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Sandhill Crane hunting

Season Information

Sandhill Crane, while renown for massing in great numbers along the Platte River in Nebraska and at wildlife refuges in the far South, do migrate through South Dakota in the spring and fall. The fall migration offers a unique hunting opportunity for those in the right place at the right time.

The fall migration may occur from late October through mid November. These large birds use a wingspan of 6-8 feet to float on thermals and stay aloft for hours. However, they do roost in wetland areas as evening approaches and fly into feeding grounds in the early morning.

Sandhill crane may be accompanied by the endangered whooping crane on occasion. Hunters must be aware of this and certain of their target. Here is additional information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

License Requirements

Public Hunting Areas
Purchase your license online

Youth Waterfowl

Besides the opportunity to introduce young people to waterfowl hunting during the regular seasons, a weekend is set aside for youth hunting. Also, adults may take youth as young as 10 years hunting through the Mentored Hunt program.

Nontoxic Shot

Approved nontoxic shot includes steel shot, bismuth-tin, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, and any combination of tungsten-iron-nickel-tin-copper-bismuth. Coated lead shot does not qualify as nontoxic shot.