Is SD shooting itself in the foot?

benelli-banger

Active member
I researched the widlife budget.... sd spends almost $57,000,000 and takes in a bit over $51,000,000; no wonder they canceled the brood survey which cost $700,0000 and redirected that towards marketing, and also, imposed the new habitat stamp! As far as sources of that $51,000,000 of revenue, federal sources are the largest source (21mm), and NR license sales are #2 at almost 18mm....they better get this right, and I worry that they aren't! Take away the brood survey, limit us to 2 hunts per license, and now hit us with a new $25 stamp....there are many guys that will go elsewhere that has a season-long license, that is doing brood surveys, and isn't treating their pheasant hunting as a business. We will hear LOTS more about how prevalent released birds are in sd....which is true....not by the state, and not just by preserves, but by individuals who want their hunters to kill some birds despite not having adequate habitat....lots of that goes on...lots.

I know plenty of guys that just pay $20 per bird and go to gamefarms near their homes...they save lots of $ by doing this vs. paying for motels, nr licenses, land access, meals, gas, etc....when more and more perceive that that is what sd is becoming, more will stay home and hunt gamefarms or just hunt their own state, such as MN. I am not of that mindset, but I talk to LOTS of hunters, and I think I have a sense for what many of them are thinking. Hard core guys with dogs are probably less vulnerable to staying home and just hunting gamefarms, but they will keep an open mind as to where they travel to, IMO.

I think that canceling the brood survey is unwise, that choosing to create more marketing hype is unwise, and imposing the new habitat stamp right now is unwise....I think it all serves to undermine the credibility of gfp, and it may really backfire over the next decade or more. If they choose to spend $ on marketing, it should focus 100% on what is available to hunt...break it down for us, show us exactly what you have....all the alphabet-soup...wia, crep, chap, wpa, wma....that is all that matters. Glossy brochures or catchy commercials with roosters flushing and hunters smiling and chatting with farmers won't cut it. The reality is that lots of farmers are struggling and may not be as hospitable as in the past, especially with covid concerns...hunters coming in from other states hopefully will understand this. Gfp came right out and announced on 6/4 during the meeting that focused on the brood survey decision that "this is a business we're running".....🤡
 
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5 stand

Active member
First off good post.
I'm one of the guys that go, no matter what.I have three dogs, sitting at home isn't what we do in the fall. I hope we see good benefits from this $25 habitat stamp.
Marketing wild birds that their numbers fluctuate is going to be a hard sale. The die has been cast, we'll see how it turns out.
 

hunter94

Well-known member
https://www.aberdeennews.com/news/o...cle_14a3121c-b6f4-11ea-a365-f79cca20706d.html

read the article. transparency is something i doubt we will see......it's a business, can you trust them to buy habitat?

SHOW ME WHAT MY $25 HABITAT STAMP IS BUYING ME AS A HUNTER!!

buying ads does nothing to enhance the hunting experience.....bad business strategy. old school marketing that won't work.
especially if the public ground is shit, get rid of the school land.......95% pasture and hills/canyons....is virtually a waste.
be honest with the hunter.....show the counts, if it is down and you paint a pretty picture your creditability is shot to hell, once a liar, always a liar.

the number of NR hunters is going to continue to drop....the public ground is inadequate and over hunted.
the habitat stamps is just another source of "feel good" revenue that will end up in someones' pocket.
 

A5 Sweet 16

Well-known member
Not sure what the best answer is. Can't fault landowners for trying to get the best bang per acre. Gone are the days when the average Joe could head out & hunt just about wherever he pleased. Those days won't return. I honestly think that for most nonresidents, advertising IS the answer. And we can glorify other aspects of pheasant hunting all we want, but at the end of the day, people want to at least SEE pheasants. Putting 1000's more hunters on the publicly accessible land will just burn them out quicker. Then more residents will quit hunting. The uncommon nonresident can be successful on public land. But most of them need something different just in order to see birds. Many don't even KNOW they're shooting pen raised birds on a preserve. Given our world today, I don't know how you change that. Other than sink the whole $57 million into programs like Walk-In Areas.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
if we weren’t so far in debt at the federal level—26 trillion—one could hope that the government would help support crop prices AND help the conservation effort with a form of CRP such that they did about 35 years ago....but that won’t happen. Low crop prices and high input costs could cause some landowners to seek out whatever CRP programs that currently exist...I know a few farmers who are currently doing that, but not big block CRP. SD will always have decent hunting, it will be spotty and depend on those areas that happen to have what it takes to produce birds. If a guy is willing to go to new areas that may be a bit further away, including different states, there will be decent to good hunting...hard to imagine that the next few generations will be hunting in sufficient #’s to make this topic matter much...hope I’m around to see! I spent about 6 days in my haunts back in April and May, and I must say I was thoroughly impressed with bird#’s....but I knew they were there, I hunted right up to the last day of the season, and it was a strong end to the season. I guess we’ll just keep our fingers crossed and say our pheasant prayers!🐣🐣🐥🐥🐤🐤
 

