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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

www.DakotaProperties.com

Walworth County Land Auction

428+/- acres of cropland, recreational and investment in Walworth County. Located 6 miles west of Bowdle, SD at Junction Hwy 12 and Hwy 47. Auction to be on October 30th, 2013

Todd Schuetzle 605-280-3115 Dakota Properties of Pierre

Walsh Acres

Prime pheasant hunting and deer hunting on this acreage located right in the heart of North Dakota. Land consists of hay and grassland, tree rows and coulee. $480,000

Kathy Maas 701-748-3217 Dakota Properties of Lake Sakakawea

Dakota Plains Farm

1 Acre Lake Traverse Property

Todd Schuetzle 605-280-3115 Dakota Properties of Pierre

Tony Valnes 605-742-4987 Dakota Properties of the Glacial Lakes

1,344 sq ft home and a 24x24 detached Morton steel 3,520 contiguous acres offering top yielding grain production, native pastures and the best upland & big game garage sits on a 1 acre lot on Lake Traverse. The creek runs along the east side of the property flowing into the hunting in the area. 1,567+/- acres of tillable cropland, lake. $175,000 450+/- acres of hayland and pasture. $5,215,000

Log Heaven Resort Opportunity to own your private or commercial luxurious resort overlooking the majestic Lake Oahe. Panoramic views from the 6,000 sq ft main lodge. $2,950,000 Todd Schuetzle 605-280-3115 Dakota Properties of Pierre

Crow Peak Ranch 550 acres nestled in the foothills with 2 creeks, mature oak trees, spectacular rock outcroppings, and commanding views of the Black Hills. $3,575,000 Jeff Garrett 605-641-0574 Dakota Properties

Buck Run Ranch

This 1,800 acre ranch in the southern Black Hills is one of the best-kept big game secrets in the area. It has it all….ease of access, yet semi-seclusion in one contiguous block. $1,980,000

Martin Jurisch 605-484-1353 Martin Jurisch & Assoc. Real Estate

Garrigan’s Landing Retreat

This beautiful landscaped 3 bedroom modular home is located 30 miles north of Pierre on Okobojo Creek on Lake Oahe. $228,000 Graham Schuetzle 605-220-4014 Dakota Properties of Pierre

Spur Canyon Ranch

600+/- acres of some of the most scenic property in the northern Black Hills. Ponderosa pine covered hills and lush canyons provide protection and cover for wildlife. Broker owned. $2,100,000

Greg Smeenk 605-641-3970 Dakota Properties of Belle Fourche

Hyde County Cropland Retreat

426 acres of land with over 400 acres of tillable land. This land has a nice drainage creek bottom providing perfect native grassland habitat and water for upland game. $1,706,680

Todd Schuetzle 605-280-3115 Dakota Properties of Pierre

Buffalo County Farm Retreat

Blue Blanket Outpost

Here’s an opportunity to own a private retrate home located on Lake Oahe near Mobridge. Enjoy breathtaking sunsets, panoramic prairie vistas and view miles of Lake Oahe frontage from your deck. $635,000

Todd Schuetzle 605-280-3115 Dakota Properties of Pierre

Big Spring Ranch

Here’s an unique opportunity to own a premier recreational property with easy access consisting of 189.69 acres with the perimeter completely enclosed with a 9 foot fence. $982,200

Jeff Garrett 605-641-0574 Dakota Properties

97 Acres on Big Stone Lake

This 480 acre tract has the potential to have the best pheasant and waterfowl hunting in the area. There are over 350 acres of cropland that provides a steady income return on your investment. $1,680,000.

97 acres with 3,000 front feet on Big Stone Lake. Development potential or an awesome building site on the north end of the lake with ag land surrounding for privacy. $299,000

Big Lonesome

North Grand River Runs Through It With several ponds, abundant wildlife, excellent access, and the ever-flowing north fork of the Grand River – this is a seldom found offering. $700,000 Ron Silverman 605-450-0664 West Dakota Realty

Todd Schuetzle 605-280-3115 Dakota Properties of Pierre

Outstanding log home and shop on 320 acres located just south of Bismark, ND. Over 12,000 trees, pond and close to Oahe Reservoir makes this an ideal recreational property.

Jeff Garrett 605-641-0574 Dakota Properties

Phyllis Hanson 605-868-1813 Dakota Properties of the Glacial Lakes

Rooster Roost Ranch This amazing 80+/- acre property is located in east-central South Dakota. The 3,848 sq ft main house and 120x60 shop are well maintained. $870,000 Jeff Garrett 605-641-0574 Dakota Properties

240 Acres Day County Hunt and Fish

240 acres of recreational property. Deep water on the property full of perch, islands on the property, good access gravel road. $150,000

Tony Valnes 605-742-4987 Dakota Properties of the Glacial Lakes

White Lake Hunting Lodge

An opportunity to own your own hunting paradise and bust wild pheasants out of the 160 acre habitat created just for hunting. Facilities include main house, hunters quarters, kennels, and more. $950,000

Todd Schuetzle 605-280-3115 Dakota Properties of Pierre

Peoria Flats Land Auction

473+/- Acres, Cropland, Recreational, Investment, Development Potential. Overlooking scenic Lake Oahe, 10 miles northwest of Pierre just above the Oahe Dam. Auction to be in early November.

Todd Schuetzle 605-280-3115 Dakota Properties of Pierre


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THE REGION’S CHOICE AG-WEEKLY FOR 30 YEARS STRONG 1501 5TH AVE., SUITE 101 BELLE FOURCHE, SD 57717

1-877-347-9100 • 605-723-7001

contents

877-347-9126 (FAX)

SUBSCRIPTIONS:

1-877-347-9100 Publisher: SABRINA “BREE” POPPE Cell (605) 639-0356 • Office (877) 347-9104 spoppe@tsln-fre.com Editor-in-Chief: RIATA LITTLE (877) 347-9103 • editorial@tsln-fre.com Assistant Editor: CARRIE STADHEIM cstadheim@tsln-fre.com Graphic Designer: LIZ HERGERT LIVESTOCK MARKETING DEPARTMENT Field Service & Ringmen Department Director: SCOTT DIRK: (605) 380-6024 – (877) 347-0111 sdirk@tsln-fre.com

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DAN PIROUTEK: (605) 544-3316 dpiroutek@tsln-fre.com CHRIS EFFLING: (605) 769-0142 ceffling@tsln-fre.com In-House Advertising Sales for NE & Livestock Marketing Department Coordinator: CARISSA LEE: (877) 347-9114 clee@tsln-fre.com Special Projects Coordinator & Account Manager: DIANNA PALMER: SD – N. of I-90 West of the River 605-423-6045 • (877) 347-9112 dpalmer@tsln-fre.com Account Manager: SUSAN CABLE: SD – S. of I-90 Rosebud East Territory 605-840-1986 • (888) 648-4449 scable@tsln-fre.com Major Accounts Manager: SARAH SWENSON: Wyoming & Montana 303-710-9254 • (855) 370-0539 sswenson@tsln-fre.com

Venison Processing From the deer stand, to the dinner plate, here is how to get the most from your venison and other wild game meats.

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Youth Challenge South Dakota youth learn hunter’s safety, animal identification, and more at the Shadehill Outdoor Challenge.

Training prepares new wildlife conservation officer

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Zach Thomsen discusses what it takes to become a wildlife conservation officer in South Dakota.

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Walk in Areas provide free access to wildlife

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High Plains Game Ranch Randy and Rhonda Vallery have built a “hunter’s paradise” on their diversified ranch in western South Dakota.

Skyline logging enhances big game habitat in Crow Peak Game Production Area Loggers use a dangerous technique to remove timber in the Black Hills and benefit the natural habitat for wildlife.

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Landowners partner with wildlife services to provide hunters access to land and wildlife.

2013 Elk survey shows healthy Black Hills Populations With the use of a helicopter, wildlife biologists are able to get a more accurate account of Black Hills’ elk populations.

Classifieds: classifieds@tsln-fre.com MAIN LINE: (877) 347-9122 COPYRIGHT. All Rights Reserved.

ERRORS:

The Farmer & Rancher Exchange shall be responsible for errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement only to the extent of the space covered by the error. Opinions stated in letters or signed columns do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Farmer & Rancher Exchange.

