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ROGER WILTZ: Let's give our state's GF&P some help

Our state legislators have been kicking around the nonresident pheasant season. Ten days of hunting presently goes with this $110 license. They are thinking that more of these hunters would return after their initial hunt if it were broken down into five two-day parcels instead of two five day parcels. However, they fear record keeping would be a nuisance.

I'll solve their dilemma. Make the license good for the entire season. It will boost our economy, and it won't hurt the pheasants one bit. What are the advantages? No troublesome record keeping. Increased visits (there will be increased visits) back to our state will boost our motels, restaurants, gas stations, sporting goods sales, bars, Main Street businesses, and even our barber shops! This increased revenue will far outstrip the sale of second licenses.

What about the pheasants? While watching a basketball game the other night, I asked two local farmers how the pheasants were doing. "Too many roosters" was the reply. Let the landowner decide when enough of his pheasants have been taken. I don't like the term "No-Brainer," but I'll use it on this issue. It's almost enough to make me run for the legislature.

While I'm attempting to manage Game, Fish & Parks, I have another recommendation. "One size fits all" doesn't work when it comes to panfish limits. It might be suitable around the Sioux Falls, Brookings, Watertown, Aberdeen areas, but it is a disaster when it comes to our private stock dams and western prairie watersheds. Many of these waters need no restrictions whatsoever. Let's start using some common sense.

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Last week we left Sheriff Charlie Coles, Deputy Sheriff Nels Holmquist, a stranger named Quinn, and an unidentified Geddes man on the second story porch of the Geddes Hotel with their guns pointed across the street at the front door of the Security State Bank of Geddes, S.D. Another unidentified Geddes man was inside the bank with a shotgun. According to Quinn, the bank was to be "hit" that afternoon. Fortunately the robbers never appeared, and the bank closed at its usual time.

Quinn then asked if he might catch a ride back to Lake Andes. He had supposedly left his car at the Rest Haven resort before walking to town. Sheriff Coles offered Quinn a ride. When they reached the Hyland farm four miles west of Lake Andes, Quinn pushed a gun into the sheriff's ribs and ordered him to continue to Lake Andes where they would look for Quinn's two partners. The front seat of any Chevy in 1932 would have left little room between two men. Quinn would have been almost on top of Coles.

After a fruitless search in Lake Andes, Quinn ordered Coles to drive to Bonesteel. They proceeded to Bonesteel where Coles bought some gas. Failing again to find Quinn's partners, they returned to Lake Andes to continue the search. The search failed, and Coles was again ordered to drive to Bonesteel.

When they reached the top of the hill a mile west of the Rosebud Bridge (also known as the Wheeler Bridge), Coles was ordered out of the car. At gunpoint, he surrendered his badge, handcuffs, two pistols- a .38 and a .45, and a .44 cal rifle. Quinn then continued west in Coles' personal automobile, leaving Coles unharmed but embarrassed.

Sheriff Coles had time to think as he made the long trek down the hill, over the bridge, and then on to the Rosebud Trading Post two miles east of the bridge. There he telephoned Deputy Holmquist. After notifying the Yankton police, Holmquist retrieved Coles. On a hunch, they headed to Lynch, NE, but found no sign of Quinn or his alleged partners.

It was later learned that Quinn, who had a police record, drove to Okreek where he robbed a filling station and stole an acetylene torch. From Okreek he went to Carlock and held up another filling station. Quinn then continued to Mission where he changed license plates and paraded as a law enforcement officer.

Though Quinn was eventually apprehended in Denver after abandoning Coles' auto in Ft. Morgan, CO, he never revealed what became of Sheriff Coles' guns. The Model 1911 .45 Colt was especially important to Coles as he carried it at his side while serving in France during WWI.

Sheriff Charlie Coles' headstone in the Sioux Falls Woodlawn Cemetery reveals that he was born on October 6, 1878, and died on November 14, 1960. Coles was a man of incredible energy as he was 52 years old when he pinned on the Charles Mix County sheriff's badge. He held the position for six years before retiring to get in on the ground floor of now legal liquor business. He has two living nieces in Wagner -- Hazel Evers and Evelyn Daily.

If you don't mind a touch of history now and then, let me know.

*See you next week.