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august 2012 Commission Meeting

August 2-3, 2012
Milbank

Rules Proposed at this Meeting

summary

Division of Administration

Action Items
Approve minutes of the July 9, 2012, meeting.
Additional Commissioner Salary Days
License List Requests

  • Rock Communications on behalf of Scheels for names of 10,000 resident archery license holders to be used for a direct mail marketing piece; approved
  • Rock Communications on behalf of Scheels for names of 10,000 resident deer license holders to be used for a direct mail marketing piece; approved
  • Rock Communications on behalf of Scheels for names of 10,000 resident upland game license holders to be used for a direct mail marketing piece; approved
  • Rock Communications on behalf of Scheels for names of 10,000 resident waterfowl license holders to be used for a direct mail marketing piece; approved
  • Dakota Country Magazine, Bismarck ND, for a list of 1,000 fishing license holders, 500 from Glacial Lakes area  and 500 from Nebraska border area; direct mail to promote subscriptions for magazine; approved
  • Maroney Commons, Howard SD, for list of pheasant hunters to promote motel, restaurant and bar; approved
  • Dakota Plains Taxidermy – Dale Houser, Kimball SD – for list of Archery Any Elk and Rifle Any Elk license holders to send brochure promoting business; approved
  • South Dakota Youth Hunting Adventures, Rapid City SD, for list of 10,000 resident small game license holders to send information on purchasing a raffle ticket as part of group fund raising; non-profit group seeking exception to fee for this list; approved
  • National Wild Turkey Federation for list of 2012 Spring Turkey license holders to announce local fund raising banquet; seeking exception to fee; approved
  • Country Meats & Specialties, Harrisburg SD, for list of specified antelope, elk, deer and archery license holders to mail a flyer and market meat processing business; approved

Information items
License Sales Report

  • General hunting and fishing license sales 17% above same time in 2011
  • Resident Annual Fishing 23% above; Resident Combination 11% above; Nonresident Annual Fishing 45% above

Draft 2012 Schedule

  • Jan: Fort Pierre; Feb: No Meeting; Mar: Fort Pierre; Apr: Huron; May: CSP; Jun: Yankton; Jul: Pierre; Aug: Watertown; Sep: No Meeting; Oct: Spearfish; Nov: Pierre; Dec: Pierre

Open Forum

  • Greg Hamman spoke about the increase in mountain lion population and encouraged the Commission to consider allowing hunters outside of the Black Hills to take mountain lions at any time during the year; feels they do not have a place in more populous areas
  • Bob Lee requested that the Commission consider eliminating late season antlerless deer hunts when the population of deer is low; too late for this year but consider for next year

 

Public Hearing at 2 PM

Finalizations
Duck Hunting Seasons

  • Recommended change from proposal to reject the increase in the redhead limit from 2 to 3; and increase the scaup limit from 2 to 6; these changes are based on the final guidelines provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Commission amended original proposal with change in redhead limit and raising scaup limit from 2 to 4
  • Season finalized as amended

Goose Hunting Seasons

  • Recommended change from proposal to reject the increase in Canada goose daily limit from 3 to 5 and possession limit from 6 to 10; the US Fish and Wildlife Service did not make this change part of their federal guidelines for waterfowl seasons
  • Commission amended the original proposal with these staff recommended changes
  • Season finalized as amended

Muzzleloading Restrictions

  • No recommended changes from proposal
  • Discussion on nature of the Muzzleloader season on basis as a primitive weapons season; advancements in technology that are already allowed for the season have negated its basis as a primitive hunting season; it is more an additional hunting opportunity for muzzleloader firearms
  • Commission finalized the rule changes on a 7-1 vote

Hunting Accompaniment

  • No recommended changes from proposal
  • Commission finalized the rule changes on a 7-1 vote

Wildlife Rehabilitators Permit and Rules

  • Recommended changes from proposal in wording of 41:09:18:01 to say, “It is unlawful to possess any wildlife species…” rather than “It is unlawful to hunt or possess any wildlife species…”; and to include language that identifies the exact version of the Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation (4th Edition, 2012) within the inspection of facilities rule
  • Ultimate goal is to have a limited number of rehabilitators scattered throughout the state to meet public expectation for rehabilitation of allowed wildlife species; migratory birds are already covered under a federal system
  • Commission approved amendments recommended by staff
  • Discussion on legality of kids who pick up injured wildlife and their ability to legally take care of them
  • Deferred decision to next day to consider some alternatives
  • Staff provided language to address Commission concerns and define rehabilitator as: an individual legally permitted to accept animals from another person to carry out the act of rehabilitation
  • Commission made a substitute motion to include this language
  • Commission then finalized the proposal as amended

