Brookings, S.D. –(Ammoland.com)– South Dakota pheasant hunters will have the new 160-acre Gideon Game Production Area (GPA) to explore in northwest Moody County this pheasant season.
The South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks Department purchased the land using Pittman-Robertson dollars, contributions from the Minnehaha and Brookings County Pheasants Forever chapters and the Tony Dean Legacy Memorial Fund. The new GPA is being named in honor of Gideon Moody, a U.S. Senator from South Dakota in the late 1800s and namesake of Moody County.
“This is a beautiful property with excellent upland habitat for pheasants and deer, along with some temporary and seasonal wetlands for waterfowl,” reported Steve VanderBeek, regional habitat manager for South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks. “The land has been enrolled in a Wetlands Reserve Program easement and open to public hunting through our Walk-In program the last few years. Today, I’m excited to report this gem will be permanently protected.”
Pittman Robertson dollars, tax revenue generated from firearms and ammunition sales, accounted for 75 percent of the $160,000 used to purchase the land. The Brookings County Pheasants Forever Chapter, the Minnehaha County Pheasants Forever Chapter and the Tony Dean Legacy Memorial Fund made up the remaining 25 percent match used to permanently protect the habitat and open it up to public hunting as a state Game Production Area. The new Gideon GPA is only 10 miles south of Brookings and within 50 miles of Sioux Falls making it an excellent public hunting option for two of South Dakota’s largest population centers.
“This is a tremendous example of successful conservation in the age of partnerships,” explained Mike Stephenson, Pheasants Forever’s regional field representative for South Dakota. “No group can turn the tide for habitat alone. This project is an illustration of what’s possible when local volunteers, foundations and government agencies work toward common conservation goals.”
About Pheasants Forever
Pheasants Forever, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever, is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 140,000 members and 745 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Chapters are empowered to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds are spent; the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent $508 million on 475,000 habitat projects benefiting 10 million acres nationwide.
Pheasants Forever in South Dakota
South Dakota’s 32 Pheasants Forever chapters account for 6,000 members statewide. Those chapters have spent $4.8 million to complete 24,000 habitat projects since the first South Dakota chapter was formed in Minnehaha County in 1985. Those projects have improved 360,000 acres for wildlife.
USFWS Image courtesy of Lance Roberts