January 28, 2023

South Dakota Dove Hunters Need To Be Aware Of Fire Dangers

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The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department is issuing warnings to dover hunters, whose season begins today, that because of the drought conditions they should be aware of the dangers of fire.

PIERRE , S.D. —As South Dakota dove hunters take to the field on Sept. 1 for the first bird hunting season of the fall, they should stay aware of the fire danger brought on by the state’s drought.

“There have been some welcome rains lately,” said Game, Fish and Parks Assistant Director Emmett Keyser, “but that doesn’t mean that the danger of fire has diminished in all areas. Hunters should still be on the lookout for fire and prepare themselves to fight fires before they go into the field.”

The GFP is recommending that hunters equip their vehicles with fire extinguishers, blankets, water, shovels or rakes so that they can put out small fires before they become big fires. Hunters, campers, hikers and anyone enjoying the outdoors is reminded to put out cigarettes with water and dirt or in a vehicle’s ashtray. Vehicle travel should be limited to designated areas and vehicles should never be parked over tall grass.

For its part, the department’s personnel in the field have had their vehicles equipped with firefighting equipment. GFP also has firefighting aircraft on standby for the Sept. 30 antelope season opener and the opening of other major hunting seasons.

In addition to staying alert for the fire danger, dove hunters are reminded that that particular hunting seasons carries with it some unique restrictions. Hunters should be aware that:

* they must not hunt doves within 50 yards of a public road.

* hunters 17 years or younger must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible adult.

* hunters may not shoot at a dove unless it is in flight.

* shotguns used in dove hunting must not be capable of holding more than three shells.

* doves may not be hunted on state park and recreation areas with the exception of  that portion of Angostura State Recreation Area lying west of the dam.

Tom Remington