Still the Nation’s Best Pheasant Hunting

Despite news of a lowered brood count that showed a decrease in the statewide pheasants per mile index, there are many positives when it comes to pheasant hunting in South Dakota.

South Dakota is home to the greatest pheasant hunting opportunities in the country, if not the world. Each year thousands of hunters flock to the state to walk the fields with their family as well as friends both two-legged and four-legged. Communities across the state literally roll out the orange carpet for hunters to make them feel welcome.

A recent editorial in the Aberdeen American News referenced a 2014 Department of Game, Fish and Parks survey of resident and non-resident hunters where pheasant hunters stated that “time spent with friends and family” and the “overall outdoor experience” were the top reasons why they choose to hunt in South Dakota.

Pheasant hunting isn’t just about hunting in South Dakota. Pheasant hunting is a way of life, an economic driver and a livelihood. Most importantly it’s a deep-rooted tradition that has spanned generations.

According to data from the Department of Game, Fish and Parks more than 1 million pheasants have been harvested from the fields of South Dakota in each of the last three years despite varying brood county reports.

The average annual pheasant population in South Dakota over the last 20 years has been 7.4 million birds.

Over the last 20 years, each hunter has walked away with 9.5 birds per hunter, per years.

South Dakota has more than 1.25 million acres of public hunting land, 40,000 of which is located within the core pheasant range of the state.


Secretary of Education Melody Schopp to Retire

Gov. Dennis Daugaard announced that Dr. Melody Schopp, Secretary of Education, will retire in December.

Schopp has served as Secretary of Education since 2011 and has been with the Department of Education since 2000.

“Melody Schopp cares about kids, and that has motivated her throughout her entire career,” said Gov. Daugaard. “She has served in a difficult and high-profile job, and I’ve appreciated her leadership, from higher teacher salaries to more work-based opportunities for young people. I wish Melody the very best in the future.”

Schopp’s retirement ends a 40-year career in public education in South Dakota. After teaching for one year in North Dakota, Schopp taught for 23 years in the Lemmon School District, where she was a pioneer of bringing the internet into the classroom.

Gov. Bill Janklow invited Schopp to join the Department of Education in 2000 as a technology integrationist, and she was subsequently promoted to director of teacher certification and accountability, and then to deputy secretary. In 2011, Gov. Daugaard appointed her to be Secretary of Education. Schopp is completing a one-year term as national president of the Council of Chief State School Officers.

“It has been an honor to serve in Gov. Daugaard’s administration and to work on behalf of the young people in our state,” said Secretary Schopp. “I am most proud of the work we did to increase teacher pay in South Dakota.”

Schopp’s last day as Secretary will be Dec. 15.

4-H Shooting Sports Place at State

shotgun results

Tripp County 4-Hers placed at the state 4-H shooting sports.

Luke Hennebold won first place in state senior trap.

George Clark, Katie Welker, Jude Sargent, Jesse Larson were third in junior trap.

Luke Hennebold, Jack Ducheneaux, Wade McClanahan, Tane Pravecek were second in senior trap.

Katie Welker, George Clark, Jude Sargent, Jesse Larson were first in junior sporting clays.

Luke Hennebold, Wade McClanahan, Tane Pravecek, Jack Ducheneaux were second in senior sporting clays.

Katie Welker, George Clark, Jude Sargent, Jesse Larson were first in junior skeet.

Luke Hennebold, Wade McClanahan, Tane Pravecek and Jack Ducheneaux were second in senior skeet.

First in Angus registrations


Raven Angus of Colome ranked as the largest in registering the most Angus beef cattle in South Dakota with the American Angus Association during fiscal year 2017.

Jorgensen Ranches of Ideal ranked third largest in registering the most Angus cattle in South Dakota.

Angus breeders across the nation in 2017 registered 332,421 head of Angus cattle. “Our growth this fiscal year continues to demonstrate strong demand for Angus genetics and solidifies our long-held position as the leader in the beef cattle industry,” said Allen Moczygemba, association chief executive officer.

Playhouse Production is Very Funny

play cast and crew

By Dan Bechtold

Friendship. Renewed determination. Embracing life.

All these elements make for a great Winner Community Playhouse production of “The Savannah Sipping Society.”

Four veterans of the Winner stage carry the show. It is an outright hold onto your seat laugh riot of a play.

