Big Sioux Recreation Area Re-Opens

PIERRE — South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) officials have re-opened Big Sioux Recreation Area in Brandon, S.D. The flooded Big Sioux River forced the closure of the park in March.

Park users are asked to use caution, as some areas of the park are still affected by flood waters.

A complete list of GFP’s flood-related closures can be found at https://gfp.sd.gov/pages/2019-flood-closures/.

Several S.D. Trapping Seasons Finalized

With no changes proposed for several trapping seasons, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Mustkrat hunting dates – which only applies to landowners, lessees and state, county or township highway officials:

• April 1 – Aug 31, statewide

Mink, weasel and muskrat trapping season:

• Nov. 2, 2019 – Jan. 31, 2020: All areas of the state, east of the Missouri River and portions of the Black Hills Fire Protection District south of Interstate 90 and west of SD Highway 79.

• Year-round: All areas of the state, west of the Missouri River, except that portion of the Black Hills Fire Protection District south of Interstate 90 and west SD Highway 79.

• Trapping on or in muskrat houses is prohibited from March 16 to the end of the season.

Skunk, opossum, jackrabbit. fox, raccoon and badger season:

• This season is year-round and statewide.

Beaver trapping and hunting season:

• Year-round: Counties west of the Missouri River, except that portion of the Black Hills Fire Protection District south of Interstate 90 and west SD Highway 79.

• November 2, 2019 – April 30, 2020: All counties east of the Missouri River and portions of the Black Hills Fire Protection District south of Interstate 90 and west of SD Highway 79 that are not owned by the US Forest Service.

• January 1 – March 31, 2020: US Forest Service land in the Black Hills Fire Protection District south of Interstate 90 and west of SD Highway 79.

Custer SP Antlerless Elk Season Closes; Bison Harvests Set

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission closed the antlerless elk hunting season in Custer State Park (CSP) with a current elk population estimate of approximately 552 elk.

The population objective for CSP elk is 800 wintering elk and will generally range from 700-900 depending on habitat conditions.

The antlerless season opened in 2017 to allow the department to learn more about several areas of the CSP elk herd, including: Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), concerns of over-utilizing forage, and to evaluate future management actions. With the recent dispersal of elk from this antlerless unit and no identified management response actions if CWD reaches a certain threshold, there is no need for this season.

The Commission also set the Custer State Park Trophy Bison Bull Harvest for eight trophy bulls. The season is open for 62 days, beginning the third Monday in November. The non-trophy bison season was also set at 15 animals. That season is open for 40 days, beginning the first Monday in October.

Mushroom Hunting Class To Teach The Basics

LINCOLN, Neb. — Discover a new outdoor activity to enjoy this spring by attending a mushroom hunting class April 13 at the Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center.

Instructed by local mushroom expert Tersh Kepler, this beginner’s class covers the basics of mushroom hunting, identification and the common mushrooms of Nebraska. Seats are limited and fill quickly.

The Outdoor Education Center is located at 4703 N. 44th Street in Lincoln.

Eugene T. Mahoney SP Activity Center To Close Temporarily

LINCOLN, Neb. – The Activity Center at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP), which houses the park’s indoor playground, will be closed April 22-26 as new carpet is installed. The playground will reopen April 27.

The adjacent rock climbing facility, Venture Climb, will remain open.

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