Hockeybob

Active member
I have been fortunate to hunt a family “Working” farm with good habitat. We pay $150 a gun per day. The farmer has not increased their price once since we started back in 2006. 100% wild birds. I’ve hunted public land and The cover was good but with hunting pressure we saw very few birds.
I belong to a few Hunt clubs in Illinois. Birds fly great, cover is great. you don’t have to kick them To make fly. Heck, some run more than a wild bird. Costs me $23 per bird. So $92 a hunt as I usually release 4 per hunt. I would never give up my SD experience but if the habitat on the farm we hunt turned to row crops and bird numbers declined I would stop going. My 4 day SD trip costs close to $1300 All inclusive. That’s 14 day hunts back home.
i have no problem paying the $25 Habitat Stamp but hope it would go to habitat and not advertising even though I most likely won’t step foot on public ground this year. Unfortunately, I believe hunting will slowly get worse year after year. Spotty pockets will remain strong but not the whole state. At 53, I will still have plenty of wild birds to hunt but my grandchildren that is a different story.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
I pay about $100/day including lodging for most of my hunting in SD....spend about 30-35 days at this place, and I also have my land about 10 miles away, and I have gotten to know about 6-8 other farmers pretty well over the 27 years I have been in this area...we also hunt a fair amount of public land Wed/Thur pretty commonly. I have downsized my groups over the past 10+ years, but we still average around 4-5 guys in camp most of the season. This farmer also does bigger groups the first 3-4 weeks of the season and charges a lot more for that, and those hunters don't get the lodging, they stay in motels. This farmer is actively putting ground into CRP even now, albeit smaller chunks...but well placed 20-40 acre pieces can do a lot of good, especially if they are close to good winter cover, or other bigger chunks of public land...this activity is one of the several businesses that this farmer is engaged in, and it is relevant enough that he continues to "farm" for pheasants...this grassroots approach is one way to keep the habitat...again, create demand for the habitat, and it can happen.
 
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beach004

Member
I rarely go to this Forum till it gets closer to the season--I live in North Carolina, and wait each year for the one trip I can afford. This year it was already looking dubious: at age 77 do I want to fly out there? Will there be flights? And now I learn that South Dakota intends to gouge me for another $25? Is there no end? I'm thinking of driving. If I do, there are several states with pheasants to hunt, long before I get to South Dakota....
 

Nasty-G

Member
Been going to South Dakota For about 8 years now. Spent the previous 30 in Sask. duck hunting. Our group bought a house and added on to accommodate 6 hunters. Hunting has been declining since we bought. Ice and hail decimated the birds and they are just starting to recover. I actually didn't shoot a bird last year, however at 80 my intensity has also declined. It's a 11 hr drive and thinking i'm not up to it anymore. The dogs will probably like game farm birds just fine. Will miss the camaraderie for sure.
 
I would gladly pay $25 for a habitat stamp. Especially if it is used to purchase more habitat. It saddens me to see post where people complain about SD declining bird numbers. Remember the ring neck pheasant is a non native species, it’s remarkable that it has thrived and continues to offer a population high enough to allow hunting opportunities. Be great full for what we have, last I knew there was over 1 million acres of public land open for public hunting. I hunt 90% public land, I drive 23hrs to get there, and I get an opportunity to limit just about every time out. I don’t always limit, but I always see birds. I kinda feel like I don’t do enough. I feel like I’m blessed to hunt SD. It’s a privilege to hunt SD, not a right. I don’t own a piece of property in SD, I would if I could afford it. I just Got a call at work. I’ll be back
 

Chip

Member
Benelli Banger I need help with the cost of taking the road survey. I never was a math major. Evidently it cost $700000. They have 30 routes which I read somewhere they run each route 4 times. They use the highest count per route for the survey. If that is right 30 routes times 4 times equal 120 routes made. ÷ into 700000 equals 5800 per route per day ran. If that is true sign me up.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
Benelli Banger I need help with the cost of taking the road survey. I never was a math major. Evidently it cost $700000. They have 30 routes which I read somewhere they run each route 4 times. They use the highest count per route for the survey. If that is right 30 routes times 4 times equal 120 routes made. ÷ into 700000 equals 5800 per route per day ran. If that is true sign me up.
I believe there are 110 routes that have been run for decades...same routes every year...30 miles long each...kinda makes sense, if you break the pheasant range into quarters, they run about 27 or 28 routes per quarter, each quarter may be made up of 10 counties or thereabout? The Huron routes, for example, total around a dozen or so, I believe, which are spread out into about 4-5 counties...Huron just being one of about 12 of the named route "centers", more or less...Chamberlain, Mobridge, Pierre, Huron, Mitchell, Aberdeen, Brookings, Yankton, Watertown, Huron, Sisseton, Winner, Western SD, Sioux Falls(?), etc...I doubt anyone is getting rich, but it does seem like a good chunk of $....I think they will regret their decision.
 
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McFarmer

Active member
Why so much to do surveys ? In Iowa the DNR guys do it as part of their job, I can’t imagine it costing that much.
 

benelli-banger

Active member
Why so much to do surveys ? In Iowa the DNR guys do it as part of their job, I can’t imagine it costing that much.

same is true in SD, I suspect...but the specific division of Wildlife that "owns" the survey is allocated expenses that accrue from that activity, and when it is tallied up, that's where the 700k comes from...some person in the finance department crunches the #'s, and essentially a bill is sent to the area that orders the surveys....more or less. That's the way it worked in the corporate world, anyway...everyone is always trying to unload expenses and allocate them to another business unit to make their area look more healthy...if 40 wardens are involved for 5 weeks, for example, and they spend 30% of their time doing this, then 30% of their salaries and benefits, not to mention mileage on vehicles, etc, are "costs" to the department that orders the surveys...my uneducated guess, but when I had a region I ran, our financials each month had LOTS of allocations from god knows where, starting with the parent company 150 miles away that I never interacted with...:unsure:
 
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