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Big Game Regulations

Includes seasons for deer, antelope, elk, fall turkey, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and mountain lion.

It is important that you read and understand all regulations before your hunt. The following regulations apply to taking, possessing, transporting and storing big game during established seasons. Questions on specific regulations should be directed to a Game, Fish & Parks Wildlife Division Office or a conservation officer.

other information

South Dakota Codified Law
as established by S.D. Legislature)

Administrative Rule
as established by GFP Commission)

Turn In Poachers

Contact GFP

Archery Educational Requirements*

To be able to apply for a SD archery big game license, all big game archery licensees ages 11 through 15, all first-time archery big game licensees regardless of age, and all archery elk licensees must possess a National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) certificate or certification of completion from a bowhunter education course approved by any state or provincial government.

*Note: Applicants who have held a big game archery license in the past may apply for antelope without completing an NBEF course if they indicate on the application the year and state of a former archery license held.

HuntSafe courses

South Dakota's HuntSAFE program takes the responsibility of teaching hunter ethics seriously. The HuntSAFE program is a required course for young hunters in South Dakota before youth can enter the field and hunt game. With participation in this course, the young hunter learns about respect for our state's natural resources, respect for other hunter's and perhaps most importantly, respect for landowners.

Volunteer Hunter Program

The Volunteer Hunter Program was developed to provide a list of hunters willing to harvest antelope, deer, turkey or Canada geese on private land and to enable landowners to contact those hunters directly. 

Healthy Hunter

The Healthy Hunter website is sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Health and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. It was created to help hunters be more active and eat healthier as they prepare for the hunting season.


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