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december 2013 Commission Meeting

December 5, 2013
Huron, SD

Information
Rules Proposed at this Meeting

summary

Division of Administration Audio

Action items
Approve minutes of the November 2013 meeting: http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/archive/2013/november/minutes.pdf

Additional Commissioner Salary Days

License List Requests

  • South Dakota Ag Unity for a list of 2013 Resident Fishing License holders to educate the public about flooded private lands and the legislation that will affect it; seeking exception to full fee; approved
  • South Dakota Wildlife Federation for list of 2013 Resident Black Hills Elk, West River Deer, Antelope and East River Deer license holders; total 35,000 names; send information to recruitment new members and sell gun tickets; seeking exception to full fee; approved

Information item
License Sales Report

  • Very close to end of license year on Dec. 14 and will have that final report next month
  • Through Nov. 25 sales are 5.7% behind same time in 2012
  • Nonresident Small Game down 19.6% with sales at 69,582
  • Resident Small Game down 25.5% with sales at 20,278

Open Forum Audio

  • Lee Petersen from Huron area; works hard with GFP and is an avid hunter; doesn't understand rules unarmed retrieval applying to small game but not to big game hunting; had incident where shot a buck and ran onto adjoining land and that landowner told him he could not retrieve it; there is an issue of property rights that enters into the issue and legislature has set the difference in state law
  • Matt Rippentrop from Oelrichs; a passionate bighorn sheep advocate and leader in the effort to get the bighorn sheep auction; thanked Commission for that opportunity; money has not been spent and that is as planned, this is a long-term project that will take many steps to rebuild the herd; their committee has met a couple of times and they have been very productive; the Oglala Sioux Tribe project is on-going and the Midwest Sheep Chapter is assisting with this; encourages a 2014 tag for auction at March 14 banquet; agrees with staff recommended ideas for change in bighorn sheep hunting season

Public Hearing at 2 PM Audio

Finalizations
Spring Turkey Hunting Season

  • Staff recommended one change from proposal: Update a unit number error in original rule 41:03:01:16 to reflect correct deer unit designation that appears in other rule, from Unit 58-B to 58-D
  • Proposed changes from last year: Convert license types in 10 units from 2-tag "any turkey" licenses to 2-tag "male turkey" licenses, convert license type in 8 units from 2-tag "any turkey" licenses to 1-tag "male turkey" licenses, and adjust the number of licenses in 5 units. Overall, these changes and adjustments result in 186 fewer licenses and 2,976 fewer tags for resident hunters. For nonresident hunters these changes result in 15 fewer licenses and 207 fewer tags; Establish Unit PST-58B: Stanley County, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Land and the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area from April 5-30. Allow 4 resident "male turkey" licenses and 1 non-resident "male turkey" license to persons who use a wheelchair for mobility; and wording changes in park rules to reflect new Stanley County unit
  • Archery season dates Apr. 5-May 18
  • Black Hills and Prairie season dates Apr. 12-May 18
  • Split season dates Apr. 12-30 and May 1-18
  • Commission voted to amend the original proposal as recommended by staff
  • Commission then finalized the spring turkey season as amended

Partridge allowed for release

  • Proposal to open up release for shooting preserves to any type of partridge
  • Staff recommended no changes from proposal
  • Commission finalized the rule change as proposed

Hunting Season Proposals
Bighorn Sheep

  • Native, extirpated by early 1900s, but reintroduced in the 1920s
  • Population estimates through harvest, winter ground counts (sex and age ratios to help estimate recruitment); and winter sight surveys
  • 4,033 license applicants in 2013 was a record plus around 1,500 for preference point only
  • Ram harvest usually equals the number of licenses available; average age runs 8-10 years; scores around 170 mark
  • Rapid City herd lamb:ewe ratio 19:100 and ram:ewe ratio 35:100; no young rams in system
  • Elk Mountain herd has a good recruitment of young rams
  • Not many bighorn sheep in Custer State Park
  • Winter survey runs 11 observation points in Elk Mountain area with one sheep observer spending 15 minutes at each point; route is completed four times to get a count as accurate as possible
  • Confidence interval at 95% and showed around 100 bighorn
  • Similar exercise on ewes in Rapid City area came up with 45 ewes
  • Working on securing bighorn transplant for Hell Canyon from Chippewa Cree in Montana; and Deadwood area from Alberta
  • Disease is #1 limiting factor for bighorn sheep all across their range, particularly where there is contact with domestic sheep and goats
  • Have been identifying locations of domestic sheep and goats to pinpoint areas where risk may occur
  • Created pamphlet specific to SD on bighorn sheep herd and risk of disease; recommendations on what ag producers can do to limit that risk; a second document explains a fencing program that GFP has available to help minimize risk of contact between bighorn and domestic sheep
  • Staff recommended changes from 2013 season: Auction license would only be valid in Unit 2; modify the current boundary for Unit 1 to include the geographic area of Rapid Creek bighorn sub-herd population
  • Season dates Sept. 1-Dec. 31
  • Unit 1 includes: Pennington County west of Highway 79, except Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Unit 2 includes: Custer County west of Highway 79, except Custer State Park, Wind Cave National Park, and Jewel Cave National Park
  • Commission approved hunting season proposal as recommended by staff

