Document Type


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Agricultural Economics Department

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antelope range station, antelope field station, range research


South Dakota State College research workers, with the help of the Field Station Advisory Council and the cooperation of the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, began planning and establishing experimental projects at the Antelope Range Field Station in 1947. The Range Station consists of 7,920 acres of range Janel in east-central Harding County. A large part of this tract, 6,680 acres, is under the control of the state office of School and Public Lands; 1,120 acres are owned by the Department of Game, Fish and Parks; and 120 acres are privately owned by a neighbor. Prior to 1946 the preserve area was leased for grazing to private interests. The 1957 Legislature authorized the exchange of the 1,120 acres owned by the Game, Fish and Parks Department for School and Public Lands located elsewhere in the state. Negotiations to accomplish the land exchange are in progress at the time of this writing. The station lies 2 miles south of Highway No. 8 on the west side of the Slim Buttes. The land is rolling prairie, deeply cut in some places by intermittent streams, and unsuitable for most agricultural purposes except grazing. This area was originally organized as an antelope preserve and for many years was operated as such under the control of the Game, Fish and Parks Department. In the fall of 1946, at the request of livestock men of western South Dakota, representing the Western South Dakota Sheep Growers' Association, the Cooperative wool Growers' of South Dakota, the Black Hills' Protective Association, Harding County Livestock Improvement Association, South Dakota Purebred Sheep Breeders Association, and the South Dakota Stockgrowers' Association, the Game, Fish and Parks Commission entered into an agreement to permit the South Dakota State College Agricultural Experiment Station to use the Antelope Range Preserve as a livestock experiment field station for range research in problems dealing with beef cattle, sheep, and antelope. Representatives of the organizations formed an advisory council to assist in developing the station and suggesting problems that needed research study. The orginal advisory committee and the animal husbandry department research men compiled a list of 21 major problems that would be suitable for development at the Antelope Range Field Station, although not all of these could be handled at once. Actual research work was started in 1947. The first experimental livestock with which the ranch was stocked were sheep, but within the first year a cow herd was added. Of the 21 problems suggested, parasitism in sheep, stocking rate and rotational grazing studies with sheep, supplements for wintering pregnant ewes, and beef cattle breeding research were the ones undertaken and upon which sufficient data have been collected to warrant publication of the results. Many of these studies are still underway. One of the early goals was to discover basic information on compatibility of sheep and antelope grazing on the same range in respect to carrying capacity of the range, parasites common to both species, and the host parasite interrelationships. Unfortunately this work has yielded little information because of difficulties in handling antelope either in captivity or under controlled conditions on range pastures. The other experiments have been carried forward and the results to date are reported in this bulletin.










South Dakota State State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, Agricultural Experiment Station