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Hunting News Briefs

29

Outdoor Calendar: Nebraska

28

Outdoor Calendar: The Dakotas

30

Advertiser Index

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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

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™ The 2014 PIONEER 700-4 The 2014 PIONEER™ 700-4

THE ONLY SIDE-BY-SIDE THE ONLY SIDE-BY-SIDE WITHWITH CONVERTIBLE SEATING. CONVERTIBLE 2-3-42-3-4 SEATING.

Mountain lion hunting season approved for 2014

Mountain lions have recently recolonized the Pine Ridge and Niobrara River Valley areas of Nebraska and may be recolonizing other areas of suitable habitat such as the Wildcat Hills. Dispersing mountain lions have been documented throughout the state including agricultural areas where suitable habitat may be limited. In order to provide hunting opportunities for this species the Commission has approved Nebraska’s inaugural mountain lion harvest season for 2014. It is unlawful to hunt mountain lions in a powersports.honda.com PIONEER 700-4 IS RECOMMENDED FOR DRIVERS 16 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER, WHO ARE TALL ENOUGH FORaTHE SEAT BELT TO FIT PROPERLY unit with limited AND REACH ALL CONTROLS. PASSENGERS SHOULD ALSO BE TALL ENOUGH FOR THE SEAT BELT TO FIT PROPERLY AND BRACE THEMSELVES, IF NEEDED, BY PLACING BOTH harvestAND quota (Pine APPROPRIATE TO THE FEET FIRMLY ON THE FLOOR WHILE FIRMLY GRASPING THE HAND HOLD. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT, A HELMET, EYE PROTECTION CLOTHING DRIVING SITUATION, AND PLEASE RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT. KEEP DOORS AND SIDE NETS CLOSED. READ YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL Pioneer is a trademark of RidgeTHOROUGHLY. Unit) without Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ©2013 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (6/13) first confirming that the season is open each

’ Tis the season to get on a Honda.

day by checking the toll-free phone number provided on the hunting permit or by checking this web page www.nebraskamountainlions.org. F –NEBRASKA GAME & PARKS

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BRACE THEMSELVES, IF NEEDED, BY PLACING BOTH E PROTECTION AND CLOTHING PIONEER APPROPRIATE powersports.honda.com 700-4TOISTHE RECOMMENDED FOR DRIVERS 16 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER, WHO ™ R’S MANUAL THOROUGHLY. Pioneer is a BELT trademark of PROPERLY AND REACH ALL CONTROLS. PASSENGERS SHOULD ARE TALL ENOUGH FOR THE SEAT TO FIT

ALSO BE TALL ENOUGH FOR THE SEAT BELT TO FIT PROPERLY AND BRACE THEMSELVES, IF NEEDED, BY PLACING BOTH FEET FIRMLY ON THE FLOOR WHILE FIRMLY GRASPING THE HAND HOLD. ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT, A HELMET, EYE PROTECTION AND CLOTHING APPROPRIATE TO THE DRIVING SITUATION, AND PLEASE RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT. KEEP DOORS AND SIDE NETS CLOSED. READ YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL THOROUGHLY. Pioneer™ is a trademark of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ©2013 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (6/13) SEE DEALER FOR DETAILS

honda.com

UTILITY ATVs ARE RECOMMENDED ONLY FOR RIDERS 16 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER. BE A RESPONSIBLE RIDER. ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET, EYE PROTECTION AND PROTECTIVE CLOTHING, AND PLEASE RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT. OBEY THE LAW AND READ YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL THOROUGHLY. *1.99% Fixed APR financing available for customers who qualify for super preferred credit tier for up to 36 months through Honda Financial Services. Payment example: 36 monthly payments of $28.64 for each $1,000 financed. Offer good on all new and unregistered FourTrax Foreman models. Not all buyers may qualify. Higher rates apply for buyers with lower credit ratings. Offer ends 12/31/11. **$300 Bonus Bucks valid on 2012 and prior TRX500FPE/FE/FPM/FM models. Bonus Bucks redeemable only for purchases at dealer on purchase date. No cash value. Non-transferable. Redemption value is not to exceed $300. Offer ends 12/31/11. Check with participating Honda Dealers for complete details. FourTrax® and Foreman® are trademarks of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. ©2011 American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (11/11) 12-1101

Read us online at www.tsln.com

FY’12 “I Wanna Ride” HOLIDAY Ad Mats 112-HC-C-HO5854 4.25” x 7” Model: TRX500 FE/FM/FPE/FPM Category: UTILITY ATV

Mountain Lion permit to be auctioned off LINCOLN, Neb. – Interested parties will have an opportunity to bid on a 2014 Nebraska Pine Ridge Unit mountain lion auction permit Wednesday, Oct. 16 at the Nebraska Big Game Society Fall Meeting and Auction. The event will be held at Mahoney State Park Lodge beginning at 6 p.m. Featured speaker, Sam Wilson, will present “Mountain Lions in Nebraska” at 7 p.m. The auction will begin at 7:30 p.m. The auction will include one 2014 Nebraska Pine Ridge Unit mountain lion permit. Along with the permit, the Nebraska Big Game Society is offering to provide up to five days hunting, including guide with dogs, territory to hunt and up to four nights lodging for the winning bidder. Proceeds from the auction permit will be donated back to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for conservation and mountain lion management and studies. Phone bids will be accepted during the auction. Those interested in making bids by phone must preregister for this service by emailing nbgs11@gmail.com for a bidder number and to obtain the auction event phone number. Banquet tickets are $40 each or $320 for a table of 8. Tickets are available by emailing nbgs11@gmail.com or calling (402) 430-9191. A valid park permit is required for park entry. F –NEBRASKA GAME & PARKS


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NEWS BRIEFS

Mountain goats find a man’s newParadise home in South Dakota www.winnersd.org

Sportman’s Paradise Check Out the New & Improved

www.winnersd.org Download the Hunting & Prairie Dog guides online

Check Out the New & Improved

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department, working in the Hunting &recently Prairie Dog22 cooperationDownload with the Utah Division of Wildlife, relocated mountain goats from Utah to South Dakota’s Black Hills. online. guides The goats were captured from a herd in Utah’s Tushar Mountains, and are part of a study to increase genetic diversity in South Dakota’s mountain goat population. “Utah biologists used helicopters and net guns to capture the animals,” said GFP Regional Game Manager John Kanta. “Mountain goats live in high altitudes and inhabit very rough and steep terrain. Capturing these mountain goats was very challenging.” Once an animal was captured, blood was drawn, vaccinations were given, measurements were taken and a throat and nose swab was performed to test for diseases. All yearling and adult mountain goats were • 12mountain Lane Bowling fitted with a radio collar and goat kidsAlley were ear tagged. • Movie Goats were then loaded into woodenTheater boxes filled with wood shav• Great Selection ofcomfortable Restaurants Lounges ings and a block of ice to keep them and&cool in preparation for their journey back to South Dakota. “The mountain goats were released into the Needles area of the Black Hills,” Kanta said. “We will be monitoring these goats for survival and transplant success and will also be using the data to enhance our aerial sightability survey for developing population estimates.” This project is one of many made possible through partnerships between GFP and non-government organizations. “The Midwest Wild Sheep Foundation and the Greater Dacotah Chapter of the Safari Club International provided financial support for radio collars and capture costs associated with this transplant,” Kanta said. “The cooperation from these partners will greatly assist GFP in managing South Dakota’s mountain goat population and their habitats.” F –SOUTH DAKOTA GAME, FISH & PARKS

Attractions:

Chamber Of Commerce

SD • 1-800-658-3079 @gwtc.net

Home of the Sharpshooter Classic Hunting competition December 13-14, 2013.

Municipal Airport 4500 Concrete Runway Jet & Gas Fuel Available

ATTRACTIONS: 12 Lane Bowling Alley • Movie Theatre Great Selection of Restaurants & Lounges

Winner Area Chamber Of Commerce P.O. Box 268 • Winner, SD • 1-800-658-3079 email: thechamber@gwtc.net

To Advertise in our Classifieds call: Kelsey Snyder: (877) 347-9109

Trevor Bennett: (877) 347-9102

If you go to voice mail, it only means we are on another call, so please leave a message.

“We will call you back”


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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

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HUNTER’S PARADISE

NEWS BRIEFS

Hunters Helping the Hungry accepting deer donations LINCOLN, Neb. – Hunters can donate their deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has contracted with meat processors that may accept the donated deer. Hunters Helping the Hungry combines cash donations and donated deer to produce ground venison that is distributed to Nebraskans in need. Game and Parks, not hunters, pays processing costs. Processors will accept only the deer that can yield a good volume of pure ground venison. Hunters Helping the Hungry funds will pay to process up to 300 deer this year.

