Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Time to read
2 minutes
Read so far


Posted in:
Article Image Alt Text

Sometimes lemonade can be made from lemons. I’m excited about hunting in a new place. For the first time ever, neither my hunting partner nor I drew a West River deer tag for Corson County, our usual stomping grounds. Knowing full well that drawing an East River tag is no guarantee, I desperately needed a West River “Plan B.” I called Mike, my partner, to see if we were in agreement on my thinking. We were.

On my computer I went to “left over tags” under SD Game, Fish, & Parks. There were no left over “Any Deer” tags, few “Any Whitetail” tags, and mostly double “Antlerless” tags. I searched for the nearest counties where I might scout around and knock on doors. For me personally, I’d be happy with an antlerless tag as the adventure and the hunt itself are bigger priorities than bone matter to hang on the garage wall.

I applied for “Any Whitetail” in Lyman County where there were 143 left over tags. For a second choice I picked “Antlerless Whitetail” in Tripp County where there were 219 left over tags. Thanks to generous ranchers, we have a place to hunt as well as a roof over our heads if our draw is successful. Drawing Lyman will be difficult, but I feel good about my Tripp County antlerless chances.

Both Tripp and Lyman counties are top areas for deer hunting, and I feel fortunate to have a chance at the opportunity to hunt either. I look for many of the hunters in my situation to go after one of the above mentioned tags – especially the Lyman tag and the opportunity to buck hunt.

If you follow this column, you know that I am opposed to the SD Game, Fish, & Parks proposal for 2019 to change the format of deer hunting license applications. I, and every person who has talked to me about this, wants to leave the process as it is. This means applying individually for every season and taking one’s chances. Because a goodly number of applicants apply for one and only one tag, SDGF&P wants to increase their chances by forcing us to make ONE first choice. These hunters need to take a hard look at what Mike and I did. We shopped around. So can they.

Whether you are for or against the proposal, let SDGF&P know what you want. Email them at or call them at 605-223-7660. Better yet, attend the meeting at Yankton’s Lewis & Clark Resort at 2:00 p.m. on September 6th. See you there.

* * * * * * *

Earlier this summer I wrote about my son-in-law, Tom, teaching me a fishing technique called the “drop shot” method. In my column I outlined the methodology in detail. It was new to me, but probably not to too many readers. I hate to write a bad column, and for the past month I struggled with the notion that I wasted reader time on a redundant subject.

I felt much better about my “drop shot” column when I read about the recent Bass Master Elite Tournament on our own Lake Oahe. The top finishers credited their success to the Drop Shot technique. The tournament was about smallmouth bass, a smart, scrappy competitor that might be our nation’s top gamefish. It took the Drop Shot technique to fool them.

* * * * * * *

This past summer I also wrote about the possibility of polymer cases replacing brass cases in the manufacture of ammunition. When I wrote about it, I stated that I did not know if the polymer cases would be reloadable. I suspect that like myself, hundreds of column readers reload their own ammo for both rifle and handguns. We are so fortunate to have Precision Reloading in our shopping area for both the goods and technical support.

I have since learned that the technology exists to produce a reloadable polymer case. However, the primary objective of the manufacturer, True Velocity, is to develop a case that will perform flawlessly in a military situation. Our military is looking at weight, not the ability to reload. Keeping this in mind, reloadable polymer cases will probably be a part of our distant reloading future.

See you next week.