South Dakota Hunting

South Dakota Hunting

South Dakota is a paradise for hunting enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of game animals to hunt. From mountain lions to turkeys, elks, deer, and antelope, along with other small game animals, the state provides ample opportunities for thrilling hunting experiences.

However, as with any sport, hunting in South Dakota is regulated by specific rules and regulations set forth by the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Agency. In this article, we’ll explore the essential hunting regulations, licensing requirements, and various hunting seasons in South Dakota.

Introduction:

South Dakota’s hunting landscape is rich with an abundance of wildlife, making it a sought-after destination for hunters across the country. However, before embarking on a hunting adventure, it is crucial to be familiar with the state’s regulations to ensure a safe and legal experience.

Restrictions for Convicted Felon Hunters:

Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms, including those allowed under gun laws, while hunting in South Dakota. This prohibition extends to muzzleloaders, except for those whose firearm rights have been restored at the state or federal level. However, convicted felons can still use archery equipment, air rifles, and bows for hunting.

Restrictions for the Use of Loaded Firearms:

South Dakota hunting regulations define a firearm as loaded under specific circumstances:

  • When the magazine or chamber contains shells.
  • When the nipple has a percussion cap.
  • When the frozen pan contains gunpowder.
  • Crossbows are considered loaded when they are cocked.

Restrictions for Plugged Shotguns:

Shotguns used for hunting migratory birds in South Dakota can only have a maximum of three shells in both the chamber and the magazine. If a plug is required to limit the firearm’s capacity, it must be a piece and not capable of being easily removed.

Restriction for Suppressors:

Hunters with legally allowed suppressors can use them for hunting in South Dakota. However, for hunting on private lands, hunters must obtain permission from the landowner before using suppressors.

Archery Equipment Regulations:

South Dakota permits the use of compound bows, recurve bows, longbows, and crossbows for hunting games, wildlife, and feral hogs. However, the arrows used for hunting bears, deer, and feral hogs must have broadheads. The state does not regulate other factors such as draw weight, arrow length or let off for hunting.

Prohibited Hunting Activities in South Dakota:

Several hunting activities are strictly prohibited in South Dakota, including:

  • Hunting on private lands without the landowner’s permission.
  • Hunting under the influence of alcohol.
  • Possessing, importing, holding, or releasing wildlife without a valid permit from the South Dakota Department of Natural Resources.
  • Concealing illegally obtained games or wildlife parts.
  • Crippling or killing game animals without the intention to take or retrieve them.
  • Hunting farm deer and exotic wild animals without appropriate licenses.
  • Hunting or shooting game animals from the opposite side of a major road.
  • Hunting from vehicles, including motorboats, powerboats, and aircraft.
  • Buying or selling games or parts of their bodies, with exceptions for specific parts like antlers and hides obtained legally.
  • Using computers or similar devices to remotely discharge firearms for hunting purposes.
  • Using substances like chemicals, drugs, poisons, or explosives to hunt games.
  • Using baits, pitfalls, hooks, nets, snares, decoys, deadfalls, etc., to make games.
  • Using communication devices while pursuing games and wildlife during a hunt.
  • Disturbing games and wildlife in their dens or homes.

Hunters Dressing Regulations:

During specific hunting seasons, hunters and their escorts are required to wear fluorescent yellow outer clothing in South Dakota. The clothing must cover at least 550 square inches and be worn above the waist level. This regulation applies to seasons such as firearms and primitive weapon seasons for deer and bear hunting, as well as hunting feral hogs during firearm seasons.

See also  South Dakota Gun Laws

South Dakota Hunting License, Permits, and Tags:

Hunting licenses, permits, and tags in South Dakota are issued based on age and residency status. Residents of the state are eligible for specific licenses, while non-residents have different options available.

Types of licenses, permits, and tags issued in South Dakota include:

Hunting and Fishing License:

This combination license allows holders to participate in both hunting seasons and fishing activities across the state. It is available to both residents and non-residents and has different validity periods.

The annual license costs $30 for residents and $150 for non-residents. A one-day license is available at $5 for residents and $30 for non-residents, and an additional day hunting and fishing license costs $1 for residents and $10 for non-residents.

Apprentice Hunting and Fishing License:

This license is designed for beginners who require supervision while hunting or fishing. It is valid for one day and costs $5 for residents and $30 for non-residents.