Participating processor quotas may be increased if additional cash and/or deer donations are received. Hunters and nonhunters may make cash donations to help fund the program, which uses no permit or tax dollars. They may make a donation while purchasing a deer permit over the counter at a Game and Parks permitting office or at OutdoorNebraska.org. They also may mail a check made out to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, with Hunters

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, P.O. Box 30370 Lincoln, NE 68503-0370 The participating Hunters Helping the Hungry meat processors, subject to change, are: Amherst – Belschner Custom Meats Inc.; Bayard – Bayard Processing; Bridgeport – KDK Meats, LLC; Broken Bow – Broken Bow Pack; Diller – C & C Processing; Elwood – SteakMaster Inc.; Humphrey –

Country Butcher; Johnson – Pelican’s Meat Processing; Lindsay – Melcher’s Locker; North Bend – Bob’s Custom Meats LLC; North Platte – Kelley’s Custom Pack; Oakland – Oakland Processing; Omaha – B. I. G. Meats Inc., Stoysich House of Sausage; Orleans – Harlan County Meat Processors; Oxford – Oxford Locker, Inc.; Panama – Panama Locker; Ralston – Van Fleet Meats; Table Rock – Den’s Country Meats; Ulysses – Butchery; Wahoo – Wahoo Locker. Learn more about the program at OutdoorNebraska.org/HHH. F –NEBRASKA GAME & PARKS

mjtrailers.com

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UTILITY & ATV TRAILERS 2013 H&H 76”x10’ $1,650

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2013 Load Trail 20ft Car Trailer 14,000# Dovetail $3,990

2013 5 1/2’ x 12’ H&H $1,950

2013 H&H 5x10’ Tilt Trailer $1,350

2013 H&H 8.5’x10’ $1,900

2012 H&H Aluminum Pre-Owned 12’ Trailer $2,300

HUNTING LICENSES • GUNS GUNSMITHING • ACCESSORIES See us at

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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

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HUNTER’S PARADISE

NEWS BRIEFS

Game & Parks urges hunters use approved tree stand equipment LINCOLN, Neb. – Tree stand use by hunters in Nebraska is on the rise. So is the number of injuries from the use of tree stands. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission encourages people who hunt from an elevated stand to use a full body harness/fall-arrest system approved by the Treestand Manufacturers Association (TMA). Injuries can occur when a hunter falls out of a tree stand or slips while climbing into or out of one. Mike Streeter, hunter education coordinator for Game and Parks, says those injuries can be prevented by using a full body harness/fall-arrest system. He says those systems have improved over the years. “In recent years, the only full body harness available was made of wide belts that were strapped onto the hunter and secured by large buckles,” Streeter said. “These were uncomfortable and difficult to get on. The new generation is part of a vest that the hunter slips on and then secures with a few built-in buckles. No more twisted or tangled belts or large buckles in the way.”

Public outreach on the use of full body harness/fall-arrest systems comes in several forms: • Volunteer hunter education instructors are trained in the use of this equipment. They teach tree stand safety in every hunter education course. • Signs informing hunters of the proper use of full body harness/fall-arrest systems are being posted at the parking areas of wildlife management areas and at state parks and state recreation areas where hunting is allowed. • TMA has a free online course on tree stand safety at http://www.tmastands.com/. • Every tree stand sold in America comes with a full body harness, as well as an instructional DVD on the proper way to install and use the tree stand. See more at: http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/blogs/2013/09/game-parks-urges-hunters-approved-tree-stand-equipment/#sthash.RmVnLfdw.dpuf. F –NEBRASKA GAME & PARKS

The 2014 PIONEER™™ 700 FULL FEATURED VALUE ™ The 2014 PIONEER 700 FULL FEATURED VALUE

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powersports.honda.com powersports.honda.com PIONEER PIONEER 700 700 IS IS RECOMMENDED RECOMMENDED FOR FOR DRIVERS DRIVERS 16 16 YEARS YEARS OF OF AGE AGE AND AND OLDER, OLDER, WHO WHO ARE ARE TALL TALL ENOUGH ENOUGH FOR FOR THE THE SEAT SEAT BELT BELT TO TO FIT FIT PROPERLY PROPERLY AND REACH ALL CONTROLS. PASSENGER SHOULD ALSO BE TALL ENOUGH FOR THE SEAT BELT TO FIT PROPERLY AND BRACE THEMSELVES, IF NEEDED, BY PLACING BOTH

AND REACH ALL CONTROLS. PASSENGER SHOULD ALSO BE TALL ENOUGH FOR THE SEAT BELT TO FIT PROPERLY AND BRACE THEMSELVES, IF NEEDED, BY PLACING BOTH FEET TO FEET FIRMLY FIRMLY ON ON THE THE FLOOR FLOOR WHILE WHILE FIRMLY FIRMLY GRASPING GRASPING THE THE HAND HAND HOLD. HOLD. ALWAYS ALWAYS WEAR WEAR YOUR YOUR SEAT SEAT BELT, BELT, A A HELMET, HELMET, EYE EYE PROTECTION PROTECTION AND AND CLOTHING CLOTHING APPROPRIATE APPROPRIATE TO THE THE ™ DRIVING DRIVING SITUATION, SITUATION, AND AND PLEASE PLEASE RESPECT RESPECT THE THE ENVIRONMENT. ENVIRONMENT. KEEP KEEP DOORS DOORS AND AND SIDE SIDE NETS NETS CLOSED. CLOSED. READ READ YOUR YOUR OWNER’S OWNER’S MANUAL MANUAL THOROUGHLY. THOROUGHLY. Pioneer Pioneer™ is is a a trademark trademark of of Honda Motor Honda Co., powersports.honda.com PIONEER 700Motor IS RECOMMENDED Honda Motor Co., Co., Ltd. Ltd. ©2013 ©2013 American American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Inc. (6/13) (6/13) FOR DRIVERS 16 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER, WHO ARE TALL ENOUGH FOR THE SEAT BELT TO FIT PROPERLY AND REACH ALL CONTROLS. PASSENGER SHOULD ALSO BE TALL ENOUGH FOR THE SEAT BELT TO FIT PROPERLY AND BRACE THEMSELVES, IF NEEDED, BY PLACING BOTH

865 W 2nd, West Hwy. 18 • Winner, SD 57580 Wild West Convenience Store: 605-842-9997 Steakhouse & Saloon: 605-842-1701

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Training prepares new wildlife conservation officer By Lura Roti for S.D. Game, Fish & Parks

In 2012 Zach Thomsen was recruited to join the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) team of Wildlife Conservation Officers. For the Brandon, S.D., native who spent his youth hunting and fishing on his grandparents’ Hutchinson County farm – this is his dream job. “Since day-one, this has been my dream job. I want to do what I can to preserve South Dakota’s natural resources. This is the best way I can think of to do that,” Thomsen says. Thomsen says his career decision was influenced by conservation officers he got to know over the years when they would stop by his grandparent’s farm to check hunting licenses or help his grandpa with a predator control issue. He says that after college when he began working for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks at the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls,

Minnehaha County Wildlife Conservation Officer, Jeremy Roe, continued to encourage him to pursue his dream. “I saw what he did and I liked the fact that as a wildlife conservation officer he got to work outdoors with wildlife and with people,” says Thomsen who received a bachelor’s in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences in 2009 from South Dakota State University.

Trained to serve public and wildlife Today Thomsen is visiting with a classroom of Philip Elementary first graders on what he does as a wildlife conservation officer. He shows the students various animal pelts and encourages them to identify which animal they belong to. Once he has their attention, he visits with the students about wildlife populations, the role hunting plays


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9

We Welcome All Sportsmen *Kennels Available PO Box 390-1360 E Hwy 44 Winner, SD 57580

“Since day-one this has been my dream job. I want to do what I can to preserve South Dakota’s natural resources. This is the best way I can think of to do that.”

