GFP Commission Proposes Compromised Approach To The Deer Drawing Structure

PIERRE — Last week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission unanimously passed a new deer license allocation proposal that would allow a hunter to apply for two of the six deer seasons in the first draw. These seasons include: East River/Special Buck, West River/Special Buck, Black Hills, Muzzleloader, Refuge and Custer State Park. Special Buck license holders would be limited to one additional application in the first draw as long as that application was not valid for the same season as their Special Buck license.

Nonresident hunters would still be eligible for eight percent of the allocation for West River, Black Hills and Refuge hunting seasons during the first drawing.

Other details include:

• In the second draw, a hunter may not apply for a leftover license if they possess two licenses for any of the East River/Special Buck, West River/Special Buck, Black Hills, Muzzleloader, Refuge and Custer State Park deer hunting units in the first draw. A person with one license for these seasons may submit one application for a season they currently do not possess a license.

• In the third draw, a resident hunter (even if they possess 2 licenses) may submit one application for each season they do not possess a license.

• In the fourth draw, resident hunters may submit up to five applications. Only those nonresidents without a license may apply for a license remaining in pools originally designated (8%) for nonresidents (West River, Black Hills or Refuge).

• After the fourth draw, all remaining resident and nonresident licenses would be pooled and sold first-come, first-served. There will be no limit on the number of licenses that a person can acquire.

In addition, preference points for the combined deer drawings would be free to youth age 15 or younger during the calendar year when the preference point is acquired. A first-time applicant for a combined deer drawing that is or was age 15 or younger in the calendar year of the drawing would receive a bonus preference point for that drawing.

This proposal is now open for public comment until the next Commission meeting on Feb. 28, 2019. This proposal is subject to change upon finalization.

GFP Commission Proposes Turkey Hunting Restriction In Lake Co.

PIERRE — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed a change in the way hunters can legally transport turkey carcasses.

The Commission proposed changes to the transportation requirements for turkeys in an effort to accommodate transporting entire carcasses; making it easier for hunters traveling long distances after a hunt. Those changes eliminate current requirements and allow a hunter to transport desired parts along with the beard, leg and foot bearing the tag to simply accompany those desired parts of the turkey when transported from the place where taken until the bird has arrived at the domicile of the possessor. The proposed change does not require the transportation of the beard if a person is licensed to take “any turkey.”

The Commission also proposed to close Lake County, south of State Highway 34, to archery turkey hunting due to recent and planned transplants of in an effort to establish a wild turkey population in this area.

The GFP Commission will consider adopting these proposals at the Pierre RedRossa Convention Center. To comment in person, the public hearing will be held Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. CST. Individuals can comment online at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or mail them to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501.

Outdoor Education Center Offers Family Fun For All Ages

LINCOLN, Neb. — Families that want to have fun and spend time together can find what they are looking for at the Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center.

Located at 44th and Superior streets in Lincoln, the state-of-the-art archery and firearm range, offers a safe and comfortable environment for recreation and family fun. Whether you are bringing out your own equipment for some recreational shooting or looking to try the shooting sports for the first time, the Outdoor Education Center is for you. With guidance from the center’s expert instructors, kids, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends – anyone age six and up –– can enjoy archery with just a bit of instruction.

In addition, shooters can hone their skills on the firearm range, take shooting classes or compete in friendly competitions. The Center also hosts a number of summer camps and outdoor education programs throughout the year.

The heated and air-conditioned ranges are open for walk-in visitors six days a week; no reservations required. All equipment is available on-site. For visitors interested in expanding their skills, the Outdoor Education Center also offers a wide range of classes for multiple sports and experience levels.

The Outdoor Education Center is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. To learn more, visit OutdoorEdCenter.org.

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