SD Snowmobile Trails Open Dec. 15

PIERRE — Snowmobile trails across South Dakota open Saturday, Dec. 15.

Officials in the Black Hills say the majority of trails are in poor condition. The Black Hills have not yet received much for snow accumulation but they are hopeful that it will snow in the next coming weeks.

“It’s important that snowmobilers pick up a 2019 trail map this season,” reminds Black Hills trails manager Shannon Percy. “The trail system incurs a number of re-routes each year and having a current map will help avoid trespassing.”

Snowmobile trail maps can be picked up at various businesses along the trails. Riders can request a copy by calling 605.584.3896 or 605.773.2885.

East River trails will see minimal grooming by opening day. Snowmobilers are encouraged to check local conditions before riding.

Trail condition updates are posted to Twitter accounts dedicated to both the Black Hills and the East River trails (www.twitter.com/SDsnowBHills and www.twitter.com/SDsnowEast). New trail cameras were installed at various locations last year. Current images of trail conditions can be found online at gfp.sd.gov/snowmobiling.

A $20 snowmobile motorcycle trail pass is available for residents who use a motorcycle conversion kit. Those permits can be picked up at the Black Hills Trails office in Lead, 605.584.3896, or at Farm Island Recreation Area in Pierre, 605.773.2885.

The snowmobile season runs until March 31.

South Dakota’s Snowmobile Trails Program is entirely self-sufficient. The program receives no general tax fund dollars. The program relies on snowmobile registration fees, fuel tax reimbursement and a 4 percent initial registration tax on the purchase price of snowmobiles.

Multispecies Lottery Permit Applications Accepted Beginning Jan. 2

LINCOLN, Neb. — Applications for multispecies Super Tag and Combo lottery permits will be accepted by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission beginning Jan. 2.

The Super Tag lottery permit will be valid for one elk of either sex, one antelope of either sex, one deer of either sex and two turkeys (only toms and bearded hens may be taken in the spring). One permit will be authorized for residents only, and one permit will be authorized for residents/nonresidents. Persons may apply for the residents-only permit once per year for $25. Persons may apply for the resident/nonresident permit multiple times per year for $10 per application.

The Combo permit will be valid for one antelope of either sex, one deer of either sex and two turkeys (only toms and bearded hens may be taken in the spring). One permit will be authorized for residents only, and one permit will be authorized for nonresidents only. Qualifying persons may apply multiple times per year for $10 per application.

These multispecies lottery permits will be valid in 2019 and 2020 in open seasons with the appropriate weapons. Winners of these permits will require a Habitat Stamp.

Applications will be received beginning at 1 p.m. Central time on Jan. 2. They must be received by Game and Parks by 5 p.m. (11:59 p.m. if applying online) on July 5. Beginning Jan. 2, visit OutdoorNebraska.org to apply.

Neb. Game & Parks Suggests Tips For Safe Ice-Fishing

LINCOLN, Neb. — Stay safe on the ice this winter while enjoying a day of ice-fishing. Follow these tips from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for safety on the ice:

-- The minimum ice thickness for supporting one person is at least 4 inches of clear, solid ice.

-- Drill holes or use an ice chisel or spud bar to check the ice conditions while working your way out to your fishing spot.

-- Wear a life jacket.

-- Commercial or homemade ice picks should be worn around your neck in case you fall through and need something to grip the ice and pull yourself out.

-- Fish with others in case trouble arises.

-- Have a long rope with you so someone can rescue you if you break through the ice.

-- Before heading out, tell a family member or friend where you will be fishing.

-- Avoid alcoholic beverages. These affect your judgment and increase your chances for hypothermia.

Fishing permits can be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org.

Neb. Spring Turkey Permits Available Jan. 14

LINCOLN, Neb. – Spring turkey hunting permits for 2019 will be available from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission beginning Jan. 14.

Nebraska offers the best turkey hunting opportunities in the entire country. Nebraska offers birds in every county of the state. The state also offers plentiful and affordable permits, long seasons, great public access and $8 permits for youth.

Wild turkey hunters in Nebraska enjoy high success rates. In the spring, hunters can purchase as many as three permits, with a bag limit of one turkey per permit.

The spring archery season opens March 25, youth shotgun on April 6, and the regular shotgun on April 13. All spring turkey seasons close May 31.

Visit OutdoorNebraska.org or Game and Parks permitting offices to purchase permits starting Jan. 14. For more information on turkey hunting in Nebraska visit OutdoorNebraska.gov/wildturkey.

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