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Wiltz: A large wolf surprises Parkston area hunters

Jim Sinkebell poses over a potential wolf after mistakenly shooting it southeast of Parkston on Jan. 9. (Courtesy photo)

By now you have probably heard bits and pieces about the Parkston wolf. During the early daylight hours of Wednesday, Jan. 9, Jim Sinkebeil and Jim More, both Minnesotans, were driving around the rural Parkston area looking for coyotes. Sinkebell is originally a Parkston native, and he still owns land in the Parkston area.

Sinkebell shot what he thought was the biggest coyote he had ever seen near an old farmstead 5 miles east and 3 miles south of Parkston. When he showed his “coyote” to hunting buddy Bryan Maas of Parkston, Maas immediately suspected that they were looking at a wolf. The guys called Hutchinson County conservation officer Brian Humphrey of Menno, as well as state trapper Randy Becker of Mitchell. 

READ GF&P's RESPONSE HERE 

Though wolves are protected in South Dakota, no charges were made as it was a reasonable case of mistaken identity. Officer Humphrey took the carcass in the hope that DNA testing might trace the origin of the wolf. As I learn more about the wolf, I’ll pass it on in future columns. It is interesting that reports of an exceedingly large coyote had been reported in the Dimock area.

This not the first time a large predator has been taken in the Parkston area. You might recall the mountain lion taken by Dave Wagner on his Delmont farm.

The South Dakota deer hunting license struggle between Department of Game, Fish, & Parks and the majority of deer hunters still isn't resolved, as both sides are tenacious. Unlike "The Wall" issue on our southern border, there is a compromise in the works. The compromise involves choosing two alternatives rather than one. I'm guessing that the most popular choices would include West River, East River, Muzzleloader, and Black Hills. I still prefer the present format, but if the new proposal is best for all concerned, I can certainly accept it.

I don't ever want this column to become a senior citizen point of view as I want it to appeal to readers of all ages. However, I will deviate from that viewpoint for a moment and tell you that as I grow older, I become increasingly aware of the fact that the clock is ticking, and that my future hunts and fishing trips are numbered. With this in mind, I've made some New Year's resolutions.

I will continue to watch my weight. Two years ago, I weighed 300 pounds. I've now lost 35 pounds primarily by eating less. I begin the day with a bowl of cereal. We try to eat a main meal between 1 and 2 p.m., and that's it. If and when I occasionally eat supper, I suffer as my digestive system is not accustomed to it. I get around better, and I feel better about myself. Other than eating elk four times a week, there is no special diet, and I will eat a bowl of ice cream in the evening if Betsy offers it.

It has been awhile since I've applied for an antelope tag. I will do that in 2019. I will also spend more time on Lake Oahe as I didn't make it last year. In general, I spend too much time in front of the TV and not enough time on the water. That must change.

I do read a lot, and I just finished Tucker Carlson's "Ship of Fools." I'd call it must reading for anyone who cares about the future of our country. He talks primarily about the disappearance of our middle-class society, and how automation is going to replace so many jobs in the future. If I were a teenager, I'd look hard at the skills taught by Mitchell Tech and our other tech schools.

For certain, I want to fish the great North Country. I'm looking at a top priority bucket list destination in Great Slave Lake with its 30- to 40-pound lake trout. It is pricey, but as I've said before, I've never seen a hearse pull a U-Haul. If that doesn't materialize, I would consider a Reindeer Lake lodge. As a last resort, I would return to northern Saskatchewan's Besnard Lake for a do-it-yourself adventure. From the mid-70's through the 80's, we fished Besnard every year, and I know the lake well. Now most of the guys I went with are gone. I have the boat and pickup, and I'm willing to drive, but I need a partner for these adventures. Let's talk about it.

See you next week.

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