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Patience, pheasant hunters. Despite a 45 percent drop in an annual pheasant survey earlier this year, Gov. Dennis Daugaard believes his habitat work group has been a difference-maker in South Dakota. In December 2013, Daugaard hosted a Pheasant Habitat Summit due to concerns from the public over declining numbers in the species across the state that resulted in the formation of the habitat work group.
On Saturday morning, I returned to a small pasture and waterhole where my black Labrador made his first bird retrieve some eight years ago. Fighting dense fog and swarms of mosquitos, a three-man hunting group and the now partially gray-faced lab, Bear, got out hunting for early-goose opener over the weekend. It was nothing spectacular, but we made a few shots and enjoyed the outdoors. After a more-successful hunt Sunday morning, an unwanted realization hit me later in the evening. My lab, my best friend, is getting old. I don't like it.
Significant South Dakota drought has shot down the state’s pheasant population. The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department’s annual survey released Friday morning shows a 45 percent decline statewide in the number of pheasants per mile. The results showed a statewide pheasants-per-mile index of 1.68, down from last year’s index of 3.05.
DELMONT — More than two years after a devastating tornado clobbered Delmont's Zion Lutheran Church, there was celebration and dedication. An estimated 420 people were in attendance Saturday in Delmont to see the new, rebuilt place of worship during a two-hour service that included laughter, tears and memories. "The attendance is overwhelming," said Terry Klumb, the chairman of the church's building committee, who has called Zion his church for 20-plus years.
Dan DeBoer and Pheasants Forever are working to build a community-effort initiative to bring more public hunting opportunities to South Dakota. A farm bill biologist, the 23-year-old DeBoer moved to Mitchell for his new job in the beginning of May. He's one of 13 biologists working for Pheasants Forever in South Dakota, and each of them will play a crucial role attempting to expand the state's Walk In Areas acreage, with a long-term goal to boost community businesses.
GREGORY — A 35-year-old man has been charged with attempted second-degree murder for "45 minutes of a nonstop assault" on a woman who feared for her life. Whitney Tyler Covey, of Gregory, was arrested on July 13 on six felony charges after a standoff with law enforcement that eventually ended peacefully, according to court documents. Law enforcement was called to the residence following a report of domestic abuse from the alleged victim, who was later interviewed at a local hospital.
The calls can be described in so many ways. Polite, yet frustrated. Mean. Honestly, some even hurtful. The stacks of letters were similar, with a wide-variety of tones from our readers. We even got a couple group letters in which 50 or so people from a retirement home signed in petition-like form. The message was clear: People wanted to know what was on their television and we were at fault for taking that service away.
STURGIS — A 29-year-old Nevada man has been sent to prison for two years for attempting to pay to have sex with an underage girl in an undercover operation at the 2015 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Michael Z. Preston, 29, of Henderson was sentenced last week in federal court in Rapid City by Chief Judge Jeffrey Viken on the charge of attempted trafficking.
A bill has been drafted that seeks compromise between property owners and outdoor enthusiasts for people who wish to recreate on water over private land in South Dakota. The proposed solution opens access to now-restricted non-meandered lakes and forces landowners to petition to the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department to restrict recreational use of the water.
A state Game, Fish & Parks Department decision to close access to a select group of lakes was an overreaction and caused significant confusion, some state's attorneys agree. South Dakota anglers are now seeking answers and legal advice following GF&P's reaction to a state Supreme Court decision to gate off public boat ramps in an attempt to avoid facilitating access to non-meandered waters. And that's putting a burden on state's attorneys to interpret the ruling.