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South Dakota GFP Offers Free Food Plot Brood Mix

Pierre, S.d. – The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) is offering a new brood mix to help provide for wildlife in the spring and summer.

“Food plots are a great way to attract wildlife to your property and to assist wildlife such as deer and pheasants through the long winter months. Traditionally, corn and sorghum plots have filled this need. Now Game, Fish and Parks is offering a brood mix for spring and summer as well,” said Brian Pauly, GFP private lands habitat biologist.

The brood mix is an annual mixture of cover crop species designed to flower from spring through fall and then produce seed for wildlife forage during the winter months. By flowering, the brood mix provides pollinator habitat that traditional corn/sorghum food plots lack. Pollinating insects, such as bees, leaf hoppers, butterflies, moths and ants thrive in areas with flowering, broadleaf plants. Insects comprise nearly 100 percent of a pheasant chick’s diet, making habitats for pheasant chicks to forage a key component of pheasant production.

Landowners can receive free brood plot mix, corn or sorghum seed to plant, plus receive a payment to help offset planting costs. Landowners interested in the brood mix can contact Brian Pauly at 605.353.7185 or Matt Grunig at 605.353.6699 before March 1, 2016.

For more information on South Dakota’s habitat programs and resources,


Oakwood Lakes State Park to Host Winter Events

Pierre, S.d. – Oakwood Lake State Park will host a weekend of winter fun with the Kool Kids’ Klassic Fishing Derby and the Groundhog Day Cross-Country Ski Event on Jan. 30 and 31, respectively.

“These events are a great way for the entire family to get active, get outside and have fun at the park,” said Becky Graff, park manager at Oakwood Lakes State Park. “The park offers many opportunities for outdoor winter recreation that families can enjoy.”

On Jan. 30, children under age 14 are invited to take part in the Kool Kids’ Klassic Ice Fishing Derby. Registration begins at 11 a.m. at the Welcome Center. Bait is furnished and event staff will drill holes in the ice as needed. Fishing will take place in designated areas from 12 to 2 p.m. with weigh-in to follow. Winners will be announced at the award ceremony following fishing. Snacks will be available throughout the day, and numerous door prize drawings will be held.

On Jan. 31, the Groundhog Day Ski Event will feature a five-kilometer non-competitive cross-country ski poker run and a two-mile non-competitive snowshoe poker run. Prizes will be awarded in numerous categories.

The day also features the annual Sons of Norway Barnelopet Children's Ski Run. This event is free for kids 13 and under.

Registration for the ski events begins at the park shop at 12:30 p.m. The event will start at 1:30 p.m. Cookies, hot chocolate and various Norwegian treats will be served throughout the day. Ski rentals for the event are available from Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness. Snowshoes are available to borrow from the park; call to reserve. In the event of no snow, walks will be held.

The fishing derby is sponsored the City of Brookings, Brookings Engraving, Brookings Radio, Gas ‘N’ More, Brookings Hy-Vee Food Store, Porter’s Bait, 1481 Grille and the Bruce Market.

The cross-country ski tour is sponsored by the Sons of Norway, Sioux River Bicycles and Fitness, Brookings Radio, 1481 Grille and Brookings Engraving.

Park entrance licenses are required to enter the park and will be available for purchase. For additional information on the weekend’s events, call Oakwood Lakes State Park at 605.627.5441. For a calendar of other upcoming special events in South Dakota's state parks and recreation areas, visit

Fort Sisseton Festival Vendor Applications Available

Pierre, S.d. - Vendors interested in having a booth at the 2016 Fort Sisseton Historical Festival have until March 14 to submit an application. Applications are available for vendors of arts and crafts, concessions, and rendezvous. The annual festival is scheduled for June 3, 4 and 5, 2016.

Arts and crafts vendors are encouraged to demonstrate the skills that go into making their items. Food vendors are given the option of a full-menu major food booth or a one menu item specialty food booth. All arts and crafts and food booths are outdoor spaces.

For those who sell and make authentic historical items, the V. M. Starr Rendezvous at the Fort Sisseton Festival provides a unique marketplace for goods. Vendors or traders in the rendezvous camp are required to keep the historical theme by limiting merchandise sold and displayed to only historically appropriate items. Other items, such as clothing, lodges, display racks and cooking fires must also be period correct, reminiscent of an 1840s Plains rendezvous.

Booths are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Additional hours are at the vendor’s discretion.

For more information about hours or set-up and take-down times at the Fort Sisseton Historical Festival or for a vendor application, please contact Fort Sisseton Historic State Park at 605.448.5474, email or visit