Conservation Officer Jon Beck transferred to Haakon and northern Jackson counties

As of September 4, Jon Beck is the new Game, Fish and Parks conservation officer for Haakon County and the northern part of Jackson County.

Since June 30, the position has been empty. Kit Bramblee had resigned to take a post with the federal fish and wildlife division. Beck and Bramblee were at the academy together and know each other fairly well.

"I grew up in this profession," said Beck, whose father, Tom, has been the conservation officer for Bennett County, southern Jackson and eastern Shannon counties for 28 years. "From the outside looking in, I thought this would be a really good profession. I tried a few other jobs, but I was not as happy in those. As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to become a conservation officer. If I get stumped or just have a question, I can always ask my father for advice. As he probably has already seen or experienced the issue before, he may be able to shed a little more light on the subject and offer advice," said Beck.

After graduating from the South Dakota Law Enforcement Training Academy in 2007, Beck served as a conservation officer in Winner for two years. He covered Todd, Tripp and Mellette counties. Beck is a 1999 graduate of Bennett County High School. He then attended Oglala Lakota College where he earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science with an emphasis in conservation biology. Prior to becoming a conservation officer, Beck worked for the Natural Resources Conservation Services in Martin and as a soil conservation technician in Dupree.

"What I have seen so far, this seems like a really nice area," said Beck. "The community seems to be a very friendly one. I had spent a year up in Dupree and really enjoyed it up there in that neighborhood, and thought I would like to get back up into that area, but not quite as far north. I have also hunted in this area for antelope and thought this would be a nice area to be around. Plus it was someplace close to home, Martin."

"Right now my main goal is to try to learn the area about as well as I can before the major hunting seasons kick off. I plan to drive around, study maps, knock on people's doors, introduce myself and go to some football games," said Beck. "As far as being a guest speaker, or showing up in school classrooms, just give me a phone call and leave a message with the date and time, plus what you want me to talk about, and I will be there. As far as other activities, for now, I would like to get settled in a little more, a few more boxes unpacked before I jump in to other activities."

"My advice to hunters is play it safe. It's going to get dry, so stay on the trails and have along a shovel and some water."

"I really enjoy hunting and fishing," said Beck. He owns a large yellow labrador hunting dog named Bullwinkle. "When everybody else is working, that's when I get to hunt. Probably my favorite hunting would be for elk. Each fall, my father and I try to have a quality hunt, hopefully elk, which to me is a great father/son time away from work," said Beck.

"With hunting season upon us, I ask that each and every sportsman take a few minutes and review the 2009 Hunting Handbook. There are a few changes that you need to be aware of. I encourage everyone to have a fun and enjoyable hunting season, be careful of fires, take a kid hunting under the Mentored Hunting Program and please follow the rules and regulations here. I hope to see you out there, and if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk, please give me a call at 859-3006 (thirty-aught-six). I will get back to you as soon as I can," said Beck.