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turkey picSouth Dakota is host to both whitetail and mule deer, with mule deer inhabiting mostly the central and western regions of the state and Whitetails abundant throughout.

Whitetail and mule deer are the most highly sought after big game species in South Dakota and throughout North America. Residents and nonresidents are eligible to apply for all deer seasons except Custer State Park and East River Deer. Nonresidents may apply for an East River Deer license if there are leftovers available after the drawing.

As of March 10, 2017, the South Dakota Deer Management Plan draft can be downloaded and reviewed here. In addition, an abbreviated version of the draft plan including executive summary and goals, objectives and strategies can be downloaded here. A new document that has recently been created thatoutlines the new management objectives and strategies and how the public comments received will be considered for administrative rule change. All comments will be considered by GFP staff and the Commission on final development of the plan with a formal adoption of the plan in June. Written comments on the draft plan can be sent to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. 57501, or emailed to Comments must be received by May 5, 2017, and include your full name and city of residence. For more details, check out the Deer Management Plan page.

South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger

South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger encourages and facilitates donation of wild game meat to needy people in South Dakota. You can make a tax-deductible cash donation to help offset costs of processing game animals donated through SDSAH.

Volunteer Hunter Program

Each year, the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks is contacted by landowners looking to host antlerless deer hunters, as well as hunters looking for landowners interested in allowing them to hunt on their land. In an effort to strengthen hunter-landowner relationships, we have developed the Volunteer Antlerless Deer Hunter Program.

Big Game Depredation Hunts

Resident only big game depredation hunts are generally conducted in response to severe crop and livestock feed losses that cannot be resolved using traditional non-lethal forms of depredation control. They may involve turkey, deer, or antelope. In the past, these hunts have most often been organized during severe winters when both the weather and road conditions have deteriorated.