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

It’s now clear that “South Dakota is open for business” involving nonresident waterfowl hunters. SB 150, the bill to increase nonresident waterfowl hunting opportunity passed the House and is headed to the Governor for certain signature.  It was her bill all along.  She had lots of paid help from GFP leadership, several high cost lobbyists, the SD Retailers (Nathan Sanderson) and every motel/hotel/café/bar and C-store group in eastern SD.  They all banded together to increase nonresident waterfowl hunting opportunity at our expense.  Together they told resident waterfowl hunters they don’t care about us and to just suck it up.  I strongly suspect this is only the beginning of more nonresident waterfowl hunter increases.  Conflicts between resident and nonresident hunters will get worse and resident waterfowl hunter numbers will continue to decline.

We made it close (19 No and 46 Yea) and 19 Representatives voted with us.  I didn’t listen to the debate but some of our Legislative supporters really went all out for us.  I’ll put out a note soon on who voted with us and who voted against us.

Be sure to remember who was who this November.

Thanks for all your support and hard work.  We did kill the bill in its original version and we gained respect from numerous Legislators.  This session is now over for us.

I’m going to decompress a little and will put out a summary note with the “how they voted” list later in March.

One more request, pay your dues and try to sign up a couple of new members.  Thanks. Geo

PS – be sure to step outside, look up in the sky and marvel at the spring migration.

Call or text me at 605-295-2880 or e-mail me direct at gvan3@pie.midco.net if you have questions.
Our main issues 1) expand and increase quality waterfowl hunting access opportunities in South Dakota 2) maintain 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) 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.