Some Updates and Suggestions
President’s message – George Vandel, Pierre
October, 2020

I have a couple of updates for the group.

With help from some of the Board, we prepared an action plan for GFP and GFP Commission to take regarding waterfowl hunter access and opportunity improvements.  I have attached the plan as sent to GFP.  I sent this out before but feel it’s worth your review again.  We had a conf. call this summer with GFP staff and they will be drafting a plan, hopefully based on our recommended plan, for us to review.  With a lot going on they are behind schedule.  Originally we were told to expect a draft in August – it’s obvious they missed this deadline.  Based on some recent communication, GFP staff plans to discuss the plan concept with the GFP Commission at their November meeting.  I assume we will get a draft plan to review sometime yet in 2020.  I will be certain to share their draft with you as soon as I get it.

Click here to download/view draft document (PDF)

One item became clear involving Missouri River Waterfowl Refuges – any modifications or changes to these refuges is likely dead for the foreseeable future.

One very positive outcome from our efforts: GFP has been working hard this late summer to do a better job of providing better access to GPAs and I suspect some WIAs to mow trails to the water for waterfowl hunting access!  They have been using “Lake Access” signs to ID these areas locally and the mowed trails have made numerous unknown or impossible-to-get-to areas now open to access.  I don’t have specifics regarding locations or number of areas but I have been hearing some very positive reports from folks out scouting this fall.

Duck seasons are either open or will soon open so that means a November election is not far off.  Please take the time to visit with your local Legislative candidates and feel free to politely but bluntly let them know how you feel about the nonresident waterfowl issue.  Below is a link to the Camo Coalition website that shows how House and Senate members voted on a variety of 2020 session outdoor issues.  It’s kind of hit and miss – some never vote for us, some always vote for us and most vote for or against us depending on the issue.  We are likely to see about a 50% turnover in the Legislature so be sure to pin your locals down and let them know how you feel about issues that impact our ability to hunt in SD.

Hey, enjoy some fall waterfowl hunting and please stay safe and Covid free.

Give me a call, text (605-295-2880) or e-mail ( if you have questions, opinions or want to visit about this.

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.

Our website remains ( up and running.