Norma Olson General Manager phone fax e-mail

(605) 842-2255 (605) 842-1761 hiewsd@gwtc.net

Winner

–Zach Thomsen, GF&P Conservation Officer

center SNACK BAR in maintaining healthy populations and why it’s important to care for resources. “Just like us, animals need enough food and water in their environment to survive. If it becomes crowded, there isn’t enough food to go around,” Thomsen explains. Although Thomsen was hired in August, he spent more than seven months training before he was recently assigned to Haakon and northern Jackson counties. “Each of our officers undergoes an extensive training program. We don’t just hire them, give them a uniform and turn them loose. This is a position that requires a lot of training in addition to a solid educational background,” says Mike Kintigh, Regional Supervisor for western South Dakota. The duties of a wildlife conservation officer, Kintigh explains, are quite diverse; from serving as a law enforcement officer, helping landowners solve wildlife depredation issues, delivering educational programs, implementing habitat management programs, conducting wildlife surveys and keeping up with on-going train-

ing. And, most often, like Thomsen, officers work alone. “When we interview candidates we look for individuals who demonstrate self-initiative, perseverance, confidence and self-awareness. It’s also important that they exhibit strong communication skills. Eighty percent of what they do is communicate with the public,” Kintigh says. Like the work they do, Wildlife Conservation Officer training runs the gamut. Shortly after he was hired, Thomsen was enrolled in a 13-week law enforcement basic training course at the South Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy in Pierre. Training alongside police and sheriff recruits, Thomsen is expected to pass the same rigorous weekly exams as other law enforcement officers. After graduating from the academy, Thomsen began 16 weeks of on-duty training with an experienced wildlife conservation officer. “South Dakota’s training program is unique. We were the first natural resource agency in the nation to adopt this style of training,” says Andy Alban, Law Enforcement

Administrator for South Dakota GF&P Division of Wildlife. “Wildlife conservation officers play a vital role by serving as agency spokesmen and women due in large part to their spatial distribution across the state.” The style of training Alban references is focused on utilizing the stakeholders in each district as a resource in solving problems and also providing hands-on experiences to recruits. “Recruits are expected to learn from their own first-hand experiences rather than being told what to do or watching someone else do,” Alban explains. Since implementing the experiential learning model in 2005, Alban says recruit feedback has been positive. Thomsen would agree. “After being in the driver’s seat and making decisions for 16 weeks with an experienced conservation officer by my side to give me tips and guidance, I feel confident in my abilities now that I’m on my own,” Thomsen says. After Thomsen wraps up the classroom presentations, he’s off to patrol and visit with area landowners. F

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Walk in Areas provide free access to wildlife By Lura Roti for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks

Each season hunters enjoy access to more than 1.2 million acres of privately owned habitat in South Dakota through South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks’ (GF&P) Walk in Area program. Initially launched to increase access to pheasant habitat 25 years ago, today Walk in Areas provide hunters with access to a broad diversity of habitat and wildlife species. “As the program expanded westward it was adjusted to offer more hunting opportunities,” says Mike Kintigh, Regional GF&P supervisor for western South Dakota. “If you’re not from South Dakota you may think that our state has pheasants from border to border. Although there are some Walk in Areas out west that do have pheasants, most are home to other game species –

geese, turkey, grouse, mule deer, whitetail deer and antelope.” Walk in areas exist through partnerships between S.D. Game, Fish & Parks and South Dakota landowners. As Habitat Program Manager, Tyrel Schmelz explains, GF&P basically rents the hunting rights for the season. “Walk in Areas provide hunters with free access to all types of habitat and game species without the need to contact the landowner for permission,” says Schmelz. Convenient for both hunters and landowners, Conservation Officer, Zach Thomsen says there are many reasons landowners enroll acres in the program. “Many landowners will enroll their CRP acres in the program, so it gives them another source of in-


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come from those acres and they don’t have to worry about vehicle traffic on their land during hunting season,” Thomsen says. Rancher, Ken McIlravy agrees with Thomsen. Prior to becoming involved in the Walk in Area program McIlravy allowed hunting on his land – and sometimes hunters asked permission, but many times they didn’t. “We were dealing with hunting on our land whether we enrolled acres in the program or not,” McIlravy says. “At least now we don’t have to worry about vehicle traffic.” And, this, he feels has led to a higher caliber of hunters visiting his land. “For the most part they are serious hunters – and you have to be committed to walk in two miles in order to hunt a piece of CRP ground,” says the second-genera-

tion rancher, who initially enrolled his CRP acres in the program. Today his entire ranch is enrolled. He has enjoyed the friendships which he’s developed over the years with many of the hunters who return year after year. “I try to be as helpful as possible. I will even drive them out and show them areas where I think they will have the best success. The way I see it, the Walk in Area program is a two-way street. As a landowner I benef it quite a bit from this program f inancially, there’s no vehicle traff ic; and for the most part our liability is covered by public access laws,” McIlravy says. Game, Fish & Parks inspects all acres before they are enrolled in the program. Acres are enrolled based on quality of habitat or access to public lands, explains Resource Biologist,

Outtagrass Cattle Company by Jan Swan Wood © 2013

Samantha Nichols, who helps facilitate enrollments for GF&P. “Habitat is key. We’re looking for acres that provide hunting opportunities for specific game species – and because each species require different type of habitat, you may even see an open field of wheat stubble enrolled because it provides great goose hunting opportunities,” Nichols says. She further explains that in some cases, the Walk in Area program helps access public lands that are landlocked by private lands. “We may enroll private land that doesn’t have the best habitat, but it allows hunters access to 5,000 acres of public Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.” User fees collected through the sale of hunting licenses fund the Walk in Area program. “If you don’t hunt or f ish, then you aren’t contributing to this pro-

gram – no tax dollars are used,” Kintigh said. “We evaluate the cover, habitat and hunting opportunity on each property and land owners are paid accordingly.” For a map of Walk in Areas throughout South Dakota, hunters can grab a Walk in Area Atlas where hunting licenses are sold or online at http:// www.gfp.sd.gov. In addition, from the web site hunters can also download the Walk in Area map to their GPS. “This application is quite handy because then hunters know where the boundaries are – especially in western South Dakota where some Walk in Areas can be thousands of acres in size with interior cross fences or no fences at all,” Kintigh says. F

11


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PHOTO BY LURA ROTI

12

Skyline logging enhances big game habitat in Crow Peak Game Production Area By Lura Roti for S.D. Game, Fish & Parks

South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks is enhancing big game habitat found within the Crow Peak Game Production Area of the Black Hills near Spearfish with the help of skyline logging. “Big game, such as deer and elk, depend upon plants on the forest floor for food and cover during the winter,” said Tim Bradeen, Habitat Resource Biologist for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P). “In this production area, the stands of Ponderosa Pine are too dense to allow for desirable plant species to grow under the pine canopy.” If left to her own devices, Bradeen explains that Mother Nature would take care of thinning the forest through naturally occurring events like fire on the landscape. He says GF&P can duplicate the effect by thinning the dense stands through logging and opening up the canopy so sunlight can reach the

forest floor. This encourages a healthy balance of plant diversity such as chokecherries, bur oak, aspen, Oregon grape, native grasses and wild flowers which big game species depend upon. “All plants compete for sunlight, and until now, on this production area the Ponderosa Pine has been winning,” Bradeen said. Bradeen says that thinning the over-crowded stands will also help control infestations of Mountain Pine Beetle. “Thinning creates airflow through the trees, and that, along with increasing the space between trees, makes it difficult for the Mountain Pine Beetle to move from tree to tree,” Bradeen said.” It also disrupts the pheromone communication among beetles.”

