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Muzzleloader Deer

*E.H.D. Information >

A statewide deer hunting season specifically for the use of primitive muzzleloader firearms traditionally opens December 1.

A limited number of "any deer" licenses are available to residents only.

"Antlerless deer" permits are available to both residents and nonresidents and sold through the end of the season.

  • Season Dates:
    Muzzleloader Deer - 2014 Season TBD -
  • Antlerless tags are also valid from TBD.

Special Requirements:

  • Hunters must wear fluorescent orange.
  • Telescopic sights up to 1X may be used.
  • Smokeless powder is not allowed during muzzleloading seasons.
  • Prohibiting smokeless powder is intended to keep muzzleloading equipment and ammunition somewhat primitive as intended, and from developing to the level where there is little or no difference in ballistics between these firearms and high-powered rifles used for regular seasons.
  • Basically all current black powder types and the newer black powder "equivalent" powders or pelletized powders will remain legal. Only a few of the more recent muzzleloading firearms use smokeless powder, so existing muzzleloading hunters shouldn't experience any change.
  • Hunters who want to use smokeless powders in a muzzleloader can still use these firearms during the regular rifle seasons.

Muzzleloader Deer Unit Map


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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.