Western South Dakota Fur Harvesters March 2014 Report



President — Larry Bowden; 605-745-5888;

Vice-President — Jeremiah Heath; 605-892-5153;

Secretary/Treasurer — Tuffy Halls; 605-890-2009;

WSDFHA Houndsman Coordinator — Brad Tisdall; 605-786-6101; sdmuleskinner@aol.com

Youth Education Coordinator — Bill Morrow; 605-890-1860; bptmorrow@yahoo.com

Youth Education Coordinator — Joe Bowden; 605-209-7377; bowden.jiw@gmail.com

Website Coordinator — Jim Halls; 605-484-0487; jimhalls@goldenwest.com


Membership Options:

• Individual membership without subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $10

• Family membership without subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $15

• Individual membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $22

• Family membership with subscription to Trapper & Predator Caller — $27


Complete membership application on first page of association section and send dues to:

Tuffy Halls

P.O. Box 25

Hot Springs, SD 57747


By the time this is published most of the fur harvesting season should be over except spring beaver.

The weather has sure made it difficult to keep a trap line operational in my area.

The coyote population has rebounded this year. I have not encountered any mange this winter.

2013 was a good year for WSDFHA. Both conventions were great, membership increased, fund raisers did great, our coyote calling contest was great and to many other things to list here.

The BOD met in November to discuss 2014 events and business.

We decided to award the 2013 “Paul Haivala Memorial” scholarship to Carlee Tisdal of Rapid City. Carlee submitted an essay titled “Why dogs should be used during mountain lion season”. It was very well written and made some excellent points. Carlee is attending Western Dakota Tech. We awarded Carlee $400 to help with her nursing degree. Congratulations Carlee!

We already have one scholarship application from a young lady for our 2014 scholarship. Please encourage any young persons to apply.

Our 2014 spring convention will be held in New Underwood on Sunday April the 27th. Details will be announced soon.

If you have an E-mail address please let Tuffy know. We will send any communications electronically which will save WSDFHA money on postage. If you don’t have internet access we will mail your communications the conventional way.

There is a subject that I have been procrastinating about discussing so here we go. I know lots of our members are very unhappy about the shortened bobcat season. As you know SDGF&P proposed and achieved the shortening of our season by delaying the opening by about 2 weeks.

This was initially proposed by Keith Fisk at the April meeting with WSDFHA and the SDTA in Pierre. The purpose was to lessen the harvest of younger bobcats and females. He also stated the male to female ratio of harvest was not quite balanced by their harvest data. Mr. Fisk quoted two letters he had received. One was from a person in the Wasta area who claimed to be a trapper but had not seen much bobcat evidence in his area. Another letter was from an employee of the US park service who was employed at the Badlands National Park. This person had not seen the amount of bobcats that they normally observed in the national park.

We (WSDFHA) requested a copy of the “2012-2013 bobcat harvest summary” so that we could review the statistics and harvest data. Mr. Fisk informed us that the summary had not been compiled as of that time but would forward it to me as soon as it was available. He always sends it to me each spring which I greatly appreciate. The harvest summary is compiled by a SDGF&P biologist every spring.

The opinion that we (WSDFHA) proposed was to not endorse or propose any change until the harvest summary was completed and we had reviewed it.

Tuffy and I attended the commission meeting in Custer State park in late May (?) at which time Mr. Fisk presented the proposal to the commission to shorten the season. We had not received the harvest summary at that time. Mr. Fisk approached us as we were leaving and wanted our opinion. I requested the summary to review and was told it wasn’t complete yet. I stated that our membership would not be in favor of the proposal. Our recommendation (without seeing the summary) was to leave the season as it had been for another year or shift the season by adding 2 weeks later (Feb. 15th to Mar. 1st) if we started 2 weeks later in December. One of their reasons was that the harvest was higher in mid- December due to the weather usually being milder. We would harvest larger and better quality bobcats in late February and most years the weather would probably effect or limit the overall harvest.

I did receive the harvest summary in early June. I reviewed it and also forwarded it to SDTA president Anna Hermanson. Anna and the SDTA board of directors discussed it and decided to support the proposal of WSDFHA.

Anna and I attended the June commission meeting in Pierre. We both voiced our opinions to the commissioners representing both organizations. We also visited with Mr. Fisk before the meeting and reaffirmed our positions to him.

I could not make the July meeting but did send a letter representing WSDFHA to the commission which was publicly read. I believe Anna attended and testified supporting our joint position.

Combining the memberships of the SDTA and WSDFHA we represent in excess of 700 South Dakota trappers, hunters and sportsmen and women.

I would like to thank Anna and the SDTA membership for standing with us. We put forth a good effort but in the end the commissioners didn’t see things our way.

At our fall convention the membership authorized me to draft a letter to be sent to the commission meeting in October. The letter was to support the continued quota of 100 mountain lions but of either sex to be harvested. I had to attend a funeral out state and was delayed but did submit the letter by e-mail the day before the commission meeting. I could not find any evidence of the letter being presented or read in the meeting minutes.

Sincerely. — Larry Bowden


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