Skyline logging For several years now GF&P has contracted with logging crews to thin


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13

(Left) South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Habitat Resource Biologist, Tim Bradeen (far right), stands with skyline loggers, Charlie Nixon and Jason Gamet in the Crow Peak Game Production Area of the Black Hills.South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks is enhancing big game habitat found within the Crow Peak Game Production Area near Spearfish with the help of skyline logging. forest areas they manage for wildlife habitat. However, a large portion of the forest within the Crow Peak Game Production Area is located on such steep terrain that traditional logging crews and their equipment could not access the trees which needed thinning. For this type of terrain, skyline logging is required. This summer the department contracted with Neiman Timber LLC out of Spearfish who, along with a skyline logging crew from Condon, Mont., to implement this specialized technique to thin the production area. “Skyline logging is our best management option for this area,” said Mike Kintigh, Regional GF&P Supervisor for western South Dakota. “Because of the terrain, until now we were only able to thin the trees on about 50 percent of the forestland we manage.” Skyline logging is the same technique featured in the History Channel’s show, “Ax Men.” Basically, loggers wielding chainsaws cut logs and then hook them to a 1,000-foot cable which is connected to a crane resting securely on the top of the mountain. The logs are carried to the top of the mountain or hillside where the terrain is flat enough for equipment to then load the logs onto trucks. Kintigh adds that because the thinning is done by hand instead of heavy machinery, skyline logging creates minimal habitat disturbance – another reason it is being used in some areas of the Hills. Jeff Gamet is no stranger to the technique. A second generation logger, Gamet has been skyline logging off and on for the last 22 years. He and his sons, Jason and Cole, will skyline log the GF&P land. “Logging in this terrain is much more challenging. For one thing, it has to all be done by hand. In some

areas, the slope is so steep you can hardly walk or get a good footing,” said the owner of Jeff Gamet Logging Inc. “And, in some areas of the Black Hills the terrain is so rough, with cliffs and rock outcroppings or there may be a stream running through a draw, that the machinery cannot get through without disturbing habitat so it’s necessary to cut by hand and pull the timber up the hill.” While Gamet and his sons are in the Black Hills, they are splitting their time logging between the Game, Fish & Parks and Forest Service. And, because of the amount of thinning that needs to be done, Kintigh expects the logging operation to take several months. “We realize the logging will cause some disturbance to the public’s use of the property; however, the longterm benefits to wildlife far outweigh the short-term disturbance,” Kintigh said, adding that once the thinning is complete the department will not need to re-thin the area for at least 20 years. All profits from the harvested logs will be reinvested in the game production area, and Bradeen expects the benefits from thinning will become evident by spring. “Once sunlight is available it doesn’t take nature long. By next spring the understory of these slopes should be green with a broad diversity of plant species,” Bradeen said. To see highline logging first hand, visit the S.D. GF&P YouTube channel or visit this link: http://you tube/6BIn5C5q260. In the video Tim Bradeen demonstrates what a healthy forest understory looks like and discusses how plant diversity benefits all wildlife. F

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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

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2013 Elk survey shows healthy Black Hills populations By Lura Roti for S.D. Game, Fish & Parks

Covering more than 5,000 square miles of private, state and national forest land, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks conducted an aerial elk survey of the entire Black Hills this winter and survey results have been tallied. “It was a huge undertaking,” says John Kanta, Regional Wildlife Manager of the $160,000 project which involved more than 20 Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) staff and about 175 hours of fly time. The 2013 elk aerial survey is the first to take in the entire Black Hills and was wholly funded by hunting license dollars. Flying only 40 to 50 feet above the ground, GF&P wildlife biologists scouted every square mile of the Black Hills from helicopter. “Snow cover is invaluable to this effort,” Kanta says. “It allows us to spot the

elk better in all habitat types and get an accurate count.” When the biologists spot a group of elk, they count every animal and identify the sex and age of the elk in the group. The wildlife biologists also document the percent of visual obstruction caused by trees or vegetation. All this data is then entered into a sightability model. “The model was developed using years of data collected during research conducted by South Dakota State University and is basically designed to correct for elk not seen because of a number of reasons,” Kanta says. Although ground surveys are conducted annually, in order to obtain the most accurate count, Kanta says collecting the data from the air is essential. “This is the absolute best way to observe elk populations. Because of the terrain it would be impossible to


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The 2013 elk aerial survey conducted by the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks is the first to take in the entire Black Hills and was wholly funded by hunting license dollars. Flying only 40 to 50 feet above the ground, GF&P wildlife biologists scouted every square mile of the Black Hills, from helicopter. cover the entire Black Hills from the ground,” he says. A bird’s eye view is not only essential, it also allows the survey to be conducted in a timely fashion – because as Kanta points out, elk don’t stay in one place for long. Utilizing GPS technology surveying is a systematic process. “Our team broke the Black Hills into 254 subunits and then used GPS technology to fly and survey a specific subunit. This systematic approach ensures we don’t miss anything,” Kanta says. Once the surveys are complete the GF&P team compiles and enters the data collected into the sightability model to generate a population estimate. According to 2013 data, Kanta says the Black Hills elk population is healthy – but there is room for improvement. “Overall we have a good population of elk. Although the heart of the Black Hills looks good, densities in the eastern portion of the Hills are lower and we’d like to see them increase.”

Survey impacts license numbers Kanta says a lot rides on the survey results. Each year almost 13,000 hunters vie for the coveted elk licenses through a lottery system. Last year 570 rifle licenses and 97 archery licenses were issued. According to the 2013 survey, there are just over 6,000 elk in the Black Hills including Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. GF&P wildlife biologists will use the information gathered from the 2013 Elk Survey to develop management plans for the Black Hills. These plans include how many rifle and archery elk licenses to issue. “Without survey data we would be managing the Black Hills’ elk population on our best educated guess,” Kanta says. The 2013 aerial survey also demonstrated the value in aerial surveys as

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recent ground surveys were off by about 2,000 elk. Moving forward the GF&P plan to conduct similar aerial surveys every three to five years. “Prior to this year’s survey, our estimates were conservative,” Kanta says. 801 W. Hwy 14/34 Ft. Pierre, SD 57532 According to historical data, Black Hills elk numbers can vary greatly depending on the harvest pressure, lion predation, disease, vehicle strikes, weather and fire events. For example, survey data from 2000 show record high numbers of elk following the Jasper Fire. “The fire opened up a lot more habitat to elk, who like open green areas for feeding that are surrounded by forest for protection,” Kanta explains. However, by 2008, numbers were low, so GF&P responded by reducing the number of licenses issued. Now that numbers have begun to rebound, Kanta says hunters can expect more licenses to be made available in the years to come. GF&P also shares the data they collect with other agencies who manage wildlife within the state. This is an invaluable tool says Greg Schroeder, Chief of Natural Resources at Wind Cave National Park. “Although we conduct our own surveys from the ground and have a good handle on the elk population within the park, it’s beneficial to have numbers from an aerial survey to compare with our ground count,” Schroeder says. “When it comes to managing wildlife, we can’t Platte Power Sports ELECTRIC POWER STEERING* consider ourselves an island. We’re part POWERFUL 749cc V-TWIN ENGINE SELECTABLE 4WD WITH DIFFERENTIAL LOCK of an entire ecosystem.” *EPS on select models. OFFROADRATED.KAWASAKI.COM Hunters can enter into the elk license lottery by either filling out a handwritPlatte Power Sports ten form or completing an on-line apEast Highway 44 • Platte, SD Platte Power Sports We Have Something plication at gfp.sd.gov and submitting a 605-337-2110 for Everyone $5 nonrefundable fee. To view a video Visit us online at: plattepowersports.biz shot from the survey helicopter vis13BF7503X3BW it the South Dakota GF&P YouTube channel. F

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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

A butcher shares advice on

Venison Processing By Amanda Radke

From the deer stand, to the dinner plate, here is how to get the most from your venison and other wild game meats


A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

ith hunting season in full swing, many hours might be spent in a blind or a deer stand waiting for the biggest deer, the most geese or ducks or the beefiest elk. While many hunters are focused on the adrenaline rush of bagging the trophy animal, often mistakes are made when it comes to handling the meat. Nowell “Shorty” Hofer, owner of Shorty’s Locker, a full-service butcher shop in Mitchell, S.D., shared the most common mistakes hunters make and offered advice on how to get the most out of wild game. “The biggest mistake people make is using garbage bags to bring the meat in for processing,” said Shorty. Shorty’s Locker only accepts deer and elk that have been gutted and hides removed, so hunters need some way to transport the carcass in the cleanest way possible. “A lot of folks don’t realize that many garbage bags are scented,” he explained. “So when they bring that meat in one of those bags, like the white bag with the red string that is commonly used in garbage cans, it ruins the meat. We have to toss it out. It’s like taking an air freshener and spraying it on the meat; it’s basically ruined at that point.” With a lifetime of butchering under his belt, Shorty says he’s seen it all. “I had a guy bring in his meat in a 5-gallon pail. He wanted ground venison made. While we were grinding the meat, I kept smelling fuel. I walked by the pail and smelled diesel fuel. So I called the guy and asked him if he used a clean pail. He said he had washed it out, but it was a bucket he had put used oil in. The meat was ruined, and he was pretty upset with me. But the reality is if you want quality meat, you have to bring in quality meats. Common sense and cleanliness are so important when bringing in wild game for processing,” he advised. One thing different about Shorty’s Locker is they don’t mix up large batches of products. Whatever the hunter brings in is what the hunter takes home. He said doing it this way has made prices go up a little bit, but he doesn’t feel right doing large batches with multiple deer carcasses as some lockers do. “We don’t mix the venison at all. Whatever they bring in, they take back home. That’s why the cost may be higher than at other places,” he explained. “Our most popular items are deer sticks, ring baloney, salami, jerky and whole muscle jerky and brats.

