S.D. Joins Other States In Promoting New Year’s Day Hikes
PIERRE — South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) encourages people to begin 2020 with a focus on healthy lifestyles by participating in the America’s State Parks First Day Hike program on January 1. State parks in all 50 states are participating in providing guided hikes.
Eight South Dakota State Parks are participating. State park staff and volunteers will lead hikers along trails that will showcase the beauty of South Dakota. The distance and difficulty of the trails vary from park to park, but the hikes are designed to benefit the entire family. Hike locations include:
• George S. Mickelson Trail, 1 p.m. MST
• Custer State Park, 1 p.m. MST
• Fort Sisseton Historic State Park, 1 p.m. CST
• Pelican Lake Recreation Area, 1 p.m. CST
• Oakwood Lakes State Park, 1 p.m. CST
• Good Earth State Park, 2 p.m. CST
• Big Sioux Recreation Area, 2 p.m. CST
• Hartford Beach State Park, 4:30 CST
First Day Hikes originated more than 25 years ago at the Blue Hills Reservation – a state park in Massachusetts. It is sponsored by the National Association of State Park Directors, which promotes and advocates for state park systems throughout the nation.
S.D. GFP Now Offering Automatic License Renewal
Hunting and fishing just got easier thanks to a new license buying feature from the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP).
Beginning Dec.15, the GFP will begin offering auto-renewal for small game, annual fishing, combination and furbearer licenses.
Big game licenses and applications, preference points, park entrance licenses, camping reservations and non resident small game licenses will not be eligible for auto-renewal.
License buyers will be able to opt in to the auto-renewal through their license profile page on gfp.sd.gov. It’s as simple as clicking the auto-renew box when you purchase your new license. On Dec. 15 of each year, starting in 2020, your licenses will renew for the following year.
Newell Lake To Close To Public Access
RAPID CITY — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Department is closing a Butte County lake.
“As a result of the high water this spring, the outlet structure at Newell Lake was severely damaged and no longer able to function properly,” said GFP regional fisheries supervisor Jake Davis. “In an effort to create storage for upcoming spring run-off, a draw-down of the lake occurred this fall. However, at the conclusion of the draw-down, additional issues with the integrity of the dam were identified. As a result of this, the decision has been made to continue to drain the lake and close it to the public until further notice.”
For more information, contact Jake Davis at Jake.Davis@state.sd.us.
PATH Has Mentored Hunting Opportunities For Youth Over Christmas Break
LINCOLN, Neb. — Plenty of Christmas break mentored hunting opportunities exist for youth under age 18 through the Passing Along the Heritage (PATH) Program.
Lake Wanahoo, in Saunders County, has seven separate units totaling 1,067 acres available for mentored youth hunting. Many of them are available during the Christmas break.
To locate and reserve a site, and obtain a permission slip, visit OutdoorNebraska.org/PATH using the Internet Explorer browser. A mentor must possess a permission slip at all times of the youth hunt. Mentors may enroll for PATH up to five times annually.
Only youth under age of 18 may hunt on these sites. The mentor is there to help the youth and ensure a safe hunting experience.
Neb. Late Antlerless Deer Season Extended For Residents In Two Areas
LINCOLN, Neb. — Due to deer depredation issues, Nebraska’s late antlerless season has been extended in the Frenchman West and Loup East Season Choice Areas.
This extension, made through Secretarial Order by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, is for residents only. It allows a hunter with a permit to hunt in the designated Season Choice Area from Jan. 1-15, 2020 to be legally allowed to hunt and harvest antlerless deer from Jan. 1-31, 2020.
Permits allowed in the Frenchman West Season Choice Area would include Antlerless Only Season Choice Frenchman West, Antlerless Only Season Choice Frenchman, Landowner, Youth and River Antlerless.
Permits allowed in the Loup East Season Choice Area would include Antlerless Only Season Choice Loup East, Landowner, Youth and River Antlerless.
Only antlerless deer may be taken and bag limits and legal weapons will remain the same as allowed by the permit. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
As designated under Nebraska Revised Statute 37-448, the extended season is open to Nebraska residents only. The season for nonresidents will close Jan. 15, 2020.
As with all deer harvested, they must be checked in and registered. Hunters can do so at OutdoorNebraska.gov/telecheck/ or by calling 844-279-4564.