Hunting License:

Residents between the ages of 16 and 64 can obtain a South Dakota hunting license, as well as non-resident hunters. The license has different validity periods, with an annual license costing $15 for residents and $100 for non-residents. A one-day license costs $5 for residents and $20 for non-residents, while an additional day hunting and fishing license costs $1 for residents and $6 for non-residents.

Senior Sportsman’s License:

Available exclusively to residents of South Dakota who are 65 years old and above, this license grants access to hunting and fishing activities, except for hunting alligators. The license is valid for one year and costs $7.

Big Game Licenses:

Residents and non-resident hunters can obtain a big game license to hunt specific game in South Dakota. It has various validity periods, with an annual license costing $25 for residents and $225 for non-residents. A one-day license costs $10 for residents and $130 for non-residents, and an additional day hunting and fishing license costs $2 for residents and $8 for non-residents.

Harvesting License for Deer, Alligators, and Turkeys:

This annual license is available at no cost to residents and non-residents.

Quota Alligator Harvest Permit:

Issued only during the alligator season, this permit costs $75 for residents and $250 for non-residents.

Trapping License:

For game trapping in South Dakota, residents and non-residents can obtain this license, which is valid only during the specific trapping season. It costs $40 for residents and $325 for non-residents.

Shooting Preserve License:

This two-year license is available for both residents and non-residents and costs $12.

Migratory Birds and Waterfowl Stamps:

For migratory birds and waterfowl, this annual stamp is valid for two years and costs $5 for both residents and non-residents.

Disability Hunting License:

Disabled residents of South Dakota who wish to participate in hunting activities can obtain this license. It has two validity periods, with an annual license costing $3 and a three-year license costing $9.

South Dakota Hunting Season 2020/2021:

Hunting seasons in South Dakota are divided into various periods based on the game and the weapons permitted for hunting. Here are some of the hunting seasons for 2020/2021:

South Dakota Deer Hunting Seasons:

  • Archery Season: 12th September to 10th January
  • Extended Archery Season: 12th September to 31st January
  • Primitive Weapons Season: 10th October to 10th January
  • Firearms Season: 17th October to 10th January
See also  South Dakota Open Carry

To hunt deer in South Dakota, hunters must obtain a valid state hunting permit. Additionally, hunters must meet specific qualifications to participate in the disability hunting season for deer.

South Dakota Black Hills Bighorn Sheep Hunting Season:

  • General Hunting Season: 1st September to 31st December

South Dakota Elk Hunting Seasons:

  • Archery Season: 12th September to 10th January
  • Primitive Weapons Season: 10th October to 10th January
  • Firearms Season: 17th October to 10th January

South Dakota Turkey Hunting Season:

  • General Hunting Season: 20th March to 15th May
  • Special Opportunity Youth and Mobile Impaired Season: 13th March to 14th March

South Dakota Alligator Hunting Season:

  • General Hunting Season: From the sunset of 14th August to the sunrise of 5th October

For alligator hunting in South Dakota, hunters need to obtain a permit, and each hunter is allowed to take only one alligator per year.

South Dakota Small Games Hunting Season:

Various small game hunting seasons are available in South Dakota, including:

  • Fox and Bobcat Season: 1st December to 28th February
  • Grouse Season: 15th October to 28th February
  • Opossum Season: 15th October to 28th February
  • Quail Season: 14th November to 28th February
  • Rabbit Season: 14th November to 28th February
  • Raccoon Season: 15th October to 28th February
  • Squirrel Season: 15th August to 28th February
  • Woodcock Season: 5th December to 18th January

Please note that the specific dates for each game season may vary based on different hunting zones in South Dakota. Additionally, hunting regulations, bag limits, and special hunting seasons may vary based on the game and the specific season.

South Dakota Wildlife Games and Fish:

South Dakota offers an array of wildlife games and fish for hunting enthusiasts, including:

South Dakota Deer Hunting:

Deer hunting in South Dakota is incredibly popular, with numerous Wildlife Management Areas providing excellent opportunities for successful hunting. White-tailed deer are found throughout the state, mainly inhabiting coastal marshes and forested regions.

South Dakota Mountain Lion Season:

The general hunting season for mountain lions extends throughout the year until the specified bag limit is reached.

South Dakota Hog Hunting:

Hog hunting in South Dakota is prevalent in the mountainous regions of northern South Dakota. The state is home to some of the largest hogs found in North America, making it an enticing target for hunters.

