredation/CusterStateParkMountainLionHunt.aspx
Individuals who draw a Custer State Park Access Permit are also entitled to hunt in other areas open to mountain lion hunting.
Feed Winter Birds and Be a Citizen Scientist
Feeding wild birds is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S., with widespread and evenly-distributed fans among all age groups.
Nearly 45 percent of South Dakotans watch wildlife around their homes, which can include feeding, observing, and photographing wildlife. You donâ€™t need a license or any special skills to enjoy feeding or watching wildlife - just an interest and a commitment to doing it right.
If you choose to partake in this fun and fulfilling activity, keep a few things in mind. Place feeders where you can watch, enjoy, and photograph feeding visitors. If bothered by squirrels at feeders, place your feeder on a pole away from trees. Place feeders near cover to protect feeding birds from weather and predators, such as free-roaming cats. Move feeders if you notice birds striking windows. Some birds, such as sparrows, juncos, doves, and pheasants, feed on the ground or on a flat platform. Offer several feeding sites to avoid overcrowding and disease transmission.
If you're only offering one menu item, black oil sunflower seed appeals to many birds. Ground-feeding birds may prefer corn, milo or millet to sunflower seed. Pine siskins, goldfinches and redpolls prefer niger seed (also called finch or thistle seed), which you can offer in feeders designed for this seed. Suet or peanut butter may attract woodpeckers, chickadees, nuthatches and brown creepers. Offer year-round water by adding a bird bath heater. Avoid offering human "table scraps," which may attract rodents or raccoons.
Remember to keep feeders and feeding areas clean by regularly raking up seed hulls and cleaning feeders by scrubbing with soapy water and rinsing in water diluted with a small amount of bleach. Store seed in tight, waterproof containers to prevent mold and to discourage rodents that may be attracted to accessible seed. Once you begin feeding, try to continue through the winter, but don't worry about missing a few days, since feeding birds typically visit other feeding stations besides yours. If you notice sick or diseased birds, disinfect your feeders and stop feeding for 10-14 days to avoid further spreading diseases.
If you're just beginning to learn to identify birds at your feeders, Game, Fish and Parks offers a free publication that can help. Request "Backyard Birds of South Dakota" at this website: http://gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/critters/birds/default.aspx
Project FeederWatch is a citizen science project led by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The project helps track wintering bird patterns and has provided extremely valuable information about diseases that affect wild birds. To become a FeederWatch citizen scientist, visit this website to join in this winterâ€™s count: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/
Grant Hits A Bullseye In South Dakota
PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks says a $6,000 grant has been awarded to South Dakota for the purchase of archery equipment. The grant is provided by the Easton Foundation and the National Archery in the Schools organization. Equipment is to be used in schools to implement the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) at their location.
"South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks is excited to partner with local schools and the archery industry to provide archery equipment to students in South Dakota," said Jason Kool, NASP coordinator for South Dakota. "NASP provides a great opportunity for our kids to learn a shooting sport in a safe, secure environment."
Schools receiving grant money include Hamlin County, Lower Brule, Central High School and Stevens High School in Rapid City, and Williams Middle School in Sturgis and Whitewood.
To become eligible for the equipment, each school had staff attend rigorous eight-hour safety and proficiency training. South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks provides training free of charge to all interested schools and individuals.
Fire Precautions Needed During Deer SeasonsPIERRE, S.D. - Deer hunting seasons in South Dakota are in full swing during November and the Game, Fish and Parks Department is reminding hunters that fire danger still exists.
Fire danger has been extremely high throughout the summer, and despite some recent moisture and cold temperatures remains so throughout much of the state. With that in mind, hunters are being asked to take precautions to help prevent range fires.
GFP asks hunters to take these basic precautions:
- Equip their vehicles with a large fire extinguisher, shovel and water theyâ€™ll need to fight a fire.
- Extinguish cigarettes with water or dirt or use an ashtray inside their vehicle.
- Limit vehicle traffic to designated roads and trails.
- Never park a vehicle over dry grass.
In addition, hunters can provide an extra safety measure by carrying a cell phone and being alert for possible fires. If smoke or fire is seen, hunters should report the fire location to local law enforcement or call 911 immediately.