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Those looking for a different hunting experience this year will have the option to explore a new Game Production area. The Gideon Game Production Area is in the northwest of Moody County and has opened for this season. The area is within 50 miles of Sioux Falls and only 10 miles south of Brookings.

The area has been named for Gideon Moody who was a US Senator from the region in the 1800s and is the namesake of the county.

The South Dakota Game, Fish, & Parks Department has purchased the new hunting ground with the help from the Minnehaha and Brookings County Pheasant Forever chapter as well as the Tony Dean Legacy Memorial. There was also a significant contribution from the Pittman-Robertson dollars which is tax revenue generated from firearms and ammunition sales.

The land cost the department $160,000.

The regional habitat manager, Steve VanderBeek, has stated the property has excellent upland for pheasants as well as other sport animals. The land had been previously enrolled in a Wetlands Reserve Program easement. This allowed it to be open to public hunting at limited times during the past few years but now the land is permanently protected and hunting can be conducted on a more regular basis.

Mike Stephenson, the Pheasants Forever’s regional field representative for South Dakota, has stated that the purchase of the land “...is a tremendous example of successful conservation in the age of partnerships.” Believing that no group can support habitat conservation on their own, he states the project demonstrates how different groups including volunteers, foundations and government agencies can work together to achieve common conservation goals.

With pheasants suffering from a sharp decline in population in recent years, the gain of more good quality habitat is certainly something which will be welcome. Hopefully there will be more conservation successes coming soon.

Are you planning to go to the new GPA? Have you previously visited it in their Walk-in scheme?

Let us know in the comments below.

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