central Regional Advisory panel
september 16, 2013
Krull Lodge/Ranch, Harrold, SD
|Panel Members Present||GF&P Staff Present|
|Jack Broome - Burke||Cliff Stone|
|Keith Krull - Harrold||Ryan Haffele|
|Herb McClellan - Mobridge||Dave Ode|
|Lyle Perman - Lowry||Travis Runia|
|Leonard Spomer - Pierre||Sandi Knippling|
|Kevin Swensen - Chamberlain|
|Bill Waeckerle - Akaska|
Cliff Stone opened the meeting at 10:00 am, welcomed the panel members to the Krull Lodge/Ranch, introduced the panel member quests and Department Staff, and reviewed the agenda.
Keith Krull: Keith welcomed everyone to their lodge/ranch. GFP has been a big part of the restoration of this property from weedy crop ground back to native prairie/grasslands that we will tour later. We do have some pheasants but is kind of spotty and is down, but better off than some areas. Deer and antelope appear to have had a good year.Â Overall, it's turned out to be pretty fair year after the way the spring started out.
Kevin Swenson: Kevin introduced himself and noted that he is in the boat dealer business. Hasn't checked area for pheasants but on ride up did see four grouse! July was a great month for moisture in the Chamberlain area, early summer was cool, but recently has been pretty hot. Fishing on Lake Francis Case has been tough recently.
Bill Waeckerle: Spring moisture has helped the Akaska area a lot, good hay crop but short of moisture recently. Pheasant numbers are down and brood size appears small. Seeing some deer, whitetail numbers appear average while mule deer numbers seem down. Fishing has picked up and some anglers fishing in the Moreau River coming in with limits.
Leonard Spomer: Leonard introduced himself, noting that he is involved in many outdoor activities and local wildlife groups. Pheasants haven't seen many in the Pierre area, but there is a lot of cover this year. Population is down. Need rain desperately right now. Haven't heard much about hunting but fishing is beginning to pick up, Lake Sharpe has been good on the north end.
Jack Broome: It's been a good year for fishing in his area, although it has slowed up recently, but it's that time of the year. More people fishing white bass. There is an awful lot of bait fish out there this time of year. Talked with an individual who has eight cameras, out for deer, and he reports seeing lots of deer with lots of twins. Didn't see any pheasants on the drive up this morning but friends say they are seeing more pheasants in the last month or so. Dove hunting is good. Moisture is good and everything looks good.
Herb McClellan: Fishing has been up and down in the Mobridge area, no smelt run this spring. Generally fish are running on the small size. Some reports of EHD in deer our west and Conservation Officers have fielded a fair number of dead deer reports. Some suggestion on offering deer hunters refunds on their tags prior to the opening of the season. Not many grouse around, peasants down 65% but Herb feels the young ones were late, has seen more pheasants in the Onida area.
Lyle Perman: Similar comments as other panel members. Recent rain in his area was really welcomed and has made a big difference. Also noted that pheasant numbers are down, but is it too wet or dry? Lyle's observation is that lack of habitat is the major contributor, while weather also plays a role.
Danielle McGee-Campbell: Introduced herself as an Onida area farmer/rancher. Indicates that she loves to hunt and fish and that one of her main goals is to get women/children interested in it. She noted that the pheasant population, in her area, is hit and miss. Recently, they are seeing a fair number of broods, but the chicks are young and they have been seeing more birds since cutting their millet. There seems to be a fair number of deer around their area, especially mule deer.
Fred Hubbard: Fred is a retired veterinarian from Miller and is an avid hunter and fisherman. Pheasant numbers seem down in the Miller area, but there are some late hatched birds around. Decreasing habitat is an issue. Deer population is in good shape, no reports of EHD last year. Lots of vehicle deer collisions in his area. Fishing is getting better, Lake Louise saw a lot of fishing use but there are still lots of bluegills there. Louise has a fair number of northern pike in it that are eating the smaller fish, bass numbers also appear good in the lake. Fred has friends who say that grouse numbers look better than they have in several years. Grouse brood survival looks good.
Cliff Stone provided some follow up on the EHD comments. Last year the most serious EHD outbreak was in south central and southeastern part of the state. This year we have started getting reports from Perkins, western Dewey, and Stanley Counties. Only a few scatter reports so far from the southern counties in Region 2. The virus that transmits EHD is carried by a small biting midge and the disease tends to show up in falls that are warm and dry. EHD causes the deer to have a high fever, so they typically are found around water or shade looking to cool off.
Pasture Walk - Dave Ode/Keith Krull
The panel did a field trip out to a site on the Krull Ranch where the Krull's utilized some GFP programs to renovate former cropland back to native grasslands. The site allowed the panel to view/contrast the renovated site with adjoining undisturbed native prairie. Dave and Keith pointed out/identified various plant species that are indicators of healthy grasslands. They also discussed and answer questions from the panel on the role that various plant species play in grassland heath.
Miscellaneous Discussion Topics/Updates:
Fall Deer Hunting Campaign: The Wildlife Division is again planning a fall media campaign to address/draw attention to the concerns over "road hunting" for deer. The theme of the campaign will be "Get out of the truck". Plans are for television spots, print ads and billboards. One of the panel members noted that he has more vandalism issues during the deer season than the pheasant season.
Have Fun, Be Safe DVD:Â The panel watched the new DVD produced by our HuntSafe progam on safe pheasant hunting in South Dakota. The panel was impressed with the DVD and several panel members requested and were provided copies.
SD Pheasant Brood Route Survey - Travis Runia
Travis Runia, SD GFP Small Game Biologist provided the panel an overview of the 2013 pheasant brood route survey. He discussed the survey's history, the survey technique, 2013 results, and contrasted the 2013 results with previous year's surveys. Travis also provided the panel with data on the continued loss of CRP acres in SD, weather data and data specific to the 2012 survey, and thoughts on how the extreme heat and drought after the 2012 survey period most likely played a role in the number of birds available once the 2012 pheasant season actually started.
Effectiveness of RR Alfalfa - Ryan Haffele
Ryan Haffele, SD GFP Resource Biologist presented an overview of a upcoming research project to evaluate the effectiveness of Round-Up Ready alfalfa as a tool to quickly establish upland game bird nesting habitat on Department lands that are being renovated to native grasslands or dense nesting cover. Current management practices call for the renovated parcels to be farmed (corn/soybeans) for a number of years prior to the grass plantings to re-invigorate soil health. During the cropping period the parcel has no nesting value. Panel member discussion/questions included use of Round-up Ready products, consideration of cover crops (brassicas), timeframe of the study and study partners.
Review of GFP Guidance Document - Cliff Stone
Cliff provided the panel members copies of the recently completed GFP Wildlife Division's strategic guidance document (Perpetuating the Outdoor Heritage of SD) and provided brief PowerPoint presentation that reviewed the sections in the document dealing with the Division's Mission Statement, Core Values, and Vision. Cliff asked the panel members to review the document and provide him with any thoughts/feedback.
Cliff also provided copies of the DVD - "Opportunity For All", that provides a discussion on the North American Model of Wildlife Management to panel members who did not have one.
Next meeting - discussion was to schedule the next meeting in early to mid-January, sometime after the early part of the legislative session starts. Cliff thanked Keith for hosting the group .
3:00 PM - Wrap up