Today, I am going to drift away from the real world and speculate on what could be right here in our own South Dakota. We are privileged to live in a very special place. Hopefully you will tolerate my attempt at creativity for one week. In my hometown Wagner Post, Wagner Area Growth director Kelsey Doom pens the column "Community Spotlight." It features a different Wagner area citizen every week. A series of questions are asked of that citizen that include, "If I gave you $100,000 to start a business, what kind of business would you start?"
Finalizing the South Dakota 2017 hunting seasons appeared to be the primary agenda of the June 8 Department of Game, Fish, and Parks commissioners meeting in Oacoma. A wealth of relevant data was made available, and with this brief overview of the coming seasons, we'll have a good understanding of what's going on currently with South Dakota deer management.
Two weeks ago I unloaded some of my problems onto you when I lamented the shortcomings connected to my tremor. Fishing is difficult. I can't bait a hook, tie knots or unsnap a swivel. Though I should have kept these things to myself, that column precipitated an act of kindness that reinforced just how good people are.
If there's one thing I've heard over the years more than anything else, it would be the ranting and complaining by my fellow South Dakota sportsmen about the legions of Iowans and Minnesotans who come to our state to fish. It's likened to a migration of blue license plates. The way I see it, there are three things we can do about it: Fight it, Accept it, or Get Even! There aren't as many of us as there are of them, so we'll never see as many South Dakotans head to Iowa or Minnesota to fish as they send to us. But there are other things.
The past week was an eye opener for me as Betsy and I spent it on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. We made the trip with our daughter, Lisa, son-in-law, Rodney, granddaughter, Nichela, and grandson, Sam. Nichela and Sam were on spring break from college. In the past, Betsy and I had spent time on the big island, Hawaii, where we took in the volcanoes, Kauai, perhaps the least developed but most beautiful of the islands, and an airport layover on Oahu to visit Pearl Harbor.
About a month ago, my column dealt with Little Jane, a children's book character who preferred guns, archery equipment and elk hunting to dolls and girl things. I also praised Kim Rhode, an American female shotgunner, who has won medals in the last six Olympic Games. With reference to that column, I received a great email from Dennis Groen of Scotland. Dennis told me that I was talking about Savannah Shrake, his granddaughter from Pierre. Indeed I was!
Wolves have decimated some of Wyoming's and Idaho's elk herds. Have coyotes done the same thing, at least in some areas, to our deer? Let's imagine that we are sitting around a campfire. We're talking deer, and someone asks what we think about deer depredation as it relates to coyotes. Do the coyotes, at least the ones in South Dakota, affect the size of our state's deer herd?
I've been busy hunting, but I haven't squeezed a trigger. In a past column, I mentioned that I failed to draw my West River deer tag. I checked the list of leftovers, and successfully reapplied for Unit 30-A19, double antlerless tags in Gregory County. I spent almost all of Nov. 5, opening day, in a well-placed stand, a veritable hot spot, without a doe coming by. It reached 80 degrees that day, and I don't believe that I've ever hunted deer in that much heat. With the exception of a few young bucks, they just weren't moving. It was a good lesson.
It is my opinion that we really have no choice when it comes to presidential candidates in next Tuesday's election. It comes down to Supreme Court nominations, our Constitution and our national defense. President Obama has run roughshod over our Constitution, and Hillary Clinton will continue to do the same. Yes, Donald Trump can be offensive and obnoxious, but he will not sell out the United States.
Editor's note: This column first appeared in the Yankton Press & Dakotan on Nov. 28, 1987. It was rerun in the P&D as "The Best of Wiltz" on February 1, 1992. I had this dream the other night that left me terror stricken until I woke up and found Betsy beside me. Often something happens during the day that inspires me to dream at night. This was no