GFP News - April 24, 2013
- Youth Hunter Education Challenge Returns to South Dakota
- GFP Invites Educators to Score a Bullseye with Free Archery Training
- May is Water Safety Month
- Keeton Named Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year
Youth hunter education challenge returns to south dakota
PIERRE, S.D. - Young hunters will get a chance to demonstrate both their shooting abilities and their knowledge of conservation at the 2013 Youth Hunter Education Challenge (YHEC) June 15 in Mitchell.
South Dakota youth who participate in the daylong event will compete in two age divisions and eight separate shooting sports and outdoor skills tests. Events range from firearm and archery proficiency to orienteering and wildlife identification. All rules and regulations will follow National Rifle Association International rules as much as possible.
"YHEC is designed to promote youth participation in the shooting sports, hunting and overall knowledge of the outdoors," said Gary Stadlman, South Dakota YHEC Coordinator. "This is a test to see how we have done as HuntSAFE instructors, and I would encourage any youngsters who have completed their HuntSAFE classes to participate in this year's event."
All registrants must be at least 12 years old, hunter-education certified and have parent or guardian approval. An adult coach or parent/guardian must be present at the event. For registration information, interested individuals should email firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information, phone Gary Stadlman at 605.227.4286. More information is also available at: gfp.sd.gov/outdoor-learning/YHEC.aspx
The 2013 YHREC event is sponsored by the South Dakota Shooting Sports-YHEC Committee and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks.
GFP invites educators to score a bullseye with free archery training
PIERRE, SD - The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks will host teacher training next month at Watertown for the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP).
NASP allows schools in South Dakota to safely incorporate archery into their school curriculum and at no cost to the local school district. Home school parents are also encouraged to attend the training at no charge.
The one-day training is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, at the Watertown Middle School gymnasium. The session begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. CDT.
Upon successful completion of the training, new schools to the program will be eligible to receive free archery equipment from GFP. All participating teachers will be able to enter their students in the 2014 NASP state tournament.
Teachers wishing to introduce archery into their schools must pre-register for training by email at email@example.com or by phone at 605.220.2130. Space is limited so registrations should be made as soon as possible.
may is water safety month
PIERRE, S.D. - Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed an executive proclamation designating May as Water Safety Month in South Dakota.
The proclamation highlights a variety of water safety issues through safe swimming facilities, pools and programs. It also lends itself to the vast water recreation opportunities South Dakota has in its lakes, rivers and streams.
South Dakota's state parks are popular summer destinations for a day trip to some of the finest swimming beaches in the state. Park visitors are reminded that swimming at state parks is at their own risk, and there are no lifeguards on duty. These are multiple-use areas, and swimmers should also be aware of other water users, such as boaters and fishermen.
May is also the unofficial start to boating season in South Dakota.
"Our lakes and rivers are popular destinations for boaters," said Brandon Gust, boating law administrator for the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks. "That can lead to times when our waters may see heavy boat traffic. Whether crowded or not, common sense and courtesy will help ensure a relaxing and fun outing."
Gust recommends a complete boating safety course.
"Like driving a car, there is much to learn when operating a boat or personal watercraft, even for those who have operated a boat for years," he said. "Statistics show that about 89 percent of all boating fatalities involved an operator that had not received any formal boating-safety instruction. Simply put, nationwide boating safety and educational efforts are saving lives."
Life jackets also save lives.
"Seventy percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 84 percent were reported as not wearing a life jacket," Gust said.
Alcohol and boating do not mix, he added.
"Alcohol use is the leading contributor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16 percent of those deaths."
For more information on boating in South Dakota, pick up a free copy of The Handbook of South Dakota Boating Laws and Responsibilities from any local GFP office.
Keeton named brook brown boating officer of the year
PIERRE, S.D. - Joe Keeton, a Game, Fish and Parks Department conservation officer serving the Pennington County area, has been named the 2013 Brook Brown Boating Officer of the Year for South Dakota by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
"When it comes to boating, Keeton is one of the most experienced and knowledgeable conservation officers in the state and has proven to be a huge asset to both the department and the public he serves," said Brandon Gust, GFP boating law administrator.
Keeton serves as a boating enforcement instructor for the department, doing his part to teach other officers what he has learned over the years. He has also spearheaded boating education efforts for the public by introducing one of the state's first classroom-based boating education courses offered at the Outdoor Campus West.
Gust acknowledged that Keeton has always exceled in his boating enforcement efforts and said Keeton makes hundreds of personal contacts each year with boaters to ensure they are meeting safety requirements.
"Maintaining the safe use of our great water resources is an important part of every conservation officer's work, especially during the summer," Gust said. "Keeton's outstanding work well represents the efforts of our officers to preserve public safety."
The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators' award is presented annually to the boating law enforcement officer who has made outstanding contributions to the field of boating law enforcement. The South Dakota award was renamed in honor of the 2012 recipient, conservation officer Brook Brown, who lost his battle with cancer last summer and was well-known for his contributions to the state's boating enforcement and education efforts.
The awards program consists of three levels: state, regional and national. State nominees are selected by the state boating law administrator. State nominees continue to regional competition, where they are reviewed, and one winner per region is selected by the three regional awards committees. Regional award winners are submitted to NASBLA's Awards Committee for review and selection of the recipient of the national award.
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