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JAMES RIVER — Splashed and speckled in mud, Dave Lucchesi jumped into action. He quickly stepped over the slow-moving James River, from one boat into another, to take control of the wheel as flathead catfish emerged one by one. For 30 years, Lucchesi has worked as a fisheries biologist for the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department. During a recent morning, he maneuvered a boat back and forth near Kelly's Cove, northeast of Yankton, as his partner, B.J. Schall, netted and unhooked the whisker-faced creatures as a part of a two-year state study on catfish.
MITCHELL, S.D. — Pat Feterl and Zach Schroder are gearing up for a spring that could see more soybeans sowed into South Dakota's ground. Corn has historically been king in the United States and locally, but this year could be the first time in 35 years that more soybean acres are planted nationally than corn. And Feterl and Schroder, owners of Agronomy Plus in Mitchell, are seeing that in their seed sales.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — It's a Republican rooster battle. South Dakota gubernatorial candidates Marty Jackley and Kristi Noem revealed over the weekend detailed initiatives to enhance the state's pheasant population while campaigning at the 2018 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic. Both acknowledged the importance of pheasant hunting as an economic driver for South Dakota and used the gathering as a platform to discuss their respective five-step programs.
MITCHELL, S.D.—South Dakota is boosting its snow-removal arsenal. After the state Department of Transportation expanded its fleet with the addition of three tow plows prior to this winter season, officials are already planning to purchase three more before next winter. "These tow plows help us do our jobs more efficiently and get the roads cleared sooner," said Jason Humphrey, Department of Transportation construction/maintenance engineer.
The dreaded drop-off. As parents, we've all experienced it. Whether it's for work, a vacation or a night away, the drop-off is inevitable. Sooner or later, someone else is going to have to watch your child. And while leaving your little loved one can result in a number of outcomes from them, the feeling for Mom and Dad is typically the same. Blue. Somber. Sad. In three-plus years of being a father, I've experienced at least a few of the drop-off debacles that can happen. Drop-off scenario 1: Kicking and/or screaming, squeezing and crying.
FARMER, S.D. — These whitetails have quite a tale. "They were big deer, I know that," said Annette Steilen, who lives in rural Hanson County. On Tuesday night, Annette and her husband, Paul, were out checking cattle when she noticed something didn't quite look right. What they found turned into a heck of a memory. The Steilens found two male whitetail deer with their antlers locked together. As they approached the animals, they noticed one had its head down and was dragging the other, which had already died.
MITCHELL, S.D. — Poachers, beware. Hunters trespassing and anglers fishing without a license continue to be the most-issued citations by state conservation officers. According to a recently released report by the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Department, there was a 17 percent increase in violations reported by state wildlife officers in 2016 compared to the previous year.
To all the nurses out there, how do you do it? Really, how can you stick people with needles on a daily basis, watch blood flow into that little container and not get woozy? You're all superheroes in my book. Same goes with my wife, who gives blood as routinely as breathing. It's a phenomenal process, really — wife sits down, nurse comes in, needle goes in her arm and about 20 seconds later they're done. OK, so that may seem simple, but holy cow, I hate blood draws.
VIRGIL, S.D. — Sprih Harsh moved nearly 8,000 miles from her home in India to study South Dakota's pheasants. So when she first met with state Game, Fish & Parks Department officials about the project, the 28-year-old working toward her doctorate in wildlife science was met with a big pot of pheasant soup. "Eating my own subject was weird," she said, laughing, "but it tasted good."
ARLINGTON, S.D. — Fifty-mile-per-hour winds and sideways snow pierced first responders while they searched for bodies along the freezing lake. About 75 people from at least 10 agencies spent hours in the bitter cold earlier this week seeking two brothers who went missing during an afternoon duck hunt near Arlington. "Initially we were in rescue mode and were willing to risk a lot to save a lot," said Brookings Fire Chief Darrell Hartmann, who assisted in the recovery efforts.