Custer State Park to hold annual bison auction

The 2017 Custer State Park Fall Classic Bison Auction will be held on Saturday at the park’s visitor center where approximately 272 head will be available for sale.

This year’s offerings include 26 mature bred cows, 41 mature open cows, four two-year-old bred heifers, 14 open two-year-old heifers, nine yearling heifers, 10 heifer calves, 90 bull calves, 48 yearling bulls, three two-year-old grade bulls, 17 two-year-old breeding bulls and 10 three- to five-year-old mature bulls. Burros for sale include four mature jennys, four 10-month-old jacks and four 10-month-old jennys.

The video and online auction will begin at 10 a.m. at the Custer State Park visitor center, located 15 miles east of Custer on Highway 16A, near the junction of the Wildlife Loop Road and Highway 16A.

“This is the second year that we will be doing a video auction for the annual sale,” said Chad Kremer, buffalo herd manager, in a release. “It speeds up the auction and reduces stress on the animals, as we can just sort and load them instead of running them through the ring.”

The internet auction, going on its sixth year, has helped reach buyers that wouldn’t have been reached in the past.

For the past 52 years, the park has made its surplus bison available for sale to the private sector. A significant amount of park revenue comes from the bison sale and goes toward continued operations of the state park system.

For additional information about the upcoming bison auction, contact Custer State Park at 605.255.4515 or email questions to

Altman named William Janklow law enforcement officer of the year

Conservation Officer Dan Altman was named the 2017 William Janklow Law Enforcement Officer of the Year during the Law Enforcement Appreciation and Children’s Charities Dinner in Sioux Falls Nov. 8.

Altman began his career as a Conservation Officer for South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) in 2009 and has served the Presho and Yankton communities.

In his young career, Altman was a 2010 recipient of the South Dakota Conservation Officers Association (SDCOA) Patton Torch Award, the 2015 recipient of the Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year Award, the 2016 SDCOA Officer of the Year, the recipient of the 2016 National Wild Turkey Federation Officer of the Year for South Dakota, and the 2017 South Dakota recipient of the Officer of the Year Award from the Association of Midwest Fish and Game Law Enforcement Officers.

"Dan has shown superior leadership, initiative and professional dedication in protecting the wildlife and fisheries resources in the State of South Dakota," said GFP law enforcement administrator Andy Alban. "He is precise in his investigative tactics and leaves no stone unturned."

The William Janklow Law Enforcement Officer of the Year began in 2012. The winner, selected by the Janklow family, must demonstrate outstanding service in law enforcement.

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GFP Commission denies Cattail-Kettle Lake petition

Earlier this month, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission denied a petition submitted by Cattail Land and Cattle Company, LLC, to restrict recreational use on portions of Cattail-Kettle Lake in Marshall county.

A contested case hearing was conducted on the morning of Nov. 2 in Brookings where the GFP Commission heard testimony from the petitioner requesting to close a 100 yard buffer zone surrounding their property from all recreational use.

The GFP Commission also heard testimony from other interested parties who were both in favor and opposed to the petition. They then considered evidence as it related to privacy, safety and substantially affected financial interests of the petitioner in addition to historical use of the waters, the water quality, water quantity and the public’s interest in recreational use of the water.

In failing to meet the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, the GFP Commission unanimously approved a resolution denying the petition. As a result, all portions of Cattail-Kettle Lake remain open to public recreational users.


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