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National Wild Turkey Federation Honors S.D. Conservation Officer
South Dakota Ag Connection - 09/11/2017

The South Dakota Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) has named Conservation Officer John Murphy as its 2017 Wildlife Officer of the Year.

Officer Murphy has served as a Wildlife Conservation Officer for over 16 years with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP). John started his career in Sully County and is currently stationed in Hughes County. Murphy covers a large section of the Missouri River which includes both Lake Sharp and Lake Oahe.

Murphy conducts fishing, hunting and recreational boating checks. He has made numerous arrests for too many fish, no licenses, short fish, too many lines, insufficient number of life jackets and other required boating safety equipment. He is also instrumental in setting up and planning road checks in his region and works out of the airplane during special night work details. Murphy makes more arrests than any other conservation officer in the region.

Murphy helps set up and teach 3 to 4 Hunt Safe classes each year, helps set up and put on several youth fishing derby's in his area and has helped with a special paralyzed veterans prairie dog hunt in Lyman County the past two of years. WCO Murphy hosts a radio show in Pierre every week called "Murphy's Law" in which he talks about current GFP-related issues in the area.

Officer Murphy will be honored by the NWTF at its State Convention in January In addition, the State Chapter will forward his name to compete for a national award at the NWTF's national convention in February 2018.

"The State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is grateful to wildlife conservation officers across South Dakota who continue to do an outstanding job," said Mike McKernan, president of the State Chapter. "We have had and continue to have a great relationship with the Game, Fish and Parks Department. The NWTF has a high priority to conserve the wild turkey and connect our youth, physically challenged and men/women to outdoor activities and our hunting heritage. John Murphy is a credit to these goals. We are pleased to honor John and know he will do a great job in representing South Dakota at our National Convention next February."

This is the 17th year the award has been presented by the South Dakota State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

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