Game, Fish and Parks Launches 100 Years of Tradition

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) announced today that the next couple of years will be dedicated to celebrating 100 Years of Tradition. In 1918, South Dakota established its first pheasant hunting season which was held in Spink County in 1919. Also, in 1919, Custer State Park was named the first official state park.

“In South Dakota, we know that traditions come in all forms of outdoor recreation,” stated Kelly Hepler, department secretary. “Over the next two years, we will highlight our hunting, camping and outdoor recreational traditions as well as yours, but also focus on where we all want to go in the next 100 years.”

To kick things off, GFP will showcase 100 Years of Tradition at the 2018 National Pheasant Fest and Quail Classic at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, Feb. 16-18. Department staff will be located in the concourse as well as at Booth 1706. Commemorative 100 year hats will be given away throughout the event and staff will be selling hunting, fishing and park entrance licenses on site. Other prizes will also be given away.

“With celebrating 100 years, there will be a strong digital push using #MySDTradition; focusing on the outdoor opportunities that provide us all with great memories of the past. As we reach 100 years of pheasant hunting and state parks in South Dakota, we encourage our recreational users, residents and nonresidents, to take us for a trip down memory lane. We want to learn about your new and old traditions and how they got started,” stated Hepler.

In addition, two new partnerships are underway with South Dakota breweries and the South Dakota RV industry. The New Brew Competition asks all breweries in South Dakota to develop a brew honoring the 100 year celebration and focusing on the close relationship with nature, strong ties to community and how the outdoors play a strong role in our future. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was sent to all South Dakota RV dealers this week requesting a donation of a new camper to be given away in 2019.

Additional events, partnerships and opportunities to commemorate the 100 years will continue to be announced as they are finalized.

For more details on how you can get involved, visit