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GFP News - October 1, 2013

GFP Remits Civil Damage Monies to School Districts

PIERRE, S.D. - In addition to the criminal fines already paid by poachers of 3 trophy-class deer, the Game, Fish and Parks Department has collected and remitted civil damages to three school districts in South Dakota.

GFP sent $4,000 to the Canistota school district, $3,000 to Plankinton and $1,000 to Sisseton so far this calendar year.

In severe poaching cases courts may award liquidated civil damages in amounts set by state statute. Civil damages are paid in addition to any criminal penalties mandated by courts and serve as further deterrent to curb poaching activity.

In 2010 the Legislature enacted a provision in state law for the collection of higher liquidated civil damages for the unlawful killing, taking and possession of trophy antelope, deer and elk. The extra amount collected for trophy-class animals is distributed to the respective school district in which the trophy animal was taken.

"The Canistota School District truly appreciates the contribution of the Game, Fish and Parks Department," Larry Nebelsick, superintendent of schools, said. "While it is unfortunate that the money is available because of poaching, using that money to support local school districts is a beneficial outcome."


Hunters Reminded About Prohibitions Against Use of Salt and Bait Stations

PIERRE, S.D. - As South Dakota big game hunters prepare for the opening of hunting seasons, the Game, Fish and Parks Department is taking the opportunity to remind them that the use of salt or salt licks for the purpose of enticing or baiting big game animals is prohibited by state law.

"Most hunters realize that you cannot hunt over salt, but conservation officers often receive questions regarding the use of salt for scouting," Andy Alban, GFP law enforcement program administrator said. "It is also illegal to place salt in an area utilized in conjunction with a camera for the purpose of pre-season scouting and then hunt that same area once the season begins."

Additionally, no one may establish, utilize or maintain a bait station from Aug. 15 to Feb. 1, inclusive, to attract any big game animal, including wild turkey. A bait station is a location where grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, hay, minerals or any other natural food materials, commercial products containing natural food materials or by-products of such materials are placed or maintained as an attractant to big game animals for the purpose of hunting. The use of scents alone does not constitute a bait station.

"If you place any of these materials in a location from Aug. 15 to Feb. 1 you may not hunt that area for big game within the same period," Alban said. "It is important to note that the regulation does not apply to foods that have not been placed or gathered by a person and result from normal environmental conditions or accepted farming, forest management, wildlife food plantings, orchard management or similar land management activities."

Alban noted that studies have shown baiting is not necessary to successfully harvest big game and it is not possible to bait or feed big game without increasing the likelihood for the spread of diseases and parasites.

"Many commercial products are marketed and sold at retail sporting goods outlets that contain salt or other prohibited bait station ingredients," Alban said. "Hunters should be aware that, while these products may be sold, they may be illegal for the purposes of big game hunting."

Alban encouraged those with questions to contact their local conservation officer.

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