NewsOctober 22 2014

Pheasants make a come back

Posted by Lucy

Opening day of the 2014 pheasant season dawned cold and frosty with early morning low of 24 degrees but by noon, the official start of the season, warming temperatures and a slight breeze greeted hunters as they entered the field looking to fill their limit.

Hunters reported seeing a large number of birds and many were successful in limiting out.

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks’ annual pheasant brood survey conducted in August indicated that numbers were up 76 percent (statewide pheasants-per-mile index) from last year. And, those hunting in the Lyman County area were pleased to discover the survey was correct.

"Hunters I talked to early in the day Saturday already had an average of 1.5 to 2 birds," said Mark Ohm, GFP’s District Conservation Officer Supervisor. "They were seeing a lot more birds than last year."

John Uthe of JB Bird Cleaning in Presho had a record breaking weekend at his shop in Presho cleaning 423 birds Saturday night and 456 on Sunday.

"It was busy! The biggest weekend I’ve ever had," said Uthe, adding that even with additional help he was up until 5:00 am cleaning birds both days.

While he may have had a few new customers most groups were just more successful in filling their limit.

Motels in Presho and Kennebec were booked full.

Managers at Hutch’s Motel report about half their guests hunt commercially while the other half hunt public land and road hunt.

"They were happy!" said a spokesman from the motel. "It’s way better than last year."

Kings Motel in Kennebec was also full over the weekend, and expects to be full during the weekends up through November.

"The phone started ringing after the GFP’s survey was released and it hasn’t stopped," said Steve Koch, owner of Kings Motel.

Koch said hunters either got their limit or they didn’t fill due to missed shots.

One guest had a dog succumb to heat on Sunday when temperatures hovered around 79 degrees in the Kennebec area.

"It was an older dog but the heat was just too much for him," Koch said.

No major injuries or infractions were reported in Lyman County according to Ohm.

Hunters, both women and men of all generations, take to the fields and share in an annual tradition," stated Jeff Vonk, Secretary of the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks in a press release issued Saturday night. "For many friends and family, it becomes a tradition or ‘holiday’ where more than just field experiences are shared; conversations, meals, ammunition, laughs and comradery are all a part of this opening day."

Soon after the 2014 pheasant brood survey was released in late August, upland bird hunters from across the country and world began gearing up for this weekend. Survey results showed pheasant numbers rebounded the strongest in central South Dakota; especially in the Pierre, Chamberlain, Mobridge and Winner areas. This year’s results also indicated higher pheasant numbers throughout much of eastern South Dakota as compared to 2013.

Reports from the fields across the state indicate the following:

Central Region, Nathan Baker, GFP regional game manager

For most areas in central South Dakota, hunters averaged 1.5 birds each.

In Hughes, Sully, Potter and Stanley counties, hunters averaged 2-2.5 birds each.

Northeast Region, Jacquie Ermer, GFP regional game manager

In northeast South Dakota, Spink county reported hunters averaging 2 birds each.

In McPherson, Faulk and Edmunds counties, hunters averaged 1 bird each.

There were 12 violations reported at the time of this release in the northeast.

Southeast Region, Julie DeJong, GFP regional game manager

In Beadle, Aurora, Hutchinson and Bon Homme counties, hunters averaged 1-1.5 birds each.

Hutchinson county reported the highest numbers of hunters checked due to the abundance of CREP ground.

Western Region, John Kanta, GFP regional game manager

In Bennett and Perkins counties, hunters averaged 1.5 birds each.

In Ziebach county, hunters were limiting out, with 3 birds per hunter.

South Dakota’s traditional statewide pheasant hunting season runs through Jan. 4, 2015.

The official shooting time moves to 10:00 am Saturday, October 25.

NewsOctober 13 2014

Wheat Growers Kennebec facility groundbreaking set for October 15

Posted by Lucy
Groundbreaking begins October 15 for Wheat Growers' state-of-the-art shuttle loader 
grain handling, fertilizer and agronomy facility in Kennebec, S.D.

Thanks to the hard work of many partners, the 40-mile Chamberlain to Presho
railroad line will be rehabilitated, enabling Wheat Growers to proceed with the new 
Kennebec facility. Wheat Growers is proceeding with plans to build the new 
Kennebec facility that will be located on the rehabilitated rail line. The event is
also a chance for Wheat Growers to say thanks to Rails to the Future, the 
South Dakota legislature, the Railroad Board and Department of 

The groundbreaking event begins at 11:00 a.m. with a program, followed by an
11:30 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony. The site for the event is across the road 
to the west from the existing Wheat Growers facility in Kennebec.

Special guests will be in attendance, and all media are welcome to attend.

NewsOctober 10 2014

1971 West Lyman football team inducted into Hall of Fame

Posted by Lucy

During the Lyman football game this upcoming Friday, Oct. 10 the 1971 West Lyman football team is being inducted into the Hall of Fame. At half-time the football team's accompishments will be recognized along with an individual plaque presentation for the inductees that are able to attend. There has only been 5 inductees that have RSVP'd but are hoping to have several more in attendance. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm vs New Underwood.

NewsOctober 08 2014

Presho woman gives state $10,000 for new rail line

Posted by Lucy

The following is reprinted with permission from the Pierre Capital Journal.

By David Rookhuyzen

It was the type of individual donation the state is generally not used to seeing.

Norma Johnson, 87, personally presented a check of $10,000 to Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Wednesday as a donation for the refurbishment of the state-owned MRC Railroad between Chamberlain and Presho.

The $30 million project will put in heavier rails and allow for bigger cars along the line, which was originally built in 1905. The legislature approved $7.2 million for the project during the last session and the state railroad board added another $7 million. Rails to the Future, a booster organization for the project, raised another $1 million from producers and agriculture groups.

Johnson, who farms in the area, said she had heard word about the railroad and wanted to do something to help.

"I’ve just always been a Presho booster," she said.

Johnson said she was happy to donate the money for all the little towns out in the middle of nowhere that could be helped by having a working rail line.

Daugaard said it was the example of Johnson that inspired others in the Presho area to donate to the project. And those funds were instrumental in the state securing a $12 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant.

The state had received a similar grant for work on the line between Mitchell and Chamberlain three years ago and Daugaard said he didn’t expect to get another one so soon. But the money donated by Johnson and others gave the state a strong application.

"That says a lot and I think that said a lot in Washington D.C.," he said.

Bill Ferguson, with Rails to the Future, said the refurbishment was a needed project whose time has come. Not only will it help ship out local wheat – this year’s harvest was 53 million bushels – but also cut down the wear and tear from heavy trucks on county and local roads.

What makes Johnson’s donation so special is that she most likely won’t reap any of the benefits herself, he said.

"She’s doing it for the children and grandchildren of the area," Ferguson said.

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