Closure of Waters to Taking of Bait

  • No recommended changes from proposal
  • Commission finalized rule that had been in place as a temporary emergency rule

Trapping Regulations

  • Recommended changes regarding muskrat colony traps are to clarify the dimensions for round and square muskrat colony traps as the current rule only refers to round traps; recommended change regarding body grip trap restrictions is to address growing concerns from upland bird hunters that utilize hunting dogs on public lands and public road rights-of-way statewide, no person may set or operate a body grip trap when used in conjunction with any bait, lure, or scent with a jaw spread greater than 6-3/4 inches unless; (a) the trap is recessed in a plastic, wood, or metal cubby a minimum of 7 inches from the front edge of the cubby to the trigger of the trap; or (b) the trap is set below the waters edge of a stream, river, or other body of water.
  •  
  • Have had two reported cases in the past several months on dogs killed in these traps and this was the primary catalyst for these changes; changes are to public lands and public road rights-of-way
  • Commission amended rules and finalized as amended

Hunting Season Proposals
Mountain Lion Hunting Season

  • Staff provided background information for Commission, including history of mountain lions in state and mountain lion hunting seasons
  • Hunter success last 4 years ranged around 2%; increase in harvest per day as number of licensed hunters and hunter effort has increased; went from 2300-3400 license hunters; average days spent hunting 7.1; harvest per total man-days hunting actually decreased slightly from 2011 to 2012
  • Research has shown obtain a decreasing lion population of 8 lion per 1,000 km by human action and for the past three years we have been above that threshold
  • % adult female take in harvest at or above 25% will decrease lion population and we have been above that
  • Harvest rate on radio-collared animals have seen upward trend over the past three years; most populations can sustain 20-30% depending on sex and age of lions removed; harvest rate 31% in 2012 with a high adult female harvest
  • Population estimates (excluding kittens) using survival and harvest model estimate around 211 on Jan. 1, 2012; using mark-recapture method come up with an estimate of 200
  • Total estimate including kittens involves making assumptions on what population will do; given sex and age of population come up with an estimate of 100 kittens; 72% female survival last year and 21% male survival
  • With staff recommendation will be at total population of 180 by Jan. 2014
  • Recommended changes form 2011 are: Increase the total mountain lion harvest limit from 70 to 100 and the female harvest limit from 50 to 70; Change the season start date from January 1 to December 26; Any properly licensed hunter (both landowners and non-landowners) may hunt mountain lions outside of the Black Hills Fire Protection District from January 1 to December 31; Custer State Park is closed to mountain lion hunting except during established hunting intervals for 162 mountain lion licensees who possess a valid mountain lion license and a temporary access permit issued free of cost. This structure includes five (5) hunting intervals (14-16 days in length) with each having 30 access permits (no dog hunting allowed) and three (3) intervals (7 days in length) with each having 4 access permits (dog hunting allowed). The temporary access permits may be issued by a random drawing. See attached calendar for length and rotation of hunting intervals; Make an allowance for the use of dogs during specified hunting intervals in Custer State Park.
  • Season dates would be Dec. 26 – March 31
  • Currently tracking over 40 lions; collared total of 352 over the past several years; working on research on lion and prey selection; SDSU study on ewe mortality had 4 lost to predation and for lambs 24% pneumonia die-off and 21% from lions; 80% of lion feeding sites were deer and about 7% for elk; CSP elk project lost 16 calves with 12 due to lions; Unit 2 lost 8 calves with 4 due to lions
  • Recommendation includes 5 extra days of hunting in December to take advantage of holiday season
  • Commission proposed the season as recommended by staff
Division of Parks and Recreation

Action item
Angostura Concession Contract

  • Angostura Resort Management has operated this business since 1991, and has operated under 1-year lease extensions that expire Dec. 31, 2012
  • New concession contract would be a 10-year term
  • New contract prospectus is being developed with intent to bring a new concession agreement to the Commission for consideration in December
  • Commission approved moving forward with prospectus

Information items
Angostura Private Trailer Sewer Project

  • Proceeding with survey of trailer owners and communicating with them as move forward with this project; still have good support

2013 Fees Review

  • Most of the major park user fees have been in place since 2009 when, among others, the annual entrance fee was raised from $23 to $28
  • Possible fees for consideration for increase include park entrance licenses and group lodge fees

July Visitation and Revenue Report

  • Revenue is up 16.6% over same time in 2011, and visitation up 16.1%
Division of Wildlife

