President’s final message – George Vandel, Pierre

April 2022

The 2022 Legislative session is officially over and there was nothing involving nonresident waterfowl or for that matter only a limited number of conservation bills.  One that I followed and lobbied against would have significantly increased the road hunting safety zone.  It was defeated.

GFP COMMISSION ALERT: A GFP Commission Meeting scheduled for April 7th and 8th in Watertown at the Watertown Event Center – 1901 9th Ave SW.  Two items on the agenda you should be aware of: 1) the Commission will be taking final action on a proposed Missouri River Waterfowl Refuge expansion.  The proposal would close waterfowl hunting on about 3,000 acres of highly accessible public land and approximately 50 miles of highly accessible shoreline.  We have formally opposed this refuge expansion.  If you have not already done so, please ship an e-mail to the Commission.  2) at the March meeting the GFP Commission proposed opening counties in SE SD to  nonresident Canada Goose hunting.  These counties have been closed to nonresidents to allow our residents to obtain permission from private landowners to hunt geese during the early season.  The concern about opening it to nonresidents is that our residents are likely to lose some of their areas to hunt.  Resident goose hunters heavily utilize this goose population reduction season.  Nonresidents are likely to displace resident goose hunter and thus reduce the overall goose harvest.  Residents simply hunt more often than nonresidents.

For a link about the Commission meeting, to send in a comment or to register to testify go to:

To testify in person send an e-mail to:

To submit a public comment go to:

Note the deadline to submit comments and register is on Sunday April 3rd.

Finally, this will be my last message as President of the South Dakota Waterfowl Association.  Its been a privilege to serve as your president.  Cody Warner of Webster has agreed to be the new President.  I will serve on the Board as Past President and have agreed to maintain my Lobbyist Credentials to lobby for our organization during the Legislative session.

Cody was born and raised in Minnesota.  He received his BS and MS at SDSU.  He completed his MS work under Dr. Chuck Deiter working with Canada geese in NE SD. Cody currently works for the NRCS in Webster, SD and specializes in arranging conservation easements for NRCS.  Cody is an avid waterfowl hunter and manages to reduce to local yellow perch population during the winter.  Cody is married and has 2 1/2 year-old daughter.

Cody will take over his duties immediately (we wanted to wait until the session was over).  Cody has some great ideas on where to take our organization’s next steps.  I know he will do a great job – Thanks Cody!

His contact info is a follows:
Cody Warner
(605) 590-0001

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 do not create undue conflicts with resident waterfowl hunters and 3) to ensure that commercialization of waterfowl hunting in South Dakota remains low.

Board: Cody Warner, President – Watertown, Chuck Dieter – Brookings, John Simpson – Pierre, Bill Koupal – Pierre.  Bobby Cox will serve as Secretary Treasurer and George Vandel – Pierre will serve as Past-president.