Hunting is permitted on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Gavins Point Project public lands and waters during open hunting seasons - except where specifically prohibited. All hunting and related activities shall be in accordance with all applicable Federal and State laws and regulations, including Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Non-permitted blinds or any blind in non-compliance with rules and regulations may be removed and impounded by a USACE Park Ranger. The blind owner may be issued a citation (fine) and/or mandatory court appearance in U.S. District Court and/or the blind may be removed and impounded at the owner’s expense. All permit holders are required to comply with these regulations as a condition of their permit, as follows:
1. Temporary and Boat Blinds do not need a Blind Permit, so long as long the blind and all related equipment and materials are removed from Gavins Point Project lands and waters daily not to exceed a period of over twenty-four (24) hours on project lands/waters.
2. Duck Blind Permits – A valid permit is required to be issued from the Gavins Point Project for any blind that will remain on project lands and/or waters for the permitted season. Blind permits allow the placement of a permanent (seasonal) duck blind on project lands/waters, to remain on project lands/waters without having to remove the blind each day. Permits DO NOT give the permit holder exclusive use at or around their blind. NOTE: The purpose of a duck blind permit is to legally allow placement of the blind for a period of more than 24-hours on project lands/waters, so long as all conditions are met throughout the permitted period.
3. Duck Blind Unit Areas – There are three (3) blind unit areas on Lewis and Clark Lake. See Map for Unit Area Boundaries. Applicants must indicate on their application their preference for which unit(s) they wish to place/construct a permitted duck blind. Applicants will not be selected for units they do not indicate on their application. There is a lottery drawing for Units 1A and 1B, and applicants will be notified of the results via U.S. Mail, following the drawing. The following number of permits will be issued in the following units:
Unit 1A – 8 Permitted Blinds
Unit 1B – 8 Permitted Blinds
Unit 2 – Unlimited Permitted Blinds
4. Duck Blind Application – Applications for Blind Permits for the 2018 season must be received at the Gavins Point Project Office no later than 3:00P.M. on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. Only one application per household will be accepted. Only one application per envelope is permitted. Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Permits are valid for one season only and permit holders have no preference to be drawn for the same location each year. Once permits are issued they are non-transferrable and non-refundable. You are not required to enclose a copy of your hunting license with your application.
a. A drawing and/or detailed description of an acceptable blind and a list of all building materials and floatation are required on the application with the following conditions:
i. Only floatation and materials approved by the Corps of Engineers may be used – barrels, steel drums, or Styrofoam are not acceptable. All floatation must be specifically designed for marine use. Penta, or creosote treated lumber is not acceptable.
ii. Blinds constructed for the purpose of holding a site for a boat blind are not permitted. An acceptable blind is one that a hunter would reasonably hunt waterfowl from within during the waterfowl season.
5. Permit Application Fee – There is a fee of ten ($10) dollars due at time of application. Please submit a check or money order payable to “Corps of Engineers – Omaha District”. Once a permit is issued, the application fee is non-refundable.
6. Mailing Address – Completed applications and $10 application fee should be mailed to:
USACE - Gavins Point Project
P.O. Box 710
Yankton, SD 57078
ATTN: DUCK BLIND APPLICATION
7. Permit Season Dates – The 2018 Permitted Blind Season is Wednesday, August 29, 2018 through Monday, April 15, 2019. The placement/construction of permitted duck blinds is not permitted prior to 12-Noon CDT on Wednesday, August 29, 2018. These dates are not the same as state regulated hunting seasons, and hunting is only permitted during open state hunting seasons. All permitted blinds and all related materials must be completely removed from Gavins Point Project lands/waters no later than April 15, 2019.
a. Construction/Placement – The permit holder is required to be on-site during blind construction/placement and have their permit available upon request by a uniformed USACE Park Ranger or State Conservation Officer. No prior reserving of sites or holding sites is permitted. Jugging, staking, or holding of sites in any manner is not permitted.
b. Duck Blinds must be placed and construction must be completed no later than October 1, 2018. A permittee that fails to placed and/or construct their blind after this date shall be required to remove their blind and all related material from project lands/waters.
c. Blind construction must be completed within seven (7) days of starting construction.
d. Change in landform, including but not limited to grading, digging, excavating, removal of vegetation, or filling, is strictly prohibited.
