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Difficult To Determine Wildlife Losses From Blizzard


PIERRE, S.D. - The Game, Fish and Parks Department has had a few reports of wildlife losses resulting from the early October blizzard in western South Dakota, but the extent of the blizzard's impact will take time to determine.

"The focus has been on public safety and dealing with catastrophic livestock losses," Chad Switzer, GFP wildlife program administrator, said. "We have only had a scattering of reports from landowners and other individuals who are out in the fields. There is no question that the blizzard had an impact on wildlife, but we have not observed or had any reports of any wildlife losses at a level comparable to the devastating impacts this storm had on livestock. "

Switzer added GFP has also received reports of pheasant loss in Perkins and Bennett counties due to the storm.

"These are vast, open areas where it is difficult to quantify precise impacts from the blizzard," Switzer said. "We will continue to monitor for losses through observations by our staff, reports from hunters and landowners."