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Governor lends support to annual turkey hunt

SD Ag Connection - June 20, 2019

CHADRON, NE - The Pine Ridge Wild Turkey Hunt Committee announced that its annual autumn turkey hunt will be renamed as The Governor's Pine Ridge Wild Turkey Hunt (Turkey Hunt). Committee Chairman Carl Larsen said, "We are pleased to once again add the Governor's support and name to this long-held event." 

The Pine Ridge area is where turkey hunting started in Nebraska, and it remains a popular spot to hunt wild game. The economic impact of hunting in northwestern Nebraska cannot be overstated, as tourism is the second largest industry in Dawes County--in terms of number of jobs and revenue generated--behind agriculture.

This year's Turkey Hunt will take place Oct. 9-10 in the Chadron area. First held in the mid 1990's, the two-day, invitation-only hunt has welcomed many state, regional, and national leaders over the years. In 1998 it was officially named the Governor's Pine Ridge Wild Turkey Hunt, but the reference to the Governor was dropped from the title in the early 2000's. Without a Governor who hunted or a committee interested in continuing the event, the Turkey Hunt went dormant until 2010 when it was resurrected. It has taken place annually since then.

"We have had the opportunity to introduce over 100 different hunters to the Pine Ridge experience, and we're thankful to the 20+ local landowners who make the event possible by participating with us," said Deb Cottier, director of Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation, the host organization for the Turkey Hunt. "The goal all along has been to acquaint business leaders, and elected and appointed officials, with our part of the state. Building relationships has brought many opportunities to our door," she added.

Wild turkeys have become plentiful statewide since being reintroduced by the Game and Parks Commission in the 1950's. Currently, Nebraska has two hunting seasons, and turkeys can be found in every county of the state.

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