Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was anything but a normal year for most of the world. Overall, South Dakota remained opened and gave people the opportunity to still enjoy what the state has to offer.  One activity that stands out from all the rest and encourages people to visit South Dakota is hunting.

This past year, the vast majority of the world stayed at home. Parents turned their kitchens into home offices, and children made the tables their classrooms.  Once kids finished their remote learning for the day, kids spent a considerable amount of time playing video games or texting on their phones.  This scenario however was definitely not the case for many South Dakota kiddos. In fact, they did their best to get outside! Some kids even experienced their first hunting season in the state.

During her 2021 State of the State address, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced that South Dakota did see an increase in youth and first-time hunters. Governor Noem states:

"We saw huge increases in youth combo licenses as well as resident and non-resident fishing licenses.  Getting our youth to put down the Xbox and pick up the tackle box has been a priority of mine for many years.....We are going to continue finding ways to create more hunting and fishing opportunities in our state for those young and old.  This year, I'm asking the legislature to adopt simpler licensure requirements for kids under the age of 18,  The goal is to get more people engaged at an early age, so they continue those experiences long into their adulthood."

South Dakota, Game, Fish, and Parks is a great tool to use if you are wanting to mentor youth or first-time hunters in the state. The site also provides licensing rules and restrictions. The keyword when it comes to hunting is safety.  It's a fun sport in South Dakota, but it can also be dangerous if you are not careful.

South Dakota Youth Hunting Adventures is also another helpful source when it comes to accessing information about youth hunting in the state and mentoring tips.

I'll be honest, I have never picked up a gun in my life until I moved to South Dakota.  Even though I am a young adult, it wasn’t until I became a South Dakotan that I experienced the sport of hunting!

Miranda Paige

If this "city slicker" can do it, then nothing is impossible.

Have fun and stay safe!

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The Best Sioux Falls Stories Of 2020