Division of parks and recreation Audio

Action item
Sheps Canyon Lodge

  • A 2-acre parcel within the property was purchased by the Division of Parks for the lodge facility
  • All lands managed by Parks are exempt from taxes except public shooting areas, so this area is exempt from taxes
  • Resolution gives Parks authority to move forward with Fall River County on exemption status for this property
  • Commission approved the resolution

Information items
Buffalo Auction Results

  • 325 total sold for average price of $1,475.77 and total income $478,150
  • 2012 total was $401,750

CSP Buffalo Hunts

  • Non-Trophy Bull = 104 Resident applicants (6 with preference) for 7 licenses; 151 Nonresident applicants (13 with preference) for 8 licenses (license = $2250)
  • Non-Trophy Cow = 26 Resident applicants (3 with preference) for 7 licenses; 34 Nonresident applicants (1 with preference) for 3 licenses (license = $1750)
  • Non-Trophy Preference Point Only = 224 Residents and 383 Nonresidents
  • Trophy Bull = 29 Resident applicants (1 with preference) for 2 licenses; 125 Nonresidents (16 with preference) for 6 licenses (license = $5000)
  • Trophy Bull Preference Point Only = 119 Residents and 229 Nonresidents
    Draw process is 1. Residents with preference; 2. Nonresidents with preference; 3. All others combined

Division of Wildlife

Action item
Bighorn Sheep Auction Tag

  • Commission was presented with a resolution that would authorize Division of Wildlife to once again offer 1 bighorn sheep license for auction through Midwest Chapter of Wild Sheep Foundation
  • Commission approved the resolution

Information items Audio
2014 Season Setting Schedule

  • Commission finalized dates for 2014
  • Jan. 9-10; Fort Pierre Holiday Inn Express
    Propose: special buck; public lands; public waters; refuges
  • March 6-7; Fort Pierre Holiday Inn Express
    Propose: all hunting season dates; CSP Bison; CSP Elk; Archery Elk, Black Hills Elk, Prairie Elk, Mountain Goat, Grouse, Pheasant, Partridge, Quail, Cottontail, Squirrel, Crow, Crane, Snipe, Dove
  • April 3-4; Oacoma Cedar Shores Resort
    Proposals: nonresident waterfowl, special Canada goose, Tundra swan
  • May 1-2; CSP Sylvan Lake Lodge
    Proposals: CSP Deer, East River Deer, West River Deer, Black Hills Deer, Refuge Deer, Archery Antelope, Archery Deer, Muzzleloader Deer, Youth Deer, Fall Turkey, Furbearers/trapping, August Management Take
  • June 5-6; Yankton Lewis & Clark Resort
    Proposals: Antelope, CSP Antelope, Early Fall Canada Goose, Youth Waterfowl, Sage Grouse
  • July 9; Fort Pierre Holiday Inn Express
    Proposals: Waterfowl, depredation hunts
  • August 7-8; Fort Pierre Holiday Inn Express
    Proposals: Mountain Lion
  • October 2-3; Sturgis Convention Center
    Proposals: Fishing regulations, Bait Fish, Private Fish Hatcheries, Fish Importation, Spring Turkey, CSP Spring Turkey, Spring Light Goose
  • November 6-7; Sioux Falls Ramada
    No proposals
  • December 4-5; Fort Pierre Holiday Inn Express
    Proposal: Bighorn Sheep

Land acquisition update

  • Chain Lakes (Holoubek) Game Production Area addition; 160 acre grassland/wetland tract adjoining the GPA about 12 miles south of Kimball; objective to consolidate holdings through purchase of an in-holding and enhance public hunting opportunities; cost $160,000 funded through Tony Dean Acres grant; Commission action in January and February closing date
  • Property in northwest Moody County; 160 acre tract of restored grassland and wetland; objective wildlife management and public hunting opportunity; property is now being appraised and there is no scheduled action or closing date

Pheasant Habitat Summit update

  • Six weeks of planning leading into the Summit with weekly meetings and much discussion in between
  • Originally had planned on just Crossroads but realized if some high estimates of possible attendants came to pass it would not be large enough so incorporated the adjoining Huron Arena
  • Around 550 people have signed up plus another 50 staff to help maintain the flow of the event
  • 20 small groups will provide ideas on what to do about pheasant habitat; each group has a staff person to facilitate discussion and one to record discussion
  • This will be a significant event for work with resource management and there has already been a good deal of media coverage on the habitat issue

Miscellaneous updates

  • Elk study: Still collecting data, survival rate has not changed since last update and have not lost additional elk calves; calves are bigger now and in large winter herds
  • Steadily seeing elk make movement away from Wind Cave/CSP Elk fence which will help keep them out of Wind Cave
  • Region 1 post-storm reports on dead wildlife, have heard more reports of scattered losses of deer and antelope but so far no reports of large-scale losses; last time big storm antelope moved from Harding County to Fall River, this time they have moved in Meade County where not previously seen
  • Mountain Lions have had fewer removals and vehicle deaths, but will be monitoring population through hunting season and further research to update population; 26 lions are collared and will continue to try and collar more before start of hunting season
  • WMI report follow-up action plan will include monthly updates for Commission starting in January

Next meeting:
January 9-10, 2014
Holiday Inn Express in Fort Pierre