Game Fish and Parks

Arts & Lifestyle: Mar 28 - Apr 3

Apr 3, 2020

We spend the majority of the program helping those who might be missing music as art and music as worship during this pandemic and Lenten season. All this and more in this week's arts and lifestyle podcast.

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks

There are restrictions on business activity around the state to reduce transmission of the coronavirus. However, state officials say South Dakota’s parks and outdoor recreation areas are open. 

South Dakota Game Fish and Parks secretary Kelly Hepler stated they’ve modified some of the park operations.

News: Aug 31 - Sep 6

Sep 6, 2019

This week we bring you everything from non-meandering waters to industrial hemp production. It was a week that celebrated the state's great places, and dove deeper into the long-term impact of spring flooding and erratic weather. 


In The Moment ... March 28, 2019 Show 545 Hour 2

Jeff VanMeeteren is the SE Regional Parks Supervisor with South Dakota Game Fish & Parks. He's with us today to talk about what it takes to close and re-open state parks when there are issues such as the current flooding.

Steve Munsen

In The Moment ... January 30, 2019 Show 505 Hour 2

Governor Kristi Noem has announced continuing efforts to protect natural resources. Kelly Hepler is South Dakota's Secretary of Game Fish & Parks. He joins In The Moment today.

In The Moment ... June 8, 2018 Show 354 Hour 2

White-nose syndrome has been spreading west and now its been discovered in bats in South Dakota.

Silka Kempema, Wildlife Biologist for South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks, and Kimberly Dickerson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service White-Nose Syndrome Coordinator for the Mountain/Prairie Region, visit about what this means for the bat population and conservation.

The head of South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks says it will block off access to water situated over private land.
The move is a result of a state Supreme Court decision saying landowners have property rights under non-meandering water.
Last week Game Fish and Parks officials announced they were closing Department-managed boat launches and halting fish stockings on non-meandered bodies of water over private land.

In The Moment...January 11 2017 Show 008 Hour 2

Guests: Dakota Political Junkies Jon Hunter from the Madison Daily Leader and Jonathan Ellis from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader; Kelly Hepler, South Dakota Secretary of Game Fish & Parks; Miles O'Brien, NOVA producer

Pheasant Numbers Are Down

Sep 2, 2016
South Dakota Game Fish and Parks

Pheasant numbers are down 20 percent from last year in South Dakota. But Officials with the Game Fish and Parks assure hunters that the numbers will not affect fall hunting.

The Game Fish and Parks just completed their annual brood survey. The pheasants seen along known routes were fewer than in 20-15. However . . . the Game Fish and Parks says this year’s numbers are still double what they were in 20-13 and 15 percent higher than 20-14.

Travis Runia is a Senior Game Biologist for the Game Fish and Parks. He says the pheasant population overall is doing just fine.

Waiting To Mow Ditches Helps Protect Pheasant Nests

Jun 20, 2016

Governor Dennis Daugaard is reminding East River landowners to wait to mow ditches along the state highway system until July 10th. He says holding off on mowing is helpful for the pheasant population.

GF&P: Grassland Important For Pheasant Habitat

Jun 6, 2016
Matthew Grunig, SD GF&P

South Dakota’s Revised Pheasant Management Plan is ready for implementation. It guides pheasant management over the next five years. The plan focuses on habitat, especially on private land.

States Regulate Drone Use in Hunting

May 11, 2016

Drones are gaining in popularity.   They are seeing increased use in commercial applications like real estate.  And, even some use in law enforcement.   But there is one thing many wildlife officials say drones shouldn’t be used for… hunting. Wyoming just passed a restriction on drone use in hunting.  Other states are considering proactive measures to maintain ethical hunting practices.

A new initiative aims to help South Dakota landowners maintain wildlife habitat on their property. Habitat Pays is a joint venture between the state departments of Agriculture and Game Fish and Parks.

Eagle Comeback In South Dakota

Jul 21, 2015

The South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Department is looking at a proposal to remove bald eagles from the state endangered and threatened species list. In 2007, bald eagles were taken off the federal endangered species list but remain protected.

Pheasants Forever

Concern over the loss of habitat has led the Twin Cities-based conservation group Pheasants Forever to open its first regional office in South Dakota. The group’s long-time vice president of government affairs, Dave Nomsen, opened new state headquarters in Brookings this week and has started his new role as Pheasants Forever’s first South Dakota Director. Nomsen is a graduate of South Dakota State University and served on the faculty of the wildlife department. He’s been with Pheasants Forever since 1992.

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks

Chinese ring-necked pheasants were first successfully introduced in South Dakota in 1908 in Spink County. That was also where the state’s first pheasant hunting season took place.

Today pheasant hunting is big business in the state. According to the South Dakota Department of Tourism, pheasant hunting generates an estimated 223 million dollars annually. But pheasant numbers have been falling since 2007. Concern about the declining pheasant population and its statewide impact led Governor Dennis Daugaard to form a pheasant habitat task force.

Pheasant Count Down From 2012

Dec 3, 2013

According to state Game, Fish and Parks surveys, this year’s pheasant brood has dropped 64 percent from 2012.  The numbers are down 76 percent from the 10-year average.  South Dakota Department of Game Fish and Parks Secretary Jeff Vonk says the brood count in late summer is as low as Game, Fish and Parks has seen in 30 or 40 years.  Governor Dennis Daugaard has convened a pheasant habitat summit Friday in Huron at the Crossroads Hotel and Convention Center to discuss the future of pheasant habitat and hunting in South Dakota.