- Associated Press - Friday, January 15, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota’s Game, Fish and Parks Commission has signed off on a proposal to enable terminally ill people to go on one last hunt.

The program allows the Game, Fish and Parks secretary to issue one deer, one antelope and one turkey license to a hunter with a terminal illness diagnosed by a doctor. That means they can bypass the requirement of applying for a license months ahead of a season and hoping their name is chosen in a lottery system.

The program came at the urging of Vern Boer, an outdoor TV show host and director of the South Dakota Outdoor Adventure Foundation. He was inspired by a bill that passed the North Dakota Legislature last year providing big game and turkey hunting licenses to youth with life-threatening illnesses.

The special South Dakota licenses will be valid only during established hunting seasons, and anyone who gets a license will be allowed only one kill. The licenses will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for South Dakota residents only.

“It’s not possible to get multiple licenses under this proposal,” Game, Fish and Parks Wildlife Division Director Tony Leif told the Capital Journal (https://bit.ly/1RT4TWP ). “I really don’t see the number of these licenses affecting the numbers of (license) allocations for the average hunter.”

The Wildlife Division will keep track of how many licenses are issued through the program annually. The commission will be able to decide each year whether to keep the program.


This story has been corrected to show that the North Dakota bill passed last year, not this year.


Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, https://www.capjournal.com

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