Nowell “Shorty” Hofer stands next to elk carcasses in his big game cooler that are waiting for processing. Photos by Amanda Radke

HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

We want to make the best products possible, but it starts with the hunter. Keeping the meat clean and cool is number one.” For whatever the reason though, Shorty said that each year, he has to toss someone’s meat out because of poor handling. “We had a guy bring in some venison once and wanted it grinded up. He told us it was ready to go. When I looked in the cooler, the entire thing was covered in hair. We had to rinse it six times before it was ready to grind up,” said Shorty. “Other guys have brought in spoiled meat from deer they shot the previous day and couldn’t find. When a deer is shot, the heat is trapped inside the animal, and it can’t escape. A deer needs to be gutted and cooled off within a couple of hours, so the meat doesn’t spoil. Same goes for bringing home large game like elk in the back of a pickup or on top of an SUV. The fast-moving air acts like a convection oven. It doesn’t keep the meat cool on long road trips. My advice is to get a tarp and blocks of ice and wrap it around the animal to be used as a makeshift cooler while transporting the meat.” Another cause of concern is sick deer, he warned. “If you shoot a deer that doesn’t look right or is sick-looking, don’t bring it in for processing; call the game warden,” he advised. “The game warden can test the deer and report any illness that may be occurring in the area.

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Recommended Cooking Methods for Venison Cut

Broil

Pan Broil

Sauté/

BBQ Direct

Roast

Boneless Loin (Backstrap)

X

X

X

X

Tenderloin

X

X

X

X

Sirloin

X

X

X

X

Noisettes

X

X

X

Boneless Leg Filets

X

X

X

Kabobs

X

Tender Morsels/Stir Fry

Braise

BBQ Indirect

Other

X

X X

Cutlets

X

Chop Ready Rack

X

Fry

X

X

Stew Chunks

X

Chuck Roast/Shoulder Roast

X

X

X

Ribs

X

X

X

Osso Buco/Shanks

X

Hamburger Patties

X

Ground

X

X

X

X

X

Chili

X

Sausage

X

Steam

Source: http://www.brokenarrowranch.com/Recipes/CookingVenison.htm

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There’s no sense in bringing in a sick deer because you don’t know what it has wrong with it and if it’s safe to eat. If you work with the game warden, often they will issue you another tag to replace the sick deer.” In order to keep the meat as clean as possible, it starts with how the hide is removed. “When skinning a deer, make sure the meat stays as clean as possible,” he said. “Pull the hide away as you’re using the knife to remove it. I also suggest packing buckets of water to splash on the meat, so you can get loose hairs off the meat. Once skinned and gutted, quarter up the animal and throw it in a cooler of ice until you get home or bring it in for processing.” Another consideration is handling in the kitchen. By following common-sense food safety guidelines, folks can enjoy a healthy and tasty wild game eating experience. “Handling food safely: Don’t lay it on your counter to thaw all day; put the meat in the fridge or in a bowl of cold water to thaw. What happens when thawing on the counter is the outside gets warm, and that’s where bacteria starts to grow. I always tell people that usually they know what’s for supper the next day the night before, so take the meat out and throw it in the fridge to thaw. Another thing people can do is take the frozen meat and put directly in a crockpot or oven on low to thaw out and cook that way.” By following these considerations, Shorty hopes hunters will avoid common mistakes and take the steps to have the best venison possible. Other preparation tips and recipes can be found at www.healthysd.gov/healthyhunter. F Shorty says cleanliness is the most important factor in having a positive wild game eating experience.

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GF&P Shadehill Outdoor Challenge tests hunting skills, reinforces safety By Lura Roti for S.D. Game, Fish & Parks


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Tim Morgan, 17 (right) and Amanda Riley, 14 (left) were two of 59 youth to compete in the Shadehill Outdoor Challenge hosted by South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Sept. 7 held at the Shadehill Reservoir near Lemmon, S.D. (below) Keith Mutschler, Conservation officer with South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks welcomes youth and parents to the Shadehill Outdoor Challenge.

S

hortly after he took his first steps, Greg Voller, 14, was tagging along with his dad on hunting trips. He received a BB gun at 7 and after passing the Hunters Safety course he was hunting beside his dad, Alan. On Sept. 7 Greg joined more than 50 other area youth who put their outdoor sports talents to the test during the Game, Fish & Parks Shadehill Outdoor Youth Challenge held at the Shadehill Reservoir near Lemmon, S.D. “I got to get outside, be with friends and learned some gun safety and shoot/don’t shoot scenarios,” said Greg, who was the age division winner receiving a Rossi Trifecta Youth Shotgun as a prize. In its first year, the Shadehill Outdoor Youth Challenge was designed to provide youth with fun challenges, introduce them to outdoor sports as well as reinforce hunter safety measures. The challenge included age appropriate competitions in shooting, casting, archery, wildlife and track identification and a realistic shoot/don’t shoot course. “This is a way to get youth involved in the outdoors and for those who are outdoor enthusiasts, it gave them

an opportunity to see how their skills compared to other youth their age,” said Keith Mutschler, the Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) Conservation Officer in Lemmon who organized the event with the help of his wife, Anne and several local sponsors. Volunteers from sportsmen organizations were in charge of each challenge and awarded youth points based on the skill they demonstrated. After the youth completed the challenge course, their points were tallied and prizes were awarded. For novice hunter Amanda Riley, 14, the challenge gave her hands-on practice with a .22 rimfire rifle and .223 high powered rifle. “I’ve only gone hunting twice and used a 20 gauge shotgun, so this was a cool way to learn how to shoot new types of guns. I’d never shot a rifle before this,” said the Lemmon High School freshman. Although her classmate, Beth Tennant, 13, has more experience hunting, she said the challenge gave her with an opportunity to improve her form. “The volunteers showed

me what I was doing wrong and showed me how to hold my gun to improve my aim. I like hunting with my dad and mom. I think it’s the excitement that I feel when I find a deer. I shot my first deer when I was 11 – right after passing the hunter’s safety course,” said Tennant, adding that she learned a lot from the shoot/don’t shoot course. The shoot/don’t shoot course was set up to test youth’s awareness of their surroundings in realistic hunting scenarios. “This challenge was important from a safety standpoint. When you’re hunting you need to be able to make split second decisions on whether to shoot or not to shoot,” Mutschler said. One test scenario set up within the shoot/don’t shoot course was a 3-D target with an antelope buck against a good backdrop – however, about 20 yards away sat a mannequin in camouflage and an orange hat. The mannequin was sitting in some brush, yet the orange hat was clearly visible. “Most of the youth observed the fact that there was nothing between them and the target, but they missed the orange cap. This was a good reminder to them on how accidents happen,” Mutschler said. It was hands-on reminders like this one that impressed Del Newman, an event volunteer and a local Hunter’s Safety Instructor. “It’s important that when youth experience the outdoors, they do it in a very safe and positive manner.

