President’s message – George Vandel, Pierre
February 5, 2020

The bill to increase nonresident waterfowl hunting opportunity has been introduced.  It is SB 150.  The bill is unchanged from the bill I discussed with you on Jan. 28th.  As of today it has not been scheduled for Committee action.  I’ll for sure let you know when it is.

Both the Wildlife Federation and I worked hard to change the bill into something we could live with.  Our efforts were ignored by GFP.

It’s now time for us to work hard and kill this bill!  I have included two files for you to use when you contact your individual legislators.  One is a briefing paper regarding the economic return of resident vs nonresident waterfowl hunters.  As we all know, we spend one hell of a lot more in SD that they do. (click here to view this document)  The second file is a list of talking points for you to use when you contact your legislators.  It has two sections.  The first are points to make in 30 seconds – in a brief phone call, e-mail or text.  The second is to use if you go to a local cracker barrel and/or you have more time for a detailed discussion. (click here to view this document) A word of advice, feel free to let them know you are mad about this bill just please don’t act mad.  Be blunt but polite.  Do not cut and paste these points – try to put them in your own words and individualize each response.  Don’t blanket e-mail all Legislators.  Work on your local legislators – when they know you can vote for them, they listen.

Here is a brief synopsis of SB 150:

It would combine the existing 4,000 10-day licenses and the 2,000 3-day licenses into 6,000 nonresident, two 5-day waterfowl licenses.  Nonresident waterfowl hunters would be able to return for a second hunt. We estimate that 20% will return so we will see an additional 2,000 nonresident hunter trips. The GFP Commission would retain their authority to increase nonresident permits by 5% per year but now the start number is 6,000 not 4,000.  SB 150 will increase nonresident waterfowl hunting opportunity by 14,000 hunter days or an increase of 31%. The lottery draw for licenses is eliminated at the sole request of Alex Russo – he doesn’t like the current application process.

The bill will be sponsored by Senator Gary Cammack (Senate AG and Natural Resources Committee Chair) and it’s co-sponsored in the House by Lana Greenfield.  If your Senator is on the Senate Ag, Committee please call them. 

It’s now time to start visiting with your local legislators about this bill! 

Call or text me at 605-295-2880 or e-mail me direct at gvan3@pie.midco.ne if you have questions.

A couple of brief housekeeping items: In visiting with Treasurer Bobby Cox, it appears that many of us are behind in our dues.  Unless you specifically know you have recently sent in a renewal check, please send Bobby a check for $25 (3-year membership) to:

Bobby Cox
PO Box 712
Ipswich, SD 57451

You can call or text Bobby if you have questions about your dues at (605) 380-7327.

Finally, visit with your duck hunting friends about SDWA.  If they are not members, ask them to join – it’s easy.

Our main issues 1) expanding and increasing quality waterfowl hunting access opportunities in South Dakota 2) maintaining quality waterfowl hunting in our state by balancing nonresident waterfowl hunter numbers such that they not create undue conflicts with resident waterfowl hunters and 3) to ensure that commercialization of waterfowl hunting in South Dakota remains low.

Board: John Simpson – Pierre, Spencer Vaa – Brookings, Tom Yseth – Brookings and Bill Koupal – Pierre.  Bobby Cox will serve as Secretary Treasurer and Chuck Dieter will serve as Past-president.