South Dakota Bighorn Sheep Hunting:

Bighorn sheep hunting in South Dakota is evenly distributed and restricted to residents of the state.

South Dakota Alligator Hunting:

Alligator hunting takes place in the state’s wetland areas, including swamps, ponds, lakes, rivers, and other water bodies in the wild.

South Dakota Bobcat Hunting:

Bobcats are among the most common predators in North America and can be found statewide in South Dakota, mainly in agricultural and forested areas.

South Dakota Fox Hunting:

South Dakota is home to red foxes, which can be found throughout the state, inhabiting wood forests, grasslands, and croplands.

South Dakota Turkey Hunting:

Turkey hunting is widespread in South Dakota, with five species of turkeys present in the state. Turkeys are evenly dispersed and can be found in various habitats.

South Dakota Grouse Hunting:

Grouse hunting in South Dakota focuses on the mountain regions of the north, where these birds prefer high elevations.

South Dakota Rabbit Hunting:

South Dakota is home to Eastern cottontail rabbits, which are the most common species found in the state.

See also  South Dakota Gun Permit

South Dakota Raccoon Hunting:

Raccoons inhabit various landscapes in South Dakota, including marshes, lakes, streams, swamps, rivers, and areas with hardwood trees.

12. South Dakota Shooting Ranges:

South Dakota boasts numerous shooting ranges that are open to the public, including:

  1. Aberdeen Gun Club
  2. Archery Outfitters
  3. Beacon Hill Rifle & Pistol Club
  4. Big Sioux Rifle & Pistol Club
  5. Tri-State Shooters Club
  6. Rosebud Arrow, Rod, & Gun Club
  7. Tri-County Trap Range
  8. Outdoor Adventure Center
  9. Hunters Point Shooting Club
  10. Ghost Town Sporting Clays
  11. Camp Rapid National Guard Range
  12. Crooks Gun Club

South Dakota Hunting Land for Sale and Lease:

If you’re looking to own or lease hunting land in South Dakota, there are several options available, such as:

  1. The Deer Valley Ranch in Custer County offers 133± deeded acres for deer hunting.
  2. Woonsocket, South Dakota (Sanborn County), offers 154 acres of hunting land.
  3. Cronkhite Farm in Jones County provides 2356 deeded acres of prime hunting land.
  4. Webster, South Dakota (Day County) offers income-producing tillable land and hayfield with duck sloughs and pheasant habitat across 160 acres.
  5. The Rafter R Ranch in Custer County presents 485± deeded acres with excellent big game hunting opportunities.
  6. Various hunting lands are available for lease, such as the 320-acre deer hunting land for lease in Jerauld County.

Conclusion:

South Dakota’s hunting regulations are in place to ensure a safe and sustainable hunting experience for all enthusiasts. By adhering to these regulations and obtaining the appropriate licenses and permits, hunters can enjoy the thrill of pursuing game animals in this beautiful state.

FAQs:

Q1: What are the restrictions for convicted felon hunters in South Dakota?

Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms while hunting. However, they can use archery equipment, air rifles, and bows.

Q2: Are there dressing regulations for hunters in South Dakota?

Yes, during specific hunting seasons, hunters and their escorts must wear fluorescent yellow outer clothing above the waist level.

Q3: What types of licenses are available for hunting in South Dakota?

South Dakota offers various licenses, including hunting and fishing licenses, big game licenses, and special permits for disabled hunters.

Q4: How many Wildlife Management Areas are there in South Dakota for deer hunting?

South Dakota has approximately 100 Wildlife Management Areas that provide excellent deer hunting opportunities.

Q5: Can non-residents obtain permits for alligator hunting in South Dakota?

Yes, both residents and non-residents can obtain permits for alligator hunting during the specified hunting season.

Q6: Does South Dakota have good hunting?

Yes, South Dakota is considered an excellent state for hunting, with abundant opportunities to pursue game species like pheasants, deer, antelope, elk, and grouse. The combination of public lands, favorable habitat, and properly managed populations make for great hunting.

Q7: What animals are there to hunt in South Dakota?

Some of the major game species for hunting in South Dakota include whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, elk, pheasants, quail, partridge, cottontail rabbits, squirrels, and doves. The state also has opportunities to hunt predators like coyotes.

Q8: Can you hunt at night in South Dakota?

In general, night hunting is prohibited in South Dakota except by special permit and only allowed for certain species like coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and rodents. Deer hunting and most bird hunting at night are not permitted.

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