PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s 2005 youth waterfowl season has been set without changes from last year. Youth fowlers can hunt Sept. 17 and 18, statewide, with daily and possession limits being the same as during the regular duck and goose seasons.
"The youth waterfowl season was established by the GFP Commission as an opportunity for young hunters to learn from more experienced waterfowl hunters," said Game, Fish and Parks Assistant Wildlife Director George Vandel. "Passing along the hunting heritage is an important part of every hunters obligation to the outdoors. Hunters can take this opportunity to bring a son, daughter, grandchild or neighbor hunting, or perhaps serve as a mentor through a local club or organization for youth who may not have an opportunity to hunt."
Youth will have the opportunity to hunt both ducks and geese. Vandel noted that there are many locally raised birds present in September. In addition, the youth season occurs as the fall migration of blue-winged teal is arriving.
"These hunting days are also designed to occur at a time when there is less competition in the field to interfere with youth hunting," he said. "We want to stress that this is an ideal time for experienced hunters to pass along the hunting heritage to a new generation. This will be a benefit to both the sport of hunting and to wildlife management."
A variety of public lands are available to hunters, including state Game Production Areas and federal Waterfowl Production Areas. Hunters should be aware of private property rights around these areas and always have landowner permission before hunting on private land or accessing public areas through private land.
The daily duck limit is the same as during the regular waterfowl season. The goose limit is for Canada geese only, and is the same as during the regular season, except in locations where there is an early fall Canada goose season open. The Canada goose limit for youth waterfowl hunters is the same as for all other hunters in the open early fall Canada goose unit.
Youth waterfowl hunters must be under 16 years of age, must be properly licensed to hunt waterfowl and must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age. All other hunting restrictions will be the same as during the regular waterfowl season.