Book documents 100 years of pheasant hunting in South Dakota

 South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) has announced the release of the South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Seasons Data Book. Author Lonnie Shafer, a retired history teacher from York, Neb., has dedicated years of study to pheasants in South Dakota.

“I began the book six years ago,” said Shafer. “I was fortunate to be able to collaborate with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks to get all the data I had collected organized into print. I’m very pleased to see this book available to the public.”

The Data Book outlines 100 years of pheasant hunting seasons with statistics grouped by decades, facts about pheasants and their habitat requirements throughout the year, and a history on pheasant stocking from the early twentieth century.

“This is a great book for anyone interested in pheasants and the history of pheasant hunting in South Dakota,” said Chad Switzer, wildlife program administrator with GFP. “Mr. Shafer devoted years of research to ensure that South Dakota’s pheasant introduction efforts and past 100 years of hunting history were accurately documented.”

Soft-cover copies of the South Dakota Pheasant Hunting Seasons Data Book can be purchased through GFP by calling 605-223-7662. An electronic version can be found at gfp.sd.gov/pheasant under “Related Documents.”

Second Century Working Lands Habitat Program provides opportunity

Earlier this summer, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem introduced a key component of her Second Century Initiative — the Second Century Working Lands Habitat Program. Administered by the Second Century Habitat Fund, the 501(c)3 nonprofit organization is dedicated to enhancing wildlife habitat and getting the next generation involved in outdoor recreation.

The program provides an approach with a working lands focus. Marginal and less productive lands anywhere in South Dakota can be modified to perennial grassland habitat, providing important habitat for an assortment of wildlife species. At the same time, these acres can also provide forage for livestock by allowing those grassland acres to be managed with haying and grazing.

“There are many programs available to help South Dakota farmers and ranchers create wildlife habitat on their land, but few provide an option with the ability to also hay and graze those acres,” said Governor Kristi Noem. “Producers need options with flexibility, and that is why I believe so strongly in the Second Century Working Lands Habitat Program.”

When participants agree to establish a grass and forb mix on cropland acres for 5 years, they will receive free seed and a one-time payment of $150 per acre at the beginning of the contract.

After Aug. 1 of the second growing season, participants can hay or graze the enrolled land annually between Aug. 1 and March 1. Annual haying is limited to either half the enrolled acres every year, or the entire acreage every other year.

To learn more about the program or to enroll, find a habitat adviser near you by visiting habitat.sd.gov/advisors.

Dakota Angler to host Ice Institute

Dakota Angler will hold its annual Ice Institute Friday through Sunday at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Fishing enthusiasts from a 10-state area are expected to attend this show where they will learn valuable information on trends within the industry, as well as pick up some new tips and tricks for their next outing. Nearly 100 vendors will be on hand, including: otter, clam, Eskimo, eagle claw/shappell, vexilar, core ice houses and many more. Hear from experts such as Dave Genz, the Godfather of ice fishing, Brian Brosdahl, Brad Hawthorne, Dennis Kassube and more.

 All ages are welcome. Dakota Angler will give back a percentage of the proceeds going to Cure Kids Cancer.

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