Trappers, hunters don’t like proposed S.D. restrictions

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Spearfish

SPEARFISH, S.D. (KELO) — A butcher, an outfitter, a taxidermist and others in the hunting trade from western counties complained Thursday about a proposal the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission is considering.

They don’t want restrictions proposed for next year on what potentially could or couldn’t be done in South Dakota with species such as deer and elk killed in areas of South Dakota where chronic wasting disease has been documented.

Hunters also wouldn’t be allowed to bring deer, elk, moose or other cervid species back to South Dakota from other states, except for de-boned meat, regardless of whether CWD was present there.

The proposal contained an exception for carcasses that were being transported from one state through South Dakota to another state.

Deer and elk that were killed in known CWD areas of South Dakota couldn’t be removed from those areas, except for de-boned meat.

South Dakota meat processors and taxidermists also would face tough restrictions under the proposal.

State Wildlife Division officials agreed they would return with a re-worked proposal Friday. A public hearing is set for 2 p.m. CT October 3 at the commission’s next meeting at Oacoma.

Commissioners also heard from trappers who don’t want to be forced to put ID tags on their traps and don’t want to have to check traps more often than every 72 hours.

Nancy Hilding of Black Hawk, representing the Prairie Hills Audubon Society, petitioned the commission in July. She wants to require trap checks every 24 hours and mandate trap tags.

Those two proposals are set for a public hearing October 3 too.

Hilding also has a new proposal that would require tags on traps on land open to public use. The commission will decide Friday what to do with it.

Speaking against the trapping restrictions were John Hopple of Black Hawk, Ben Page of Mud Butte, Vince Logue of Oelrichs, Fin Sacrison of Bison, Tuffy Halls of Hot Springs, Joe Logue of Oelrichs, Justin Krajewski of Spearfish and Max Matthews of Bison.

Matthews is president of the Perkins County predator-control board. He said he has never set a trap and leaves it to the professionals. Livestock producers would lose “an important tool” in managing predators of sheep and young calves if the restrictions are adopted, he said.

“Sheep in particular have no defense against the coyote,” Matthews said. He said lambs bitten in the necks that weren’t killed immediately instead got sick and then died over next few days.

“I’ve also found sheep walking with their insides trailing five feet behind them,” he said.

Those Matthews said he shoots.

Talking in favor were Jamie Al-Haj of Rapid City and Hilding.

Eric Loken of Camp Crook, who does business as Sheep Mountain Taxidermy, opposed the CWD restrictions. So did rancher and bar-restaurant owner Clark Blake of Camp Crook, outfitter Mike Watkins from Alzada, Montana, and Nisland butcher Wes Reinford.

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