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East River Deer

South Dakota east of the Missouri River comprises the East River Deer area. This is rolling farmland divided by two major river drainages, the James and the Big Sioux. Whitetails abound throughout the area, with mule deer mixed in near the central part of the state.

Nonresidents may apply for unsold licenses.

  • Season Dates:
    East River Deer - Nov. 19 - Dec. 4, 2016; Antlerless Only tags are valid Dec. 31, 2016 - Jan. 8, 2017
  • Antlerless season extension: only those tags specifically designated as "antlerless" are valid from December 26, 2015 - January 3, 2016. "Any" deer tags no longer convert for this extended season.
  • New for 2015: Hunters will see a slight increase in the number of East River deer hunting licenses for 2015 with 250 fewer one-tag licenses, and 1,050 more two-tag licenses as compared to 2014.
  • The Commission also established an antlerless deer unit within Yankton County; south of SD Highway 50 and west of US Highway 81.

application Information

Additional Information

East River Deer Unit Map

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.