Browse the Official
2020-2021 South Dakota Sportsman's Guide
You won't find a better place than Southeast South Dakota for your next hunting excursion! In our region, pheasants are abundant along with geese, ducks, turkey and deer. Hunters can also find partridge, quail, dove, coyote and fox. Southeast South Dakota offers access to nearly 4.5 million acres of public land for your hunting pleasure. Many private land owners will allow you to hunt on their property if you ask permission first and honor the privilege of hunting their land. We also have private reserves that offer guided hunts along with lodging and meals.
South Dakota Pheasant Hunting
Traditional Southeast South Dakota pheasant hunting season usually starts in mid-October. Preserve season, September through March. Although pheasants are found statewide, the main pheasant range encompasses the eastern two-thirds of the state. Pheasants prefer agricultural fields, wooded draws, tree strips, wetlands and set-aside acres. Most of South Dakota is privately owned and permission is required to hunt, but public lands such as Game Production Areas and Walk-In Areas offer choice habitat for pheasants. Early in the season, pheasants are scattered in small flocks, but winter's fury pushes birds into heavy cover and concentrates them. Tree strips, cattail sloughs and dense weed patches hold pheasants this time of year.
East River Deer
Traditional Southeast South Dakota hunting season for deer is:
◦ Firearm, mid-November through early December.
◦ Archery, late September through December.
Range and Habitat: East of the Missouri River, deer hunters will find crops such as corn, oats, wheat, sunflowers and soybeans attracting the whitetail deer population. South Dakota hunting for mule deer is limited to counties bordering the Missouri River. Rolling pastures, tree strips, river bottoms and cattail sloughs provide escape cover for the deer. Non-resident firearm hunting opportunities are limited, and non-residents are only able to apply for South Dakota hunting licenses after three resident drawings. Archery east river deer licenses are unlimited.
South Dakota Goose Hunting
Southeast South Dakota hunting season for canada goose is September to December. (November to mid-February in some areas)
Spring Light Goose Season: Mid-February to early-May.
Fall Light Goose Season: Late September to mid-January.
Range and Habitat: Geese can be found and hunted statewide. The Missouri River corridor is the main route for more than 400,000 migrating Canada geese, and eastern South Dakota attracts 350,000 snow- and blue-geese migrants.
South Dakota Duck Hunting
Traditional Southeast South Dakota hunting season for duck is late-September to December.
Range and Habitat: More than 15 million ducks migrate annually through South Dakota. They include mallards, gadwall, pintails and teal. Along the Missouri River, the migration peaks in mid-November with 600,000 ducks, primarily mallards.
South Dakota Prairie Turkey Hunting
Traditional Southeast South Dakota hunting season for turkey is:
Spring firearm and archery, April to mid-May.
Fall prairie turkey, November through January.
Range and Habitat: In the eastern South Dakota, turkeys prefer the woods and brushy hillsides of rivers, as well as tree belts.
South Dakota Hunting Licenses
Visit www.gfp.sd.gov for fees and more information.
Or call South Dakota Dept. of Game, Fish & Parks at 605-223-7660.
Please refer to the current South Dakota Hunting & Trapping Handbook for all South Dakota hunting regulations.