You have not missed the play yet. It will be presented Oct. 12, 13 and 14 at 7:30 each night at the playhouse. For reservations call 842-1958.

The cast includes Tami Comp, Sandra York, Barb DeSersa and Brandy Biggins.

There are cameo roles by Victoria Gronlund, Becca Carlson, Cheril Meiners and Linda Watson.

Four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day to day routines, are drawn together by fate and an impromptu happy hour.

Randa, (played by Comp), a perfectionist and workaholic, is struggling to cope with a surprise career derailment that reveals she has no life and no idea how to get one

Dot (played by York), is still reeling from her husband’s recent demise and the loss of their plans for an idyllic retirement. She faces an unsettling prospect for starting a new life from scratch.

Marlafaye (DeSersa) has blown into Savannah fresh from Texas.

Also new in town is Jinx, (Biggins) a life coach and veritable force of nature who offers new skills to help the group.

I like the solo parts each woman has as it helps weave the story together. It also allows the other women time to do a costume change as there are named changes of custom in this production.

York wears two hats in this production. She is the director and also is one of the actresses.

Dan Patmore is the technical director and created a southern home verandah where most of the action takes place.

“The Savannah Sipping Society” is filled with laughter, hilarious misadventures as these four women bond and find the confidence to jumpstart their lives.

However, most importantly, they learn it is never too late to make new old friends. A lesson we can all take to heart.

Go see the play—it is really enjoyable.

Groundbreaking Signifies Progress at Winner Regional

hospital ground breaking

By Dan Bechtold

On an overcast cool afternoon, the Winner community celebrated the great news of the expansion of the Winner Regional Healthcare Center.

The official groundbreaking was held at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 4. Hospital board members, speakers, and hospital executives threw out the first shovel of dirt signifying the official start of the $23 million project.

As the officials put on construction helmets and picked up their shovels, the crowd applauded.

Several speakers spoke at the ground breaking.

Jody Engel, communication/foundation director at Winner Regional Healthcare Center, said “We find ourselves coming together as a community to take another step forward in ensuring our neighbors, friends and families continue to receive the quality health care we all expect and deserve for generations to come.”

Engel explained the healthcare center has a talented staff and this is truly a community hospital.

Carol Horstman, who has been a nurse at the hospital for 33 years, says she has seen many changes over those years. She looks forward to having an ER that will have private exam rooms instead of just drawing a curtain as is the case in the current ER.
Horstman noted the use of computers for charting was a big change.

She added the new addition will be a great asset. “This expansion shows we are progressive,” Horstman said.

Jill Swallow has worked in radiology for 27 years at Winner Regional. “I am so fortunate to work her,” she said. Like Horstman, Swallow has seen changes and for her department it was moving into the digital age where all the images are now digital, there is no longer the use of film to taking x-rays.

Swallow says her co-workers make this a great place to work. She noted there is need for expansion as they have outgrown their space in the facility.

“We want to continue to grow so patients can stay close to home,” she said.

Cally Night Pipe works at the long term care side of Winner Regional Healthcare Center. Even thought there will be no addition to the long term care unit, Night Pipe sees the benefit that the expansion will provide.

“This project is what Winner needs for future generations,” she said.

Dr. Tony Berg has been a family practice doctor in Winner for 35 years. He is now the chairman of the fundraising campaign for the new expansion.

“This is a great day for Winner,” he said.

Berg told the crowd this is your hospital and will be here for generations to come.

He noted the governing board had faith in this community and voted to move ahead with the building project.

Following the groundbreaking, a community meal was served in the Winner Armory. There were also free cupcakes for anyone who was born at Winner Regional.

At the meal, persons has a chance to look at the building plans.

Cheer Takes First in Faulkton

cheer in faulkton

Winner competitive cheer team won first place in Faulkton on Monday.

“They nailed everything and their stunts were great,” said coach Val Ewing.

It has been a busy week for the competitive cheer team.

A week ago the girls traveled to Northwestern to compete against some teams from the northeastern part of the state. The Lady Warriors came home with a second place finish.

“This competition was hard because it was homecoming week and it started so late,” said Ewing. “I feel the girls did a great job but we lost some needed points due to deductions. Deductions have been killing us this year,” said Ewing.

Friday of homecoming the girls provided halftime entertainment for the large crowd at the football game.