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If you make a mistake with a firearm the consequences can be deadly,” Newman said. “This challenge also gave youth hands-on opportunities to get outdoors and learn about what activities are available to them.” The Shadehill Outdoor Challenge is one of several “Step Outside” events local GF&P Conservation Officers host throughout the state to introduce youth to outdoor activities and encourage them to spend more time outdoors, explained Mike Kintigh, Regional GF&P Supervisor for western South Dakota. “As most parents will confirm, if we don’t provide youth with an opportunity to get outdoors and get them interested in outdoor activities, they are plumb happy to sit in the house in front of the TV and video games,” Kintigh said. “Part of Game, Fish & Parks overall goal is to promote outdoor activities to consumptive and non-consumptive users.” In addition to a fun competition, Kintigh says the shoot/don’t shoot and animal ID challenges teach youth valu-

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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

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able skills that will keep both them and the wildlife safe when they are enjoying the outdoors. He explained how all hunters need to know enough about the wildlife they are harvesting to abide by the laws of the license they purchased. The animal ID challenge tested youth’s ability to identify specific wildlife based on photos, tracks and pelts. “Licenses allow you to harvest a specific animal, sometimes of a specific sex. If you’re going to hunt, you need to know enough about wild game so you don’t end up violating the law,” Kintigh said. “For example, a grouse looks a lot like a female pheasant so a hunter must be able to quickly tell the difference when they fly up.” Gereth Bushong, 16, credits his dad, Bill, with teaching him how to identify wildlife. Bushong’s dad is a retired Conservation Officer, so the teen says as long as he can remember he has spent time outdoors. “There’s a photo of me only a few weeks old posed with an antelope and on a hunting trip with my dad and one of his friends,” said the Faith High School junior. “Whenever I have a chance, I go hunting or trapping. I enjoy being outdoors, close to wildlife and away from technology.” As the senior division winner, Bushong received an AR223. Along with the first place prizes Bushong and Voller received, the other prizes included; the winner of the 7 to 11 year-old division a Mossberg 20 gauge pump shotgun. All second place winners received a copy of The Total Outdoorsman Manuel, sponsored by Grand River Sportsmen’s Club. All third place winners received an ammunition box donated by the Friends of the NRA. Other event sponsors include; Pheasants Forever, Sons of the American Legion, Grand River Archery Club, Montana Dakota Utilities, Geo’s Corner, Lemmon Trap and Skeet, Dacotah Bank, Lemmon IGA, SDSU Extension, Frito Lays and B and C Plumbing. F

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Gabe Bushong, of Faith, S.D., placed second in the 7 to 12 division. He is pictured here with Mike Pazie, president of the Grand River Sportsmen Club.

Cord Beer, of Lemmon, S.D., placed third in the 7 to 12 age division. He is pictured here with NRA committee member, James Elsing.

23

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Greg Voller of Bison, S.D., placed first in the 12 to 14 age division. He is pictured here with Mike Pazie, president of the Grand River Sportsmen Club.

Jim Brockel of Bison, S.D., placed second in the 12 to 14 age division. He is pictured here with Gene Robinson a member of the Grand River Sportsmen Club.

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Amanda Riley, of Lemmon, S.D., placed third in the 12 to 14 age division. She is pictured here with NRA member, James Elsing.

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Gereth Bushong of Faith, S.D., placed first in the 15 to 18 age division. He is pictured here with James Elsing, NRA member.

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Kaitlyn Dix of Morristown, S.D., placed second in the 15 to 18 age division. She is pictured here Mike Pazie president of Grand River Sportsmen Club.

Jordan Baumeister of Watauga, S.D., placed third in the 15 to 18 age division. She is pictured here with NRA member, James Elsing.

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24

HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

High Plains Game Ranch

UPLAND BIRD HUNTER’S PARADISE By Jan Swan Wood


HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

The lodge at High Plains Game Ranch is utilitarian on the outside and cozy and beautifully decorated on the inside.

igh Plains Game Ranch sits on a long bench that runs parallel to the Belle Fourche River, southwest of Nisland, S.D., and raises in elevation to prairie with a view of the Black Hills. Farm ground and pasture land surround the ranch that has been home to the Vallery family for 130 years. Owned by Randy and Rhonda Vallery, the ranch runs a cow-calf operation where they grow their own feed, which benefits both the cattle and the wildlife. In 1986, the agricultural economy was seeing some hard times and the Vallery ranch needed to diversify in a non-ag way. “I like to hunt and enjoy wildlife so it was a good fit,” said Randy and Rhonda added, “It was something we both were interested in and we like to meet people.” The game ranch offers hunts for pheasant, chukar partridge, Hungarian partridge and sharptail grouse in season. From September 15 until the middle of March, they are busy with hunts. “Calving comes along and we are done with the hunts in order to take care of that,” says Randy. “We have seven months of hunting available in South Dakota, so we try to use it all,” Rhonda says.

“The hunts in the snow of January, February and March are just excellent,” Randy adds. The Vallerys provide the dogs, buses and guides, or people can bring their own dogs. “The dogs make the hunt,” says Rhonda. “We’ve had some great dogs and people remember them.” The dogs at High Plains Game Ranch are all Labradors and are as friendly and gregarious as one would expect and are obviously well loved by the Vallerys. The key to the success of the Vallery operation is good dogs, good habitat and good birds, according to Randy. “All of that equates good memories for the hunters.” “You’ve got to be a people person to do this,” says Randy. “It’s a lot of work juggling the ranch, cattle, habitat and time.” Rhonda adds, “Making good habitat is a job by itself. Also, the dogs take year-round care and conditioning.” All the hard work is obviously worth it as the Vallerys talk of the many hunters who have passed through the ranch. “The stories are great and we really enjoy sitting and visiting with the hunters. We’ve watched families that have come over the years and have seen their kids grow up and then bring their own kids through the hunts here,” says Rhonda, adding,

“we’ve gotten to be a part of that and that’s been fun.” Randy adds, “It’s like old home week every day during the season. Plus, we both love history but don’t get to travel much with the work here. Getting to know all of these people makes it feel like we’ve been to a lot of places.” Hunters have visited High Plains Game Ranch from nearly every state, plus South Africa, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Scotland). “I’ve never put push-pins on a map or anything, but we should sometime,” says Randy. “We can accommodate any number of hunters, one guy or 20, single hunts or corporate groups.” The hard work of the game ranch though, is a daily reality and challenge. “We plant crops that work for both the cattle and the birds, such as corn, wheat, milo, and varieties of sorghum,” says Randy, continuing, “we plant our fields with four rows of corn and four rows of sorghum. In the big fields, we strip it out making silage for the cows, leaving the long rows of cover and feed for the birds. The different kinds of sorghum are different heights so the seed heads provide feed with the different levels of snow.” Rhonda

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26

HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

(Top Left) The snow of winter makes for good hunting at High Plains Game Ranch near Nisland, South Dakota. Hunts are offered for seven months of the year. Photo courtesy of High Plains Game Ranch (Center Left) High Plains Game Ranch is located in a beautiful area, combining prairie with river bottom land. Photo by Jan Swan Wood. (Bottom Left) Randy and Rhonda Vallery enjoy running High Plains Game Ranch and visiting with the people who come to hunt. Photo by Jan Swan Wood. (Below) These two hunters follow the good Labrador dogs home from a hunt at High Plains Game Ranch. Good dogs make the hunt better. Photo courtesy of High Plains Game Ranch.

adds that “the taller sorghum bends over and makes good cover for the birds too.” All the feed and cover is of little value without good sources of water. “Water is huge, and we‘re continually working on that,” says Rhonda. “When those little birds hatch, their little legs have to walk to water right away. If there isn’t any dew for a day or two, they aren’t going to make it,” says Randy. Consequently, water development is a major effort for the game ranch. “We aren’t on the irrigation project, but we can pump from the Belle Fourche River,” says Randy, “We fill a big dam and have

developed a series of systems to fill other dams and the pocket dams.” Rhonda adds, “we have the pocket dams everywhere. They aren’t very big or deep, but they are a source of water, plus habitat. The birds benefit and they’re necessary for the dogs when we hunt too.” The pocket dams, in turn, develop their own little habitats with cattails, shrubs and trees. “We plant a lot of trees. We have a tree spade and we put trees here and there for the habitat,” explains Randy, “I’ve had people tell me that they don’t look like someone planted them there. Well, that’s the idea, to make it look

natural.” Native trees, willows, shrubs and brush are all planted strategically for the benefit of the wildlife. The Vallerys, in their late 50s, are pretty content with the way the game ranch and Vallery Ranch are today. “There are always plans for improvements,” says Rhonda, “maybe we’ll add to the lodge someday, but we’re pretty comfortable with the way things are.” The Vallerys are friendly, genuine people who have built a business that has worked well with their existing ranch and farm operations. Hunters who have hunted at the game ranch tell their friends, and


HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

27

JD Hewitt 605-347-1100 jd@hewittlandcompany.com

Tyson Hewitt 605-206-0034

 Girl Creek   Ziebach County, Dupree SD:   2,727+/‐ acres of excellent native pasture.  Five separate pastures  facilitating easy rotation of grazing. Extremely well watered by nine reservoirs, together with two  shallow wells serving six tire tanks and three new automatic waters’.  Access is provided by well‐  maintained gravel roads and power is located on the property. Girl Creek runs through the property  providing an added element of limited winter protection. This property would make an excellent starter  ranch or added grass for an established operation. Call us on this. Priced at $1,570,000. 

