South Dakota on map
About hunting in South Dakota
For hunters, South Dakota is synonymous with pheasants. Known as the “Pheasant Capital of the World,” the state is renowned worldwide for its outstanding bird hunting. In most years, the annual pheasant harvest exceeds 1 million roosters. But there is more to hunt in South Dakota. Although the majority of the state is covered in grasslands, much of South Dakota’s big-game hunting is centered in the Black Hills, a region in the western part of the state consisting of rolling, pine- and spruce-covered mountains that cover some 6,000 square miles with elevations of 2,000 to 4,000 feet. Whitetails and mule deer are the most highly sought after big-game species in South Dakota, and nonresidents can apply for deer tags in most regions and seasons. Mule deer inhabit mostly the central and western regions of the state, and whitetails are abundant nearly everywhere. South Dakota also has one of the largest populations of pronghorn antelope in the country, with most of them concentrated in the central and western regions of the state. There are also opportunities to hunt American bison, Merriam turkeys, prairie dogs, and coyotes. Bighorn sheep, elk, and mountain lion hunts are restricted to state residents, although some limited elk hunting opportunities are offered on tribal reservations. South Dakota’s prairie potholes are hot spots for duck and goose hunting, as the region is in the center of the most productive wildfowl breeding areas in North America. Big-game firearm hunters in South Dakota are required to wear more than one hunter orange garment above the waist. Learn more about South Dakota’s hunting regulations, licensing, and season dates at http://gfp.sd.gov/hunting/.
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