South Dakota Hunting Seasons, 2018 – 2019

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Looking for a hunting adventure? South Dakota Hunting Seasons offer every hunter an unforgettable opportunity to catch animals in its scenic woods and explore numerous hunting areas.

Hunting for game species such as deer, antelope, turkey and many others has never been easier! South Dakota state offers every hunter an incredible abundance of game.

Amazing landscapes where you can enjoy nature while you’re doing the thing you love – hunt. Rabbits, squirrels, quail, and pheasants also populate the vast hunting ground of this state, and if you’re interested in those, you won’t be disappointed.


South Dakota Hunting Seasons and All Available Games

#1. South Dakota Deer Seasons

south dakota hunting seasons 2019



Youth Hunt

September 9 – January 1


September 1 – January 1

General Season

October 17 – January 1


December 1 – January 1

*NOTE: Season dates vary by zone.

#2. South Dakota Antelope Seasons




September 29 – October 14


August 18 – September

18 October 15 – 31


#3. South Dakota Wild Turkey Seasons

 south dakota hunting season pheasant



General Spring Season

April 14 – May 20


April 7 – May 20

Fall General Season

November 1 – January 31

#4. South Dakota Elk Season



General Season

October 1 – January 20


September 1 - 30

*NOTE: Season dates may vary depending on region.

#4. South Dakota Black Hills Bighorn Sheep Seasons



General Season

September 1 – December 31

*NOTE: The season on bighorn sheep is restricted only for residents.

#5. South Dakota Mountain Lion Season


Bag Limit

General Season

Whole year, unless the limit for harvesting is met

#6. South Dakota Small Game Seasons



Bag limit

Common Snipe

September 1 – October 31

Daily: 5

Possession: 15


September 1 – October 31 March 1 – April 30​​​​



September 1 – February 28

Daily: 10

Possession: 30


October 21 – January 7

Daily: 5

Possession: 15


October 13 – 15 October

20 – January 6

Daily: 3 roosters

Possession: 15 roosters

Partridge and Chukar

September 15 – January 6

Daily: 5

Possession: 15

Prairie Chicken

Daily: 3

Possession: 15

Ruffed Grouse

Tree Squirrel

September 1 – February 28

Daily: 5

Possession: 15

License Requirements

Are you interested in buying a license in South Dakota? 

Read below all about different types of permits that are available for purchasing.

Resident License

If you are a resident there are six different licenses you can purchase. They all include certain wildlife you are allowed to hunt with that type.

If you want to know the prices and precisely what game animals you can hunt with which license you can visit South Dakota Game and Fish website.

Residents age 19 or older can buy a regular license, but persons that are 16 or younger need to obtain a Resident Youth License.

For animals, there are additional fees for residents and non-residents. For disabled veterans, licenses with reduced fees are available.

Non-resident License

For non-residents fees are a little higher than for residents, and there are different regulations for certain types of licenses. 

You can see all the fees and what kind of game you are allowed to hunt on the South Dakota Game and Fish website.

Night Hunting in South Dakota

Is night hunting allowed in South Dakota? 

Yes, and for bobcat, coyote, badger, fox, racoon, mink and opossum hunting hours are not restricted.

If you are a landowner or his occupant you can both use artificial light when hunting in their land for coyotes, jackrabbits, grey and red fox, opossums, racoons, skunks, badgers and rodents.

No person in South Dakota is allowed to possess and use night vision equipment to locate, spot, take or attempt to take, or hunt any game while having in their control a bow, firearm or any other tool with which animals can be killed.

Where to Hunt in South Dakota

south dakota bird hunting seasons

In South Dakota, there are over 5 million acres of land that is a great hunting opportunity for both experienced and inexperienced hunters.

Need a hunter’s guide for hunting areas? The South Dakota Public Hunting Atlas is the guide for all lands that are open for public hunting. Federal, private and state-owned regions are included in the guide as well.

The atlas has all the information and maps on lands available for public hunting. These areas include Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forests and Grasslands, Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs), School and Public Lands, South Dakota’s Walk-In Areas and Game Production Areas (GPAs).

South Dakota is a state that is approximately 80% privately owned, and the majority of hunting activity occurs on private lands.

That’s why sometimes finding the right place can be a challenging task, but it’s very achievable. Be sure that when hunting you demonstrate your respect to wildlife, water, and to the landowner.

Live nothing but your footprints.

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