Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 65

goals of 50,000, then 80,000, then 90,000 in earlier plans. The USFWS May Waterfowl Breeding Habitat and Population Survey will be the monitoring method to determine spring population index trends of Canada geese in South Dakota. The 2016 updated management range was chosen to represent current social tolerance limits, reasonable population management goals, and expectations of sportsmen and women. A second objective of the plan is to provide maximum hunting opportunity, while maintaining a quality hunting experience. What does that mean? Well for one thing, there’s been an “August Management Take” since 2010. This “take” was extremely unpopular with hunters for a variety of reasons. Hunter participation in August has spiraled downward every year. Thank goodness the August season was discontinued this year. Rocco said he has not had one complaint about canceling this season, while in years past he received many complaints from hunters about hunting in August. The plan still included the use of the full federal framework during the early fall and regular Canada goose hunting seasons, with maximum bag limit and number of days allowed when the spring population index exceeds the population objective of 165,000 birds in two consecutive 3-year averages. The August take can still be used in future years “in areas experiencing unacceptable levels of damage to agricultural crops.” However, there’s no definition of what is unacceptable. Plan Flexibility The plan will also use the hunt Even better than teaching him how to is teaching him how to do it safely. gfp.sd.gov www.dakotacountrymagazine.com Dakota Country, October 2016, Page 65