(South Dakota Broadcasters Association) The Secretary of Game, Fish, and Parks in South Dakota, Kevin Robbling, addressed the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Wednesday regarding the impact of the state’s turn-in-a-tail-for-ten-dollars program on the pheasant population.
The program, where participants collect tails of predators, saw 50,000 tails collected in 2023.
Robbling acknowledged the rise in youth involvement in trapping.
However, when questioned about the program’s impact on pheasant numbers, he stated that they haven’t conducted a study to determine cause and effect.
He highlighted variables such as weather and habitat, making it challenging to quantify the program’s influence.
When suggested reconstituting the annual roadside pheasant brood count, Robbling explained that it wouldn’t effectively measure the program’s impact.
He said brood counts quantify abundance rather than assessing the program’s effectiveness.
Committee chair Rep. Roger Chase of Huron noted a decrease in pheasant predators on his farm and observed a good pheasant population.
Robbling also discussed other department projects, including the expansion of the Sioux Falls Outdoor Campus and a state-of-the-art shooting range in the Rapid City area.