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Council blindsided by golf course hunting

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, December 6th, 2012

By Jason Ferguson
Did you know there were archery deer hunts taking place at Rocky Knolls Golf Course? If you answered no, you are not alone. At its regular meeting Monday night, several members of the Custer City Council were surprised to learn that organized archery hunting has been taking place at the golf course for the past few weeks.
Alderman Corbin Herman said he had heard that course manager Steve Price had been organizing hunts, which he said he had a problem with, saying the city leases the course to the Custer Golf Corporation for golf, not for hunting.
Price was at the meeting and said he contacted the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) about the possibility of hunting deer with bows in city limits and was told they could do it with permission from the city. There are no state laws or city ordinances against in-town archery hunting, although firearm hunting in town is against the law.
After discussing the possibility of the archery hunt with the golf corporation, Price decided to let the hunts take place, assuming discussions about the hunts would take place between the corporation and the city about the hunts. However, after alderman Wade Lampert resigned earlier this year, the communication ceased, as he was the council’s liaison to the golf board. New liaison Alfred Heinrich has yet to attend a golf board meeting.
Price said he is letting only two to three hunters on the course per day, only with permission and only on certain areas of the course. He posted signs informing hunters they could hunt with permission only after some hunters snuck onto the course and shot a deer in an area they were not supposed to, and the deer subsequently ran through people’s yards in the area, with the hunters chasing it.
Price said there is also a mountain lion actively hunting, adding that the lion has killed 14 deer at the course. Seven deer have been taken from the course by hunters.
“There are deer everywhere,” Price said. “It’s incredible the amount of damage (the deer are doing).”

Did you know there were archery deer hunts taking place at Rocky Knolls Golf Course? If you answered no, you are not alone. At its regular meeting Monday night, several members of the Custer City Council were surprised to learn that organized archery hunting has been taking place at the golf course for the past few weeks.

Alderman Corbin Herman said he had heard that course manager Steve Price had been organizing hunts, which he said he had a problem with, saying the city leases the course to the Custer Golf Corporation for golf, not for hunting.

Price was at the meeting and said he contacted the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (GF&P) about the possibility of hunting deer with bows in city limits and was told they could do it with permission from the city. There are no state laws or city ordinances against in-town archery hunting, although firearm hunting in town is against the law.

After discussing the possibility of the archery hunt with the golf corporation, Price decided to let the hunts take place, assuming discussions about the hunts would take place between the corporation and the city about the hunts. However, after alderman Wade Lampert resigned earlier this year, the communication ceased, as he was the council’s liaison to the golf board. New liaison Alfred Heinrich has yet to attend a golf board meeting.

Price said he is letting only two to three hunters on the course per day, only with permission and only on certain areas of the course. He posted signs informing hunters they could hunt with permission only after some hunters snuck onto the course and shot a deer in an area they were not supposed to, and the deer subsequently ran through people’s yards in the area, with the hunters chasing it.

Price said there is also a mountain lion actively hunting, adding that the lion has killed 14 deer at the course. Seven deer have been taken from the course by hunters.

“There are deer everywhere,” Price said. “It’s incredible the amount of damage (the deer are doing).”

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