Minnesota group raffles S.D. bighorn tag

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Pierre map locator South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department officials wouldn’t say Tuesday evening how much an online auction of a bighorn sheep license for the 2020 season brought in.

The Midwest chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation conducted the auction that concluded at 7 p.m. CT Monday. The group is based in Northfield, Minnesota.

Game, Fish and Parks Secretary Kelly Hepler said in July he hoped the license would bring in a large sum — “Probably in the four-hundred to five-hundred thousand range” — after the auction tag’s coverage area was expanded to include several units.

A link labeled “Bighorn Sheep Auction License” on the department’s big horn web page takes readers to the foundation’s auction information.

The 2020 auction’s winner receives an invitation to appear with Governor Kristi Noem at the 2019 Governor’s Invitational Pheasant Hunt the fourth weekend of October. A message from Noem is on the foundation’s web site.

The 2019 live auction brought in a winning bid of $89,000.

Three licenses were available for the 2019 season that opened September 1. The department’s website says about license eligibility: “All bighorn sheep seasons and units are considered as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. SD residents who have never received a license for any SD bighorn sheep season are eligible.” There were more than 8,000 applications.

The licenses auctioned for 2019 and 2020 meanwhile could be purchased by one person for another person’s use.

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