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Game, Fish and Parks Law Enforcement Officers Now Equipped with Body Cameras

Game, Fish and Parks Law Enforcement Officers Now Equipped with Body Cameras

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) law enforcement officers will now be equipped with body cameras to increase transparency and enhance officer safety.

“Our officers already do a tremendous job,” said GFP department secretary Kelly Hepler. “It is our hope that the implementation of body cameras will ultimately make their jobs easier, and the work they do to serve and protect our natural resources as well as the public’s safety even better.”

Due to the nature of wildlife and park law enforcement, in-car video cameras are oftentimes not beneficial. Recent advancements in body-worn video cameras have given GFP officers another option. In addition, video documentation can assist with criminal prosecutions and improve protection against false allegations.

-GFP-

Sand guys are coming to Watertown

The Travel Channel’s ‘Sand Guys’ to Visit Watertown

Lake Kampeska will be the backdrop for an internationally recognized sand sculpting crew during this summer’s Cookin’ on Kampeska, set for July 14-15.

Sand Guys International, who star on the Travel Channel show, “Sand Masters,” will be featured throughout this summer’s two-day event at Stokes-Thomas City Park.

“The possibilities for our Cookin’ on Kampeska sculptures are endless, but so far we’ve been talking with them about creating something unique to Watertown,” said Megan Olson, President of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce which organizes the annual event.

“We’re also excited that they are going to work in some time on Saturday to teach kids a few of their techniques,” she added.

Sand Guys International was formed when two world-renowned sand sculptors, Rusty Croft and Kirk Rademaker, decided to combine their talents. The pair have traveled the globe and have more than thirty-five years of experience sculpting sand on a professional level.

In 2011, the Sand Guys were offered their own television show "Sand Masters," by the Travel Channel. The show chronicled their adventures in sand for two years filming a total of 29 episodes.  Since its premier, "Sand Masters" has been translated into Spanish, French and Italian airing throughout the Asian-Pacific rim and Europe.

The Watertown appearance of Sand Guys International, sponsored by GCC/Consolidated Ready Mix, Inc., will be on Saturday, July 15, in Stokes-Thomas City Park near Lake Kampeska. The exact times have yet to be determined.

Designed to be a family-friendly weekend, Cookin’ on Kampeska centers around the 6th Annual Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned BBQ contest. In addition to sampling fantastic food, attendees will also enjoy a wide variety of games and live music.

“We just feel bringing a group of this caliber to Watertown will give families even more to look forward to. They will also draw people in from around the region,” said Olson.

More information on Sand Guys International and Cookin’ on Kampeska will be released as the dates draw near. For the latest updates, go to www.cookinonkampeksa.com.

SD Game Fish and Parks news

Good Earth State Park Fees Finalized

PIERRE, S.D. – This week, the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission established facility use fees for special events occurring in Good Earth State Park.

The fees, which range from picnic shelter rentals to wedding events, take into consideration facility expenses, staff time and clean-up costs and are comparable with similar facility rentals in the Sioux Falls area. Other state parks have similar rules and fees in place to allow for special events. To view these fees, visit: http://gfp.sd.gov/agency/commission/default.aspx.

A grand opening for the state park’s new visitor center will be held May 19, 2017. This event coincides with the department’s annual open house weekend May 19-21, 2017, which offers free entrance to all state parks and recreation areas during that time. The park entrance license requirement will go into effect for Good Earth State Park beginning May 22, 2017.

 

2017 Elk Season Finalized

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission allocated 443 any elk and 1,150 antlerless elk licenses for the 2017 Black Hills elk hunting season at their April meeting.

The 2017 season will follow the same season date structure as the 2016 season.

The Commission finalized the 2017 archery elk hunting season with season dates of Sept. 1-30 and 147 any elk and 130 antlerless elk licenses.  This proposal resulted in a decrease of 10 antlerless elk licenses compared to 2016.

The 2017 prairie elk hunting season will have 149 licenses in the four prairie hunting units and will follow the same season date structure as 2016. Prairie unit 30A (Gregory County) will remain closed. 

Rule Changes for Terminally Ill Hunters

PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission expanded a rule that allows for the allocation of a deer, antelope or turkey license to terminally ill South Dakota residents.

This allowance is available to a resident who has been diagnosed to have a terminal illness that is expected to substantially shorten their life expectancy; or to a resident under the age of 26 who has been diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illness. Authorizations allow the resident to hunt and take no more than one deer, antelope or turkey. Authorizations are issued as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each species.

The rule change will allow the GFP department secretary to authorize a terminally ill resident to hunt a deer, antelope or turkey outside established season dates if circumstances justify such an allowance.

-GFP-

GFP Mission: The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks provides sustainable outdoor recreational opportunities through responsible management of our state’s parks, fisheries and wildlife by fostering partnerships, cultivating stewardship and safely connecting people with the outdoors.

 

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