Growing up in Murdo, South Dakota, the heart of upland game bird country, bird hunting has long been a tradition for South Dakota Senator John Thune. Today, it is still one of his favorite outdoor activities, one he shares each year with family and friends. Thune is not alone with his passion for hunting, as South Dakota has been dubbed the “Pheasant Capitol of the World.” Pheasant hunting alone generates, on average, $200 million a year to bolster the South Dakota economy. Overall, hunting and angling contributed $1.04 billion to the South Dakota economy in 2011.
Hunting and fishing are not just big business for South Dakota; they are part of the culture and a way of life for many residents. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus during the 113th Congress and a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Senator Thune has been a champion of policies that have increased conservation programs and practices. He continues working tirelessly to protect South Dakota’s prairie grasslands and to keep its diverse landscape productive for farmers, ranchers, wildlife, and outdoor recreationists.
Senator Thune made certain strong conservation practices were included in the 2014 Farm Bill, including the Conservation Reserve Program, a common-sense policy linking eligibility for crop insurance premium subsidies to conservation compliance, and a sodsaver provision. Sodsaver limits crop insurance subsidies and indemnities on crops grown on newly converted sod throughout the Prairie Pothole Region, encouraging the protection of native grasslands.
Senator Thune is also a cosponsor of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, which includes his proposed legislation, the Hunting, Fishing, and Recreational Shooting Protection Act. This legislation would exclude ammunition and fishing tackle from being regulated by the federal government, leaving the regulation to state fish and game agencies and the fish and wildlife service.
“Hunting and fishing continue to be a strong South Dakota legacy and a source of pride for many of us. I am proud to be a Co-Chair of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and am proud of the good work we have accomplished to support and advance legislation promoting the interests of sportsmen and women across the country.”
Senator Thune enjoys a day of pheasant hunting near White Lake, SD
Your opinion counts
Recently, two Montana state representatives have proposed more aggressive legislation addressing the state's gray wolf population. These bills range from the addition of a wolf tag into big game combination tags, to year-round sanctioned harvest without a license, use of snare traps, and private reimbursement of wolf harvest. Currently, the wolf population in Montana sits at 850 wolves, which is 700 over the state’s minimum recovery goal of 150 wolves. Which of the below options for wolf management do you support? (Select all that apply)Vote Here
- Regulated hunting under the management of the state fish and wildlife agency during a specific season (22.92%)
- Year-round hunting of wolves without a license (14.58%)
- The use of snares (trapping) without hunting allowances (2.08%)
- A combination of hunting and trapping during specific seasons regulated by the fish and wildlife agency (37.50%)
- The establishment of a bounty program to incentivize harvest during specific seasons (2.08%)
- Other (0.00%)
- I do not support the take of wolves (20.83%)