PIERRE, S.D. – Game, Fish and Parks officials say there are two legislative laws that became effective July 1. One continues certain restrictions on the use of artificial lights when spotting or locating game at night and the other makes resident (small game) hunting and fishing licenses available to nonresident South Dakota National Guard and Reserve members.
According to GFP Law Enforcement Program Administrator Dave McCrea, the law that says no person may cast the rays of a spotlight or other artificial light, except vehicle headlights, to spot, locate, take or attempt to take any wild animal between 10 p.m. and sunrise from Sept. 1 to Jan. 31 was enacted on a permanent basis by the Legislature.
McCrea noted exceptions. "One exception would be that a person on foot and hunting raccoons with a dog could use a hand-held light after the dog had treed the raccoon," he said. "Additionally, it is not a violation for a landowner or occupant of the land and one guest to use a spotlight or other artificial light on the owner's or occupant's land, or for any person employed by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to use night vision equipment or artificial lights while in the performance of the person's duty."
The other law passed in the 2005 S.D. Legislature allows some nonresident armed forces personnel to purchase resident hunting and fishing licenses. The laws says that any person who does not reside in South Dakota, but who is a member of the South Dakota National Guard or of any other unit of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States that is located in South Dakota, is a resident of the state for the purpose of acquiring resident small game and fishing licenses.