Russ Olson buck

Olson and his buck

Russ Olson was named the newest member of the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Commission in late December, then promptly went hunting and took this big buck.

Olson, of Wentworth, is chief executive officer for Heartland Consumers Power District at Madison. “It must have been my lucky day,” he said.

After the appointment, he filled his archery deer tag Tuesday evening, taking a big buck that carried five points on the right antler and four on the left.

Olson said he didn’t actively seek the seat on the commission. He said two things might have led to the governor’s staff reaching out to him. He is now one of three former lawmakers on the commission.

Olson, will be the youngest member of the commission by about a generation.

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He served two years in the state House of Representatives and five years in the state Senate, where he rose to Republican majority leader.

He resigned from the Senate on Sept. 30, 2013, to accept the promotion to Heartland’s CEO.

The other former legislators previously appointed to the commission are Barry Jensen of White River and Paul Dennert of Columbia. They ranch and farm.

Olson said it’s too early to say for certain whether he has a specific goal he’d like to accomplish on the commission but wants people to know he plans to represent the interests of all South Dakota resident outdoors persons.

“I want to see more young people engaged in the shooting sports. I feel that we need that next generation of hunters to get involved in habitat and conservation,” Olson said.

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