8. Use of Permitted Blinds:
a. Persons issued a blind permit shall have first priority for use of their permitted blind; however, if the blind is unoccupied one (1) hour before legal shooting time, it shall be available for use by any and all licensed hunters. Permit holders shall lose their priority if they are not physically located at their blind at least one (1) hour prior to legal shooting time.
b. All Blinds must have the permit holder’s name, address, and permit number written legibly on the outside of the blind in permanent marker or paint with all numbers and letters a minimum of 2 inches in height.
c. Blinds are prohibited to be moved to a different location after being placed and/or constructed. Applicants should note that water levels can fluctuate throughout the season. Water levels are typically much lower in late October and November; this should be considered when placing blinds.
d. Permitted Blinds must be a minimum distance of 300 yards from other permitted blinds. This restriction DOES NOT give the permit holder an exclusive right to hunt 300 yards around their blind. Permittees may not prohibit other hunters or persons from free and full use of Gavins Point Project lands and waters. There is no Corps restriction or regulation for a minimum distance from boat blinds or other temporary, non-permitted blinds to permitted blinds.
e. Prohibiting, or attempting to prohibit the free and full-use of project lands and waters towards other persons may result in revocation of permit, citation, and/or mandatory court appearance in U.S. District Court.
f. Disputes over blind site locations, or inhibiting/prohibiting other visitors from hunting or recreating on public lands and waters that is not worked out between parties may result in required removal of blinds and/or revocation of blind permit(s).
g. All litter and trash, including empty shell casings, shall be removed from the blind and surrounding area prior to vacating blind.
h. All decoys are required to be removed from the water prior to vacating the blind. Setting decoys inside the blind or stacked in nearby vegetation in a manner that will not attract waterfowl will be considered removal.
9. Blind Inspections by USACE Park Rangers & Permit Compliance
a. Blinds and associated materials are subject to periodic inspection by USACE Park Rangers, and the issuance of this permit grants permission from the permittee for uniformed USACE Park Rangers on official duty to inspect the facility and related materials for compliance with rules, regulations, and permit conditions. If inspections reveal any unsafe conditions, or the facility impedes with the free and full-use of the project, normal navigation, or is in non-compliance with rules, regulations or permit conditions, the permittee will be notified by a USACE Park Ranger by posting of an inspection tag on the facility. Upon notification of unsafe conditions or non-compliance with permit conditions, the permittee shall be required to immediately correct the deficiency. If deficiencies are not corrected within seven (7) days of notice, the permit may be terminated for non-compliance of permit conditions.
b. Non-permitted blinds, or blinds with terminated permits may be removed and impounded by USACE Park Rangers at the owner’s expense in accordance with Title 36 CFR 327.15 – “Abandonment and impoundment of personal property” and/or Title 36 CFR 327.20 – “Unauthorized Structures."
10. Additional Requirements
a. All hunters in permanent blinds must have in possession all applicable State Hunting Licenses while occupying the permitted blind and be in compliance with all state hunting laws and regulations.
b. All boats and other watercraft shall be in compliance with all applicable state laws and regulations.
c. Failure to comply with state hunting regulations may be considered cause for termination of permit.
d. The permittee does hereby release and agree to save and hold the Government harmless from any and all causes of action, suits at law or equity, or claims/demands from any liability of any nature whatsoever for or on account of any damages to persons or property, including the permitted facility growing out of the ownership, construction, operation or maintenance by the permittee of the permitted facility.
11. Contact for more information:
• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Gavins Point Project: (402) 667-2546 or (402) 667-7873
• South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks: http://gfp.sd.gov/
• Nebraska Game and Parks Commission: http://outdoornebraska.gov/