South Dakotans Need to Buy New Annual Licenses for 2007

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South Dakota's 2006 general hunting and fishing licenses expired on Jan. 31. Consequently, people taking advantage of the state's hunting and fishing resources will need new licenses for 2007. The 2007 licenses are good through Jan. 31, 2008.

"Make sure you have a valid fishing license in your wallet before you head out on the ice," said Mark Ohm, S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Department Conservation Officer for eastern Lyman and Buffalo Counties.

Anglers aren't the only ones who should be checking their licenses. South Dakota's Canada Goose hunting season continues until Feb. 9 in Unit 2 which includes most of the counties on either side of the Missouri River. Hunters who take part in that season after Jan. 31 must have a 2007 waterfowl license and South Dakota Migratory Bird Certification. The 2006 Federal Waterfowl Stamp is valid through June 30, 2007, so a new stamp need not be purchased.

The light goose conservation order that starts on Feb. 10 will also require that hunters make sure they have valid 2007 hunting licenses. The South Dakota Migratory Bird Certification is required for this season, but not the Federal Waterfowl Stamp.

Unseasonably warm weather lured some fishermen out on the water in their boats in mid-January. A cold snap drove them off the water and, according to Ohm, the change in the weather may have been fortunate for some of them.

"There's a good chance some of those folks forgot that the first of the year is also the time when they need a new boat license," Ohm said. "Take the time now to check to see if your boat license needs to be renewed." Boating licenses are sold in one- and three-year increments.

"Winter may seem like an odd time to check on your boat license," Ohm said, "but it's better to do it now than be disappointed on that first nice spring day when you're backing up along the boat ramp and suddenly remember that your boat's not properly licensed."

Boating licenses and registrations are sold through county treasurer's offices. General hunting and fishing licenses can be obtained through license agents or on the GFP Web site at www.sdgfd.info. A statewide list of license agents is also available through the Web site.