If you are a rancher who owns land adjacent to public land, and prairie dogs are invading, you have a solution. Actually a couple of solutions.

You can contact the South Dakota Departments of Game, Fish and Parks or Department of Agriculture to have the problem dealt with. Together the two agencies fund a program to control the advancement of colonies onto private land.

"GFP will control prairie dogs that have encroached unto private land from adjacent public land,” said Keith Fisk, GFP wildlife damage program administrator. "However, landowners who have encroachment problems on their property from adjacent public land must be within one mile of the public land and have at least 20 acres (of actual prairie dog colonies) to be eligible for assistance."

Landowners must contact GFP and request assistance regarding unwanted prairie dogs before August 15, 2015.

"GFP provides assistance to many landowners across western South Dakota," said Fisk. "This deadline allows GFP sufficient time to coordinate the logistics of our control program."

Landowners who are suffering infestation from another private landowner must contact the SD Department of Agriculture to file a complaint.

Controlling prairie dogs is no simple task. But a weekend of hunting, or several weekends of it, could help curb the problem. And there is no shortage of hunters ready willing and able to spend a day or two or three plinking away with varmint rifles.

If you are a landowner and want to get rid of some prairie dogs on your land, I and a few thousand other people in South Dakota would happily take our best shot at eradicating the colonies on your property. And if we don't get them all, we'll happily come back and keep trying.