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Need your action, maybe the last time for this Session!

Please if you have the chance to attend a cracker barrel this weekend please ask all Senators to oppose HB 1184 Landowner tags to Non-resident landowners and to support HCR 6011, RAWA funding at a National level. Please email the Senate Ag. members listed and ask them to vote NO on 1185 and YES on HCR 6011 Tuesday morning in Senate Ag.

Senate Ag. Members; Blare, Rocky (R);  Ewing, Bob (R)Foster, Red Dawn (D)Heinert, Troy (D)Klumb, Joshua (R)Otten, Ernie (R)Soholt, Deb (R)Youngberg, Jordan (R)

Tuesday morning at 645 am in House Ag is SB 150 please email House Ag members and ask them to vote NO on SB 150 Tuesday morning.

HB 1184 provide limited deer and antelope licenses to landowners

SDWF opposes this bill as written and we oppose it less after it is amended. Amendment 1184B will improve it by removing much of the potential for abuse by limiting the tags to landowners OWNING AND OPERATING 640 acres or more contiguous acres of land.

This bill gives guaranteed any deer and antelope to nonresident landowners and their families. Nonresident landowners do not have the rights that residents have.While we sympathize with nonresident landowners, our residents must come first. SDWF also encourages nonresidents to become residents of SD to enjoy all the benefits this state has to offer.

  • This bill could potentially impact the current number of big game tags issued to resident hunters., including those that go to resident landowners. The number could be substantially reduced by some clarifications in the bill, as noted below.

The intent of HB 1184 is to apply only to West River hunters for the most desirable tags, but opens the door to include the entire state. Indeed, the bill would allow nonresidents to obtain free doe licenses in any hunting season across the state if they own and operate 640 acres of land. It is just one more step until East River and other units are opened to guarantee any deer tags for nonresident landowners. In fact, as written, the bill appears to already allow this:

Regardless of the intent of the bill, the wording allows nonresident landowners who own land in any part of the state to hunt that land if they do not receive a license in the West River drawing. This means nonresident landowners are guaranteed any deer licenses East River or in any other unit if they own 640 acres of land there.

  • The free landowner doe tags will go to nonresidents in any hunting unit in the state if they own and operate 640 acres of private lands for agricultural purposes.
  • SDWF feels that if HB 1184 passes, the current system of landowner preference for residents may need to be changed, but there is no political will to do so. Therefore, most resident sportsmen and women can expect a reduction in deer hunting tags and opportunities.
  • The bill does not appear to allow SD GF&P to make reductions in nonresident landowner deer tags if EHD, CWD, adverse weather conditions or other problems impact the herd.
  • The bill (as amended) has errors, including confusing nonresidents with residents and failing to remove all references to leases.

HCR 6011 Supporting the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. SDWF supports if RAWA is passed on a National level.  With matching dollars from GFP RAWA would mean up to $16 Million dollars to the State GFP for non-game species, recovery and habitats on  State and Tribal lands here in SD. Tribal funds are separate from the GFP money.

SB 150 an act to revise nonresident waterfowl licensure. SDWF strongly opposes The bill has the potential to increase hunting pressure in South Dakota, making it a lose-lose proposition for the vast majority of waterfowl hunters, resident and nonresident alike. There is no regard to the long term consequences of the privatization and commercialization of wildlife. Resident participation has been in steep decline over the past several years and this legislation has the potential to make those losses worse