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GFP News - october 21, 2015

South dakota's revised pheasant management plan available for review

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks' (GFP) has completed a revision of the current pheasant management plan and is seeking comments and reviews from the public.

"The revised Pheasant Management Plan refines the approach the Department will take to manage this popular game bird and its associated habitats," stated Tony Leif, director of the Division of Wildlife. "The focus of the plan is habitat and the importance of private landowners and includes many of the recommendations brought forward during the 2013 Governor's Pheasant Habitat Summit and recommendations from the Governor's Pheasant Habitat Work Group."

The draft revision can be found online at:  Written comments on the draft plan can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to Comments must be received by Nov. 22, 2015, and include your full name and city of residence.

11 Pheasant Season Reminder

PIERRE, S.D. - Pheasant season brings family and friends together for exciting and fun memories, and the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department offers some reminders to make sure all hunters have safe and legal outings.

  1. The daily limit for pheasants is three, with a possession limit of 15; however a hunter cannot possess 15 pheasants until after the fifth day of the season.
  2. It is illegal to allow a firearm to protrude from a motor vehicle or conveyance attached to it while on a public highway during the hunting season. This includes hunters riding to and from fields in the back of pickups.
  3. It is illegal to shoot from a motor vehicle, including an ATV while hunting pheasants. This also includes hunters riding in the back of pickups to and from fields.
  4. When riding in an ATV, firearms must be completely enclosed in cases and unloaded. Landowners on their own land and those who have concealed pistol permits and carrying pistols are exempt from this provision.
  5. It is illegal to shoot pheasants and other small game from ATVs, except for properly permitted disabled hunters.
  6. When small-game animals, such as pheasants, are lawfully shot from road rights-of-way and fall onto private land, those animals may be retrieved by unarmed hunters.
  7. Don't forget your license. While hunting, you must be in possession of your hunting license; those 16 and older must also have a valid form of identification for the purpose of verifying identity.
  8. The use of nontoxic shot for small game is required on most public lands, but not all. Non-toxic is not required on U.S. Forest Service National Grasslands, state school lands or on most GFP-managed and leased properties designated at Walk-In Areas when hunting small game, such as pheasants or grouse.
  9. Respect the land, landowners and people in your hunting group.
  10. Safety and enjoyment of friends and the outdoors leads to a successful hunt.
  11. Share your memories with us at #SDintheField.

Road Hunting reminders

PIERRE, S.D- South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) reminds hunters about several road-hunting laws:

  1. No person may hunt a road right-of-way within 660 feet of schools, churches, occupied dwellings and livestock. Neither the person discharging the firearm nor the small-game animal being shot at may be within the 660-foot safety zone.
  2. While hunting a highway or public right-of-way, hunters may shoot small game (except doves) and waterfowl that take flight or originate from a public right-of-way or highway.  The hunter must be within the right-of-way and the game must have taken flight from within or be flying over the right-of-way.  The public right-of-way along a section line or other highway is open for hunting if: the right-of-way has been commonly used by the public for vehicular travel, as demonstrated by the existence of a well-worn trail or an intentional alteration or adaptation has been made to the right-of-way to enhance the natural terrain’s utility for vehicular travel or to permit vehicular travel where it was not possible before. Remember that fences are not always on a right-of-way boundary or sometimes there is no fence. Most section line rights-of-way are 66 feet wide.
  3. People must park or stop their vehicles as far to the right-hand side of the road as possible.
  4. If the person who discharges a firearm is more than 50 yards from the vehicle, the doors on the side of the vehicle nearest to the roadway must be closed, but the engine may remain running.
  5. If the person who discharges the firearm is less than 50 yards from a vehicle, all of the doors of the vehicle must be closed and the engine must be turned off.
  6. It is NOT legal to shoot small game and waterfowl that take flight from a public right-of-way over a Federal Refuge or Indian Tribal Trust Land.  If a state-licensed hunter shoots at a bird across the fence of either of those lands, the hunter may be subject to arrest by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer.
  7. No person may discharge a firearm, muzzleloader, crossbow, or bow and arrow at any big-game animal, except turkeys, from within the right-of-way of an improved public highway. Turkeys may be taken with a shotgun using shotshells or with a bow and arrow within the right-of way.
  8. A person may not discharge a firearm or other weapon across from any Black Hills National Forest system road.
  9. Any person while hunting a road right-of-way who negligently endangers another person or puts that person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  10. When in doubt, don't shoot.


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