LTE’s to the Sturgis Journal (SD)
To The Editor:
Overpopulation, starvation and public safety are excuses routinely used
by the state’s hunters and the Department of Game, Fish and Parks to
support sport hunting. Without hunting they say, wildlife would face
terrible consequences. The department is unable to use those excuses when
they defend squirrel hunting season, because squirrels are not starving,
they do not cause traffic accidents, and they are not overpopulated.
Sadly, these small furry animals are hunted for recreation – for the joy
The Department is funded through the sale of hunting permits and the
collection of excise taxes affixed to the price of weapons, ammunition and
hunting equipment. With the US Fish and Wildlife Service reporting that
hunting in South Dakota has declined by thirty-seven percent in the last
decade, the department has to increase hunting opportunities lest game
managers lose their jobs. This is why squirrel hunting is something they
promote despite the violent practice being absolutely unnecessary.
While the long-term outlook for hunting and fishing is bleak, the
Department can look toward wildlife watching as the future of wildlife
management and protection. Wildlife watching in South Dakota has increased
by more than fifty-five percent while hunting and fishing has been waning
Wildlife watching has the ability to support a more robust economy than
the current one which is dependent on bloodshed and violence. Let’s
replace the taxes on weapons, ammunition and hunting/fishing equipment
with a similar tax on outdoor-related equipment such as binoculars,
backpacks, and cameras used by wildlife watchers. Funds collected from
these alternate taxes can be dedicated toward the protection and
preservation of wildlife and the areas where they live, making the need to
depend on hunting obsolete. To protect wildlife and the areas where they
live please visit www.wildwatch.org.
Joe Miele, Vice President
Wildlife Watch, Inc.
New Paltz, NY 12561
Hunting season opens Saturday The Weekend Fisherman
Published: Friday, September 14, 2007 7:19 AM CDT
Yes, it is getting time to start thinking about the hunting season,
squirrel season opens on Saturday.
In those golden years I was a great squirrel hunter and enjoyed hunting
squirrel every year. Many hunters pick a spot, like I did and set there
and watched the limbs in the trees for action. My brother-in-law was one
who traveled from tree to tree watching for squirrel movement, he did very
well using this method.
Many times a couple squirrels will get active and we would be ready.
Other times we would see a squirrel lying on a branch and not moving.
We would just set still until the squirrel would move.
In those early days it was squirrel, rabbit and pheasant. Deer season
hadn’t started yet.
Now deer hunting is the number one sport in this area.
Deer found a home in this area. There are plenty of woods and they’ve
found that the food chain is enormous.
I’ve done well this week in fishing, we would go between rain drops.
Usually it is in the early morning that we enjoy going fishing.
On Tuesday the wind was blowing fairly well, so we just sat this one
My neighbor and his friend hit the water, they were fishing for pike
and this is truly pike weather.
We will do some pike fishing in the next two weeks and will probably do
the old bobber method. I enjoy fishing with a live minnow and a small
Even though the minnow seeks weeds we just pull in the line and toss it
out again and hope a pike will see and hit the minnow before they get back
into the weeds.
We also enjoy trolling for pike and the pike have a bad habit of
following the baits for quite a spell.
That is why I always do a figure eight right beside the boat before
bringing in the lure. Many times the pike figures the bait is getting away
and will strike the bait when you preform a simple figure eight.
Every angler has his special bait for pike and we listen and learn.
That is one thing that makes a fishermen much better.
By just getting more clues on good fishing methods that work.
Another good tip from a very fine angler on pan fish.
Try rigging up the bait for bluegills, slide the cricket up on the hook
shaft and then place the waxworm on.
At the D & J Bait Shop just West of Colon, they have all kinds of
fishing and hunting licenses.
Plus all kinds of live baits for fishing.
They are the dealer for Coleman products and have refills.
Talking to Holly Pankey at the Klinger Lake Trading Post, she says
they’re getting ready for hunting season and have hunting licenses plus
all kinds of ammunition.
Anglers tell us that bluegill and crappies are hitting and many anglers
are using crappie minnows.
Old Time Saying: How true it is, "Beauty is in the eye of the
BERNIE BEHNKE is a longtime outdoors correspondent for the Sturgis
Journal. E-mail him at