Autumn draws hunters to state parks

Autumn draws hunters to state parks Game, Fish and Parks officials are reminding hunters that many opportunities exist to camp in South Dakota state parks this upcoming hunting season.

"Many fall hunters are discovering that state parks offer an inexpensive place to stay while hunting in the area," said Emilie Miller, information officer with the Division of Recreation. "Camping cabins are especially favored among nonresidents and residents without motor homes."

Camping cabins are found at a number of state parks and recreation areas across the state. Each of the one-room, log-style cabins has heating, air conditioning and electricity. Furnishings include a set of bunk beds, double bed, table and benches. Linens are not included. Cooking is not permitted inside the cabins, and pets (except service animals) are not allowed inside.

Larger groups may also consider staying at one of the three group lodges. The lodges at Mina Lake Recreation Area near Aberdeen, and Shadehill Recreation Area near Lemmon, each feature three bedrooms that sleep

eight. The five-bedroom lodge at Lake Thompson Recreation Area, near Lake Preston, sleeps 12. All include electricity and heat. Furnishings are provided, but linens are not included. Pets are not permitted inside the lodges.

After Labor Day weekend, most campgrounds offer first-come, first-served camping. However, reservations can be made for arrival dates through Oct. 10 at the following parks:

? Big Sioux Recreation near Brandon.

? Custer State Park near Custer.

? Lewis and Clark Recreation Area near Yankton.

? Newton Hills State Park near Canton.

? Palisades State Park near Garretson.

? Snake Creek Recreation Area near Platte.

Reservations for cabins are available year-round within 90 days of arrival. Group lodge reservations for 2005 arrivals are currently available. Reservations can be made online at or by calling (800) 710-CAMP (2267).

Firearms are allowed in most state parks Oct. 1 to April 30. Special regulations apply in some parks. See the 2005 SD Hunting Handbook for specific regulations. Park entrance licenses are required year-round at designated fee areas. Valid hunting licenses are also required, see the Hunting Handbook or visit for more information on licenses.

For more information on fall camping, cabins and lodges in the S.D. state parks, visit or call (605) 773-3391.

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