13167 Arapahoe, Dr. Piedmont, SD • 57769 Office phone/fax 605.791.2300 www.hewittlandcompany.com

tyson@hewittlandcompany.com

Kendall Smith 605-222-6261 kendall@hewittlandcompany.com

 

The hunts in the snow of January, February and March are just excellent.

Girl Creek Ziebach County, Dupree SD: 2,727+/- acres of excellent native pasture. Five separate pastures facilitating easy rotation of grazing. Extremely well watered by nine reservoirs, together with two shallow wells serving six tire tanks and three new automatic waters’. Access is provided by well- maintained gravel roads and power is located on the property. Girl Creek runs through the property providing an added element of limited winter protection. This property would make an excellent starter ranch or added grass for an established operation. Call us on this. Priced at $2,100,000       

Sweetman Ranch, Sioux Co. Harrison, NE (and Fall River Co. SD): Wellbalanced ranch located along the SD/NE boarder. Comprised of 7,485+/- acres, consisting of approximately 1,400 acres in cultivation, 1,900 ac. tame pasture, 600ac. CRP with the balance in well sodded native pasture. Pipeline water, two sets of improvements, with 3+/- miles of creek bottom and 460 AUM’s grazing lease. This all contiguous ranch is loaded with production potential and priced to sell at $4,680,000.

 

Lake Arikara Ranch; 288+ acres of solitude within minutes of Pierre and the Missouri River. Good pastures that have ample water available thru rural water, a well and Dry Run Creek running thru the property and historic Lake Arikara. Nice 1000 sq. ft. home built in 1996 with attached garage. 30x36 Morton building for a shop plus two other metal clad pole buildings for livestock shelter and storage. Fenced into separate pastures with good corrals. Priced at $650,000. Contact Kendall Smith for more information 605-222-6261

–Randy Vallery

they tell theirs, and so, the word has gotten out about the beautiful location, exciting hunts, good dogs and fine people at High Plains Game Ranch. Randy and Rhonda Vallery are genuine ambassadors for western South Dakota and are glad to show off their part of the country. F

Newell, Butte County SD; Consisting of 100 +/- acres; 36+/- irr. balance in native pasture and building site). Charming 3 bedroom two bath ranch stlye home, garage, shop, barn and hayshed. Affordably priced at $320,000.

Newell, Butte County SD; Consisting of 36.9+/- acres (mostly irrigated hay-land) and with 2,280 sq. ft four bedroom, two bath completely remodeled ranch style home, garage, qounset, corrals, in a great location and priced to sell at $279,000

Contact info: www.highplainsgameranch.com email: hpgrvallery@sdplains.com phone: 605-257-2365.            

w w w. h ew i t t l a n d c o m p a n y.c o m


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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

Hunters & Sportsmen

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South Dakota: Fall turkey season opens through Jan. 31.

Nov. 1

South Dakota: Black Hills deer season opens through Nov. 30.

South Dakota: Tundra swan season opens through the conclusion of the fall light goose season.

Nov. 3

Minnesota: Wolf season opens.

Oct. 6

South Dakota: Youth pheasant season opens through Oct. 10.

Nov. 9

Oct. 10

South Dakota: Youth pheasant season closes.

Oct. 13

South Dakota: Resident-only pheasant season opens through Oct. 15.

Oct. 14

South Dakota: Firearms antelope season closes.

Oct. 15

South Dakota: Resident-only pheasant season closes.

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Oct. 20

Minnesota: Deer gun season opens.

North Dakota: Deer gun season opens through Nov. 25. Nov. 10

Nov. 17

South Dakota: Archery antelope season opens through Oct. 31.

South Dakota: East River deer season opens through Dec. 2.

Nov. 18

South Dakota: Pheasant season opens through Jan. 6.

South Dakota: Sandhill crane season closes.

Nov. 25

South Dakota: West River deer season closes.

Bennett County: Canada goose season by special permit only opens through Dec. 23.

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Oct. 27

South Dakota: Pheasant season shooting hours goes from 10 a.m. to sunset.

Oct. 28

South Dakota Unit 30A: The elk season which includes portions of portions of Gregory (South Dakota and Boyd (Nebraska) counties closes.

Oct. 31

South Dakota: Snipe season closes.

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South Dakota: West River deer season opens through Nov. 25.

Nov. 9-11 Aberdeen: 2012 South Dakota Snowmobile Convention at the Ramkota hosted by the Aberdeen Driftbusters Snowmobile Club.

South Dakota: Quail season opens through Jan. 6.

Lil’ Feller

South Dakota: Dove season closes.

South Dakota: Crow season closes. South Dakota: Archery antelope season closes. South Dakota Unit 27A: The Prairie Elk Unit closes. South Dakota Unit 09A: The elk season which includes portions of Butte and Lawrence counties closes.

North Dakota: Deer gun season closes. Nov. 30

South Dakota: Black Hills deer season closes.

Dec. 1

South Dakota: Muzzleloader deer season opens through Jan. 15. South Dakota Unit 09A: The elk season which includes portions of Butte and Lawrence counties opens through Dec. 15. South Dakota: East River deer season closes.


HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

A SUPPLEMENT TO THE FARMER & RANCHER EXCHANGE

OUTDOOR CALENDAR:

Nebraska

Oct. 1

Crow hunting season opens statewide

Oct. 12, 19, 26

Shubert: RV Campground Halloween Decorating Contest, Indian Cave SP, 402-883-2575

Oct. 1-10

River Antlerless deer hunting season for legal firearms, but not Season Choice, landowner or youth permits

Oct. 12-27

Firearm antelope hunting season

Oct. 13

Louisville: Muzzleloader Sight-in and Family Rendezvous, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Platte River SP, 402-234-2217

Oct. 14

Columbus Day, Game and Parks offices closed

Oct. 16

Mahoney: Nebraska Big Game Society Annual Meeting, Mahoney SP, (402) 430-9191

Oct. 18

Nebraska City: Nebraska Game and Parks Board of Commissioners meeting, 8 a.m.

Zones 2 and 4: Duck and coot hunting seasons open in Zones 2 and 4

Oct. 19-20

Youth pheasant, quail and partridge hunting season

Statewide: White-fronted goose hunting season opens

Oct. 19-20

Zone 3: Youth waterfowl hunting season in Zone 3

Statewide: Light goose hunting regular season opens

Oct. 19-20

DeSoto muzzleloader deer hunting season

Ponca: Homemade Living Day, Ponca SP, 402-755-2284

Oct. 23

Fort Calhoun: Living History Weekend, Fort Atkinson State Historical Park (SHP), 402-468-5611

Zone 3: Duck and coot hunting seasons open in Zone 3

Oct. 26

Gering: Howl in the Hills Night Hike, Wildcat Hills Nature Center, 308-436-3777

Oct. 1-31

Paddlefish snagging season

Oct. 4-6

Halsey: Becoming an OutdoorsWoman camp, 402-471-5482

Oct. 5

Ashland: Autumn Harvest Art Show, Eugene T. Mahoney State Park (SP), 402-944-2523 Denton: Project WILD workshop, Spring Creek Prairie Audubon, 402-471-5363 North Central Unit: Dark goose hunting season opens in North Central Unit

Oct. 5-6

Oct. 5-6

Zone 1: Youth waterfowl hunting season in Zone 1

Oct. 6

Muzzleloader antelope hunting season closes

Oct. 6, 13, 20

Nebraska City: Living History Day, Arbor Lodge SHP, 402-873-7222

Oct. 27

Archery and firearm bull elk hunting seasons close Private and public land antlerless elk hunting seasons close

Shubert: Haunted Hollow Hayrack Rides, Indian Cave SP, 402-883-2575

Oct. 12

Louisville: Roger G. Sykes Outdoor Heritage Education Complex closes for season, Platte River SP, 402-471-5547

Oct. 28

Dark goose hunting season opens in East, Platte River, Panhandle and Niobrara Units

October Late Doe/Fawn antelope hunting season opens

Oct. 30

Dove hunting season closes

Oct. 31

Eurasian collared-dove hunting continues

Oct. 12, 19

Ponca: Hallowfest, Ponca SP, 402-755-2284

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Raccoon and Virginia opossum hunting seasons close

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HUNTER’S PARADISE 2013

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