South Dakota -(Ammoland.com)- The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is welcoming fall this weekend with the grouse and partridge hunting season opener and fun events at two state parks.
Hunters have an opportunity to pursue upland game before the pheasant hunting season begins with the grouse and partridge season opening Saturday, Sept. 19, and ending Jan. 3, 2016.
Travis Runia, upland game biologist for GFP, expects grouse hunting to be better than last year.
“Prairie grouse numbers are not as easily determined as they are with pheasants,” stated Runia. “Spring lek surveys indicate an increase in adult prairie grouse and models assessing environmental conditions predict average reproduction. This data suggests an increase in grouse for the 2015 season.”
Last year, 10,757 hunters harvested 35,790 prairie grouse. The complete 2015 prairie grouse hunting forecast can be viewed online.
Also this weekend, Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton and Fort Sisseton Historic State Park near Lake City are celebrating fall by hosting family-friendly events on Sept. 19 and 20, respectively.
Fall in the Park at Lewis and Clark is Saturday, Sept. 19, from 1-5 p.m. CDT. The event includes a number of activities including an obstacle course, outdoor cooking, crafts, games, laser shot, BB gun shooting and archery.
Visitors can also enjoy music by Steel Groove, a steel drum group, from 3- 5 p.m. CDT.
“This is the second year of the fall event for Lewis and Clark,” said event organizer Jeanne Schroeder. “We hope to provide an afternoon of entertainment for all age groups.”
Harvest Fest at Fort Sisseton, also in its second year, is Sunday, Sept. 20, from 1-5 p.m. CDT.
“In addition to all the action in the garden, we’re giving wagon rides and guided tours,” said Fort Sisseton manager, Christopher Soukup. “With horses, antique implements and everything else the Fort has to offer, it should be a fun day.”
There is no charge to attend either park event; however, a park entrance license is required. The daily entrance fee is $6 per vehicle.
Lewis and Clark Recreation Area is located six miles west of Yankton of SD Highway 52. Fort Sisseton is located 10 miles southwest of Lake City off SD Highway 10.
For more information on the grouse season opener visit http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/small-game/prairie-chicken-ruffed-grouse.aspx and for more information on the state park events call Lewis and Clark Recreation Area at 605.668.2985 or Fort Sisseton Historical State Park at 605.448.5474.