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For specific deer season information, select a season:


Archery Deer

The archery deer season is set in May and is open to residents and nonresidents. There is no deadline for submitting an application and licenses are sold throughout the season online.

The primary archery deer season opens in late September.

All first time archery deer hunters, resident or nonresident, are required to pass the National Bowhunter Education course.

  • Season Dates:
    Archery Deer - Sept. 23 - Dec. 31, 2017; Antlerless Tags Jan. 1 - Jan. 15, 2018
  • See application for additional details on state parks, recreation areas, nature areas, lakeside use areas and refuges.
  • Custer State Park is closed to archery deer hunting.
  • In addition to a regular license, a FREE Access Permit is required to hunt certain areas during this season.
  • To assist with deer management on the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve area, 20 archery access permits will be made available this fall.
    • Archery hunters can apply for a free access permit after obtaining an antlerless whitetail archery deer license.
  • Free access permits will also now be required for archery hunters wishing to hunt Newton Hills State Park in Lincoln County.
    • Due to its close proximity to Sioux Falls and other populated areas, Newton Hills State Park is heavily used by archery deer hunters.
    • Any hunter possessing an archery deer license will also need to obtain a free access permit prior to hunting the park.
    • The requirement of the unlimited, free access permits will allow the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) to collect hunter and harvest data for improved deer management.

HuntSafe courses

The HuntSAFE program is a required course for young hunters in South Dakota. A list of upcoming HuntSAFE courses is available.

Archery Education Courses

Visit the bowhunter education page to view all requirements for purchasing an archery license. A list of upcoming BowEd courses is also available.

Volunteer Hunter

The Volunteer Hunter Program puts private landowners in touch with hunters willing to harvest big game on their land.

Healthy Hunter

The Healthy Hunter website was created to help hunters be more active and eat healthier as they prepare for the hunting season.


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