“As I coach I love to have the girls having the chance to perform their routine for the entire town. We don’t get a lot of spectators at our local competition so this is the girls chance to show everyone the talent we have,” noted the coach.

On Saturday, Sept. 30 the girls hit the road at 5:30 a.m. for Sioux Falls Roosevelt competition. “This was an awesome environment as we got the chance to cheer in the Pentagon and we go to see a lot of ClassAA schools.

Ewing said the girls came back to practice with a vengeance and we have made some big adjustments in our routine in order to get us some more difficulty points.

The girls will have one more competition before the state on Oct. 14 when they travel to Platte.

The state meet will be Oct. 20 in Rapid City.

Brooke Swier-Schloss Named Super Lawyers “Rising Star”

brooke schloss

Brooke Swier-Schloss of Swier Law Firm has been selected to the 2017 South Dakota “Rising Stars” list in Family Law.

Each year, a small percent of the lawyers in South Dakota are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. To be eligible for inclusion as a Rising Star, a lawyer must be either 40 years old or younger or in practice for 10 years or less.

“We are excited and proud that Brooke has been selected to receive this honor,” said Scott Swier. “We congratulate and thank Brooke for her commitment to her clients, which is evident with this well-deserved recognition.”

The annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. The result is a comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country.

Warriors Roll to 64-16 Victory

fg wag carter brickman

Winner Warrior football team put a lot of points on the board Friday night as they defeated Wagner 64-16.

With the victory the Warriors improved to 6-1 for the season.

Winner raced to a 46-0 lead at the half.

The Warriors scored 24 points in the first quarter on touchdowns by Riley Calhoon and Ty Bolton. Calhoon opened the scoring on a 33 yard run. A minute later Bolton scored on a 16 yard run. Calhoon’s second touchdown came on a 49 yard run.

In the second quarter, Carter Brickman completed a 44 yard TD pass to Calhoon.

With 4:40 left in the first half, Zach Lapsley scored on a 1 yard run. With 12 seconds to go until the half, Trevor Peters scored on a 6 yard run.

Wagner scored a touchdown each in the third and the fourth quarters.

A lot of younger players saw action in the second half of the game. Preston Norrid scored two touchdowns. His first was on a 5 yard run and he scored the final TD on a 29 yard run.

Sandwiched between Norrid’s two TDs was a score by Joren Bruun on a 53 yard run with 6:34 left in the game.

The Warriors had a lot of yards of offense as they put up a total of 510 yards with 447 coming via the rush.

Leading rushers were Calhoon, 94 yards, Bruun, 64 yards; Norrid, 58 yards; Peters, 45 yards; Phillip Jorgensen 42 yards; Sam Kruger, 38 yards and Zach Lapsley, 34 yards.

Winner had 26 first downs and held Wagner to 9.

Coach Dan Aaker said the team had a good week of practice. “We told the team the character of a team is how you prepare and play games likes this. I was happy with what I saw,” said the coach.

On the defensive side of the ball, Aaron Gilchrist had 4 tackles, Levi McClanahan, Nathan Smither, Trevor Peters and Ethan Vesely all had 3 tackles.

The Warriors close out the regular season on Friday, Oct. 13 when they travel to Wessington Springs to play Woonsocket/Wessington Springs /Sanborn Central. This is a new team on Winner’s schedule as the two teams have never met on the football field. This game will also determine the SESD champion.

Aaker said Friday’s opponent is a good football team with a 6-1 record. “This is going to set up to be a good game with a playoff atmosphere.”

The first round of the playoffs begin on Oct. 19.

Colome Suffers First Loss

chase dufek

The Colome Cowboys suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of Corsica-Stickney Friday night in Colome. The Jaguars won the game 22-6.

The Jaguars held Colome to just 116 yards of total offense

Corsica-Stickney took an early 8-0 lead.

Playing in a light rain in the first half, Class 9B No. 2 Colome coughed up the ball and Corsica-Stickney took advantage by scoring and giving them a 16-0 lead.

Colome coach Ben Connot said it was a slow start and that was his team’s downfall.

“Starting down 16-0 didn’t help at all,” said Connot. “We had our chances but did not capitalize.”

Jackson Kinzer scored late in the first quarter on a 2 yard touchdown run to get the Cowboys on the scoreboard.

Wyatt Cahoy led the Colome defense with 13 tackles and Layton Thieman added 10.

Colome, 6-1, will head to Avon on Friday.