SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – When pheasant hunters take to the fields of South Dakota this weekend to renew a treasured rite of autumn, they’ll have less land to do it on thanks to the federal government shutdown.
About 150,000 acres in the national wildlife refuge system will be off-limits for the state’s annual public lands hunt. It’s a scenario being played out across the country, affecting millions of acres ordinarily available to hunters seeking antelope in Colorado, ducks in Montana or bears in Alaska.
In South Dakota, millions of acres of land leased or owned by the state will still be available.
But Mark Norton of the state wildlife department says the national wildlife refuge system offers some of the best cover for upland birds. He says sportsmen will feel the loss.
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