Action item
Proposal Bighorn Sheep Auction Tag

  • Staff provided background on bighorn sheep survey
  • Concept came from recommendation from hunters who are interested in providing more resources for the management of bighorns; to gauge acceptance of an auction license for a sheep hunt to be used as a fund raiser, a survey was sent to bighorn sheet applicants; over 93% had e-mail address so did an online survey; approximately 55% response rate with 2400 respondents (5,000 total applicants); 70% felt opportunity to hunt bighorn sheep in SD important to very important; agreed that groups should work together to manage bighorn sheep; agreed that habitat a key to increasing habitat; support moving bighorn from other states into SD disease-free areas to expand population; agreed that additional funds are needed; support of having one auction tag as part of fund-raising efforts produced more of a split about 53% support, 36% oppose to strongly oppose
  • Request is to establish a process to issue 1 bighorn sheep license through auction
  • Recommended rules: Annual designation of an auction license – The commission will designate one (1) bighorn sheep license to be used as an auction license providing at least three (3) total bighorn sheep licenses are issued. The third license will be the auction license; Criteria for selecting an organization – A nonprofit organization devoted to providing big game management, preservation, propagation, habitat, and research may be considered for receiving the auction license by the commission on annual basis through resolution; Application procedures and deadline – The applicant will submit to the department secretary an application letter detailing the federal nonprofit status, goals and objectives pertaining to big game management, and experience in fundraising and objective accomplishments related to big game management; Selection process - The commission shall review all applications and determine the appropriate entity to auction the bighorn sheep license; Execution and content of agreement – The applicant will notify the department of the successful bidder and the department will issue the license to that individual, the applicant will provide the department a report and proceeds of the auction which will be placed in a Bighorn Sheep Enhancement Account, the applicant will submit to the department the appropriate license fee, and the applicant may deduct a 5% conservation fee from the proceeds of the auction revenue; Auction license would be issued to successful bidder who could be either SD resident or a nonresident
  • Commission proposed the season as recommended

Information items
Lake Francis Case Paddlefish Snagging Season Summary

  • Construction of Missouri River dams disrupted natural reproduction of paddlefish and in almost all cases paddlefish are hatchery raised to increase abundance and develop a sport fishery; started stocking in 1974; from 1990 began stocking Francis Case on annual basis with larger fingerlings
  • Francis Case paddlefish season was developed to provide sport fishing resource for an established and stable population; 400 permits with 350 to SD residents; spring season
  • Majority of fishing takes place in tailrace and at mouth of White River
  • Approximately 3200 angler hours; catch rate avg 1 fish every 4.5 hours; harvest 145 with just under 50% success among license holders who fished; anglers caught and released nearly 600 paddlefish
  • Lower Brule Sioux Tribe had 25 permits and harvested 10 paddlefish
  • Threats to future of paddlefish fishery include Asian carp which eat the same thing as paddlefish; caviar trade restrictions around the globe could impact local fishery; other aquatic nuisance species

Goose Hunter Recruitment Initiative

  • Three objectives: advertise opportunity to goose hunt; advertise ability of hunters in early seasons to donate Canada geese; and encourage participation by those who may have not hunted recently or never hunted
  • Decided to provide an incentive for hunter participation; drawing for Benelli shotgun and decoys; partnered with Sportsmen Against Hunter to fund the incentives
  • Provided information packets to license agents and cooperating meat processors to provide information on goose hunting and this incentive to hunters; sent version of printed document to 49,000 license holders through e-mail format; sent to 11,500 nonresident waterfowl license holders; sent to 24,000 individuals with migratory bird certificates; done news releases and posted to Facebook page; will turn out a mobile phone version for smartphones; map available on GFP website so hunters know where to donate geese; on weekly basis will provide a thunderstorm map for goose hunters to illustrate migration and hunting opportunity

2013 Fees Review

  • Resident license revenue is down from 2009 ($10,242,855); 2010 ($10,001,466); 2011 ($9,671,917); 2012 estimated ($9,516,025); 2013 estimated ($9,538,675)
  • Nonresident license revenue is down from 2009 ($17,173,686); 2010 ($17,306,112); 2011 ($16,946,794); 2012 estimated ($16,840,935); 2013 estimated ($16,693,965)
  • Resident and Nonresident license fees stable since 2005
  • Conservative estimate shows slightly declining revenue picture based on expected reduction in number of some big game licenses available
  • According to CPI there has been an 18% increase in costs over past 8 years; what cost $1 in 2005 now costs $1.18
  • Revenue falling off and cost of living index increasing will lead to discussion of potential fee adjustment