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Last updated: October 11. 2013 6:36PM - 638 Views
Associated Press



FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2012 file photo, 14-year-old Collin Cleveland, of Montrose, S.D., takes aim at a pheasant during the state's annual youth hunt on land near Tyndall, S.D. When pheasant hunters take to the fields of South Dakota this weekend to renew a treasured rite of autumn, they’ll have less land to do it on thanks to the federal government shutdown. Some 150,000 acres in the national wildlife refuge system will be off-limits for the state’s annual public lands hunt. It’s a scenario being played out across the country, affecting millions of acres that are ordinarily available to hunters seeking antelope in Colorado, ducks in Montana or bears in Alaska. (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2012 file photo, 14-year-old Collin Cleveland, of Montrose, S.D., takes aim at a pheasant during the state's annual youth hunt on land near Tyndall, S.D. When pheasant hunters take to the fields of South Dakota this weekend to renew a treasured rite of autumn, they’ll have less land to do it on thanks to the federal government shutdown. Some 150,000 acres in the national wildlife refuge system will be off-limits for the state’s annual public lands hunt. It’s a scenario being played out across the country, affecting millions of acres that are ordinarily available to hunters seeking antelope in Colorado, ducks in Montana or bears in Alaska. (AP Photo/Dirk Lammers, File)
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(AP) The Fish and Wildlife Service says it is reopening 3 million acres in wildlife refuges to allow hunting of pheasants and waterfowl.


The sites, in 10 states, have been closed since Oct. 1 because of the partial government shutdown.


The agency said Friday that despite limited staffing, allowing public access to Waterfowl Production Areas on wildlife refuges will not cost any money or jeopardize public safety.


North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple had threatened to sue unless lands in his state were opened.


Dalrymple says pheasant hunting should begin as scheduled this month. He says a government shutdown is not legal justification to close unstaffed, public lands.


The decision opens hunting areas in 10 states: North and South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska, Idaho and Maine.


Associated Press
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