Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Outdoors broadcaster Tony Dean dies

Pierre, S.D. (AP)_

Tony Dean, a nationally known outdoor enthusiast who promoted
South Dakota with his radio and television shows, has died.

Dean died Sunday morning. He was 67.

Dean, whose real name was Anthony DeChandt, returned to his
Pierre home last week after being hospitalized for complications
from having his appendix removed.

He was with immediate family members at his home, where he had
been seated in the living room overlooking the Missouri River.

“He could see the water; he could see the ducks,” said his wife,
Darlene DeChandt. “He knew he was sick, but he said, ‘You know, I’m
not afraid.'”

Dean was host and producer of “Tony Dean Outdoors,” a regional
television show that aired across the Upper Midwest. His radio show
“Dakota Backroads” was heard across the region.

Dean won more than 160 regional and national awards for his
programs. He also served as a press secretary for former South
Dakota Gov. Frank Farrar.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., said Dean was a
passionate defender of wildlife habitat and the environment. “I,
like so many others, benefited from his counsel and advice on a
vast range of conservation policy issues. His knowledge and ideas,
as well as his enthusiasm for people and the outdoors, will be
missed by all,” she said in a release.

In a statement, Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said he had visited
Dean and his wife last week. He said he was sorry to hear of Dean’s
death.

“I always appreciated his advocacy on behalf of conservation and
sportsmen alike. He understood the right balance. His advice and
passion will be missed,” Johnson said. “Tony was a good friend, and
this pheasant hunting season won’t be the same without him.”

Dean had been criticized for supporting Johnson and again for
backing Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Darlene DeChandt said her husband’s final work before his
illness was recording commercials for Obama’s campaign. She said if
Obama won, Dean was to have been on his transition team.

“He felt strongly that Obama was the one with enough insight and
was young enough” to appreciate land conservation, DeChandt
said.

Jason Mitchell of Devil’s Lake, N.D., recorded several TV shows
with Dean. He said Dean had the courage to stand up to the National
Rifle Association when it backed candidates who he felt did not
have conservation at heart.

“He took a lot of those stances, sometimes at a great financial
cost,” Mitchell said. “Tony could see the big picture. He was doing
those things for future generations.”

Memorial information

Per Tony’s request for no formal funeral, there will be a casual
“Celebration of His Life” on Saturday, Nov. 1 starting at 5 p.m.
and running through the evening at the AmericInn in Fort
Pierre.

The family is requesting donations to a memorial in lieu of
flowers. The donations will go to acquire an area that will be set
aside for public recreation and named for Tony. Donations can be
made out to The Tony Dean Memorial Fund and sent to: Tony Dean
Memorial Fund, 1013 North Grand, Pierre, SD 57501.

Tony Dean image courtesy of tonydeanoutdoors.com

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