Wednesday September 1st (afternoon) – Thursday September 2nd (morning) is the next SD Game, Fish & Parks Commission Meeting in Rapid City at Outdoor Campus West with virtual & teleconference options
More meeting details will be posted by GFP on this website just before the meeting and after the meeting: https://gfp.sd.gov/commission/information/
UPDATE – RESULTS OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Update, the Commission passed both proposed rules on mountain lions with no changes from proposals. The Commission passed the rule on spring turkey with no changes from proposal. The only rule to which there was a change, was on blow guns used for fishing; they decided not to allow blow guns for fishing. Future action to protect mountain lions will be to contact federal and state land management agencies and ask them to prohibit hound hunting of mountain lions on their properties. Please watch for updates on that future campaign
BEAVER – They plan to have a report or proposal on beaver trapping/hunting in the Black Hills at the November meeting. Thus , if a rule change is offered it would likely be voted on in January. People should spend the next few months, writing or contacting SDGFP staff or commissioners, asking for a moratorium on beaver hunting/trapping in the Black Hills Fire Protection District and also ask SDGFP to reduce the months of beaver hunting/trapping from all other public land in SD, when the public land has a multiple use or wildlife management objective. Currently trapping/hunting is allowed 365 days of the year statewide on private and public land except on Black Hills National Forest land and a subset of private land in the Black Hills. Folks should ask for 5 months of beaver trapping statewide (not 12 months) on private & public land. SD has a law that allows folks with “conflict beaver” to call up SDGFP who will then allow them to kill the beaver. SDGFP staff will also come and kill beaver on request. Folks should ask SDGFP to create a beaver management plan, so SDGFP can address the importance of beavers as creators of habitat, and protectors of surface and ground water values and provide options for non-lethal management of conflict beaver.
Mountain lion hunting season will be among the rule proposals
Saturday 8/28/21 at midnight MT was the written comment deadline. Late comments go to the next month public record, but folks can give oral testimony in person or virtually at the hearing on 9/1/21. Written comments can be submitted at https://gfp.sd.gov/forms/positions/ or at https://rules.sd.gov/Comments.aspx?Id=669 The only necessary written action on cougars that we suggest (besides filling in your contact info.) is to check that you oppose the two proposed rules on Mountain Lion hunting in SD…But scroll down for more explanation of issues and to have some text to add on if you wish.
Rule change proposals up for a vote on Wednesday include other topics, which we list below
- Spring Turkey- reducing area available for hunting,
- Setting Mountain Lion Hunting Season in the state for another two years,
- Cougar hunting restrictions eroded to allow hound hunting in the prairie unit onto more public lands ,
- Changing fish limits in Iowa/SD Boundary waters,
- Allowing blow guns for fishing & setting limits on it,
- Hoop Nets and Setlines: adding floatlines to rule and setting fees and various limits on floatlines,nets & traps,
- Reducing various regulations on bait,
- Reducing regulations on fish hatcheries.
- Expanding ages within youth class at fish tournaments,
- Aquatic invasive species: increasing exemptions to rules about.
To see exact text of the proposed rule changes go to the LRC site – visit: https://rules.sd.gov/agency.aspx?agency=GFP%20%20Game,%20Fish%20And%20Parks
Alert On Mountain Lion Seasons Rule Changes
Here is a link to the letter that Prairie Hills Audubon Society submitted to SD GFP:
If you go to these two links you can see what other individuals and NGOs – such as HSUS, MLF, Cougar Fund, SD-FACT wrote. The long formal letters are at the end of the PDF files, the shorter letters at the beginning. :
In the mean time, we suggest folks oppose both proposed rules changes for mountain lion hunting.
SD Mt. lion hunting is divided into the Black Hills Fire Protection District and every where else (Prairie unit). In the Prairie Unit there is 365 day hunting with no harvest limit and hound hunting is allowed on private land (with land owner/lessor permission) and moving from private land to BLM and State School Lands. Hound hunting is allowed in Custer State Park in two week time segments alternating with two weeks of “boot hunting” (boot = no hounds used). The first two week session is given to hound hunting and thus for many years the boot hunters are out-competed and have not gotten any lions.
The hunting season on the Black Hills Unit is too aggressive and will result in decreasing populations, perhaps dropping below the population below the population goals that SDGFP wants. We suggest at least lowering the female lion harvest limit in the Black Hills unit.
We suggest people object to hound hunting of lions, which occurs on Custer State Park (a sub-set of Black Hills unit) and in the Prairie unit. You can object due to 1. animal cruelty to both dogs and lions, 2. not fair chase, 3. provides huge advantage of success for hound hunters vs boot hunters 4. creates trespass risk, 5. disturbs non-target wildlife, livestock and other human users. However they are making a specific change to increase hound hunting..by increasing the area of public land in the Prairie Unit where hound hunters can travel from private land to hunt on public land, to include all of public lands unless public land manager specifically objects. Previously public land hound hunting in the Prairie unit was limited to expanding onto BLM and State School lands. . You can object specifically to that proposed increase in hound hunting area on the Prairie Unit.
We suggest allowing the boot hunters the first two week session in Custer State Park, for sake of boot hunters, lions & dogs.
SD has some Native American reservations with mountain lions with proof of breeding that are not covered by SDGFP regulations as their tribal lands are in alternate jurisdictions.
Prairie Hills Audubon Society had a Zoom meeting on Regional Mountain Lions on August 16th. This has much info. on SD cougars. The meeting is recorded to the on Zoom cloud (The cloud location is only temporary)
https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/-YO-I-X4aOvglkZW7MZb3vmnrlIyj-HQv9Q2-srPUlRrguUYC4VSNt8t2uh1B6M.TvIpASLembReeBp5 Passcode: 7Nar+g9n Recording also is on Vimeo for the long term . Link to recording on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/590257448
The Mountain Lion Foundation has an alert