GFP Hunt for Habit offers chance at hunt of a lifetime

GFP Hunt for Habit offers chance at hunt of a lifetime

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Outdoor enthusiasts looking for the hunt of a lifetime will have another opportunity in South Dakota this year. The Hunt for Habitat “super tag” raffle is now open for 2020!

The raffle offers two prize options for 2020 with four total prize packages available.

1. Three winners will receive one “any elk,” one “any deer” and one “any antelope” license. The winners of these packages will select either the 2020 or 2021 seasons to use each tag. These licenses are valid for any open season and location. Winners can also choose to hunt with any weapon that is legal and valid for the time period and location. No more than one of the winners may be a nonresident.

2. One winner will receive a Custer State Park Trophy Buffalo License. This license is good for either 2020 or 2021. This package is also open to nonresidents.

Tickets are $10 for South Dakota residents and $20 for nonresidents. There is no limit to the number of tickets that can be purchased by an individual.

The deadline to enter the Hunt for Habitat raffle is July 15. Winners will be drawn immediately following the raffle closing date.

The money raised by the Hunt for Habitat raffle will directly support habitat programs on both public and private lands in South Dakota. For more information and to enter the Hunt for Habitat Raffle, visit: gfp.sd.gov/hunt-for-habitat.

Summer Camping Reservations Open Soon in State Parks

This weekend, campers can begin making reservations for summer stays in South Dakota State Parks.

Feb. 15 is the first day to make camping reservations for a Friday, May 15, arrival — the State Parks’ Open House Weekend and traditional kick-off to the summer season.

Reservations for other summer dates will follow in succession, becoming available 90 days before arrival. Over 40 parks offer camping reservations on the 90-day schedule. The exception is Custer State Park, which offers reservations one year before arrival.

State Parks Director Scott Simpson encourages campers to keep an eye on the calendar and make reservations for camping trips as soon as possible. Memorial Day reservations open Feb. 22 for a Friday arrival, and campers can reserve for Father’s Day weekend starting March 21.

“The sooner you can plan your camping trip, the better,” said Simpson. “Campsites at popular parks go quickly.”

Campsites become available at 7 a.m. Central Time on the first day of the 90-day window, but reservations for available campsites can be made until the day you arrive. The 90-day window calendar can be found online at campsd.com.

Reservations can be made 24 hours a day, both online and by calling 1.800.710.2267. Taxes and reservation fees may apply.

Chronic wasting disease detected in new areas

 Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was recently confirmed in the counties of Butte, Corson and Haakon in western South Dakota, from samples provided by hunters. One male white-tail deer from both Butte and Corson counties tested positive, while two male mule deer tested positive from Haakon County.

Twelve counties in South Dakota are now known to be infected with CWD, which includes eight counties added during the fall of 2019.

South Dakota's CWD Endemic Counties include: Bennett, Butte, Corson, Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Jackson, Meade, Lawrence, Pennington and Tripp.

“We’ve learned that CWD is not a disease just restricted to the Black Hills and surrounding area and this definitely creates some challenges moving forward,” said GFP wildlife program administrator Chad Switzer. “As the surveillance efforts from the 2019 hunting seasons come to end, an update will be provided to the GFP Commission in March and a report will be made available to the public on our website,” said Switzer.

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