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Falconry - General

A person may hunt by falconry in South Dakota if they have been issued a falconry permit by their state of residence and have obtained the appropriate South Dakota hunting licenses. Nonmigratory game birds and game animals may be hunted Sept. 1-March 31. Migratory game birds may be hunted only in accordance with state and federal migratory game bird season regulations for 107 days beginning no earlier then Sept. 1. The daily bag limit is three and the possession limit is six of game species in the aggregate.

A person may not hunt by falconry and be in possession of a firearm or be accompanied by a person carrying a firearm, except if the person is carrying a pistol and possesses a valid concealed pistol permit. Protected nongame birds and animals taken incidentally by a raptor may not be retained or possessed.

Falconry-Taking or acquisition of raptors No person may take or attempt to take any raptor without first acquiring a raptor collecting permit issued by the department. Permittees must be in immediate possession of the raptor collecting permit while taking or attempting to take raptors. Nonresident applicants must provide copies of federal and state of residence falconry permits prior to being issued a raptor collecting permit. The fee for a non-resident raptor collecting permit is $200.00. No permitted person may take, receive, or otherwise acquire, barter, transfer, or otherwise dispose of any raptor unless the permitted person submits a copy of the migratory bird acquisition/disposition report to the department within five calendar days after the transaction. Raptors taken from the wild may not be purchased or sold.

Raptors may only be captured with traps or nets which are humane in their operation and use. Traps of such construction as Swedish goshawk traps must be attended regularly at least at 12-hour intervals; all other trapping devices must be constantly attended while in use.

Resident and nonresident raptor collecting permittees may take passage raptors (immature raptors in their first year plumage), except adult American kestrels and adult great horned owls may be taken for falconry purposes. Other raptors, except threatened and endangered species, may be taken as adults only with written joint permission to do so from the department and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service according to 50 C.F.R. § 21.29(i) (4) (Oct. 1, 1989). The trapping of passage raptors is permitted only between Sept. 21 and Jan. 31. Raptors which are marked and have subsequently escaped may be re-trapped at any time throughout the year.

Only resident general or master falconry permittees may take eyas (young, flightless birds) from a nest or aerie. At least one eyas must be left in the nest or aerie. Eyas may be taken only May 25-July 10. The permitted person shall allow a department representative to observe the permitted person's attempt to take eyas if so requested by the department.

Falconry-Permanent marking raptors Any peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), or Harris hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus) must be banded with a permanent United States Fish and Wildlife Service band. Captive-bred raptors shall be marked with a yellow band or any other bands as designated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under 50 C.F.R. Part 21.30 (Oct. 1, 1989). The banding shall be accomplished by a department representative or by the permitted person in the presence of a GFP representative. Nonresidents taking passage gyrfalcons shall have the falcon banded in accordance with their state's falconry regulations. A person may not alter, counterfeit, or deface a permanent band, but the permitted person may smooth an imperfect surface provided the integrity of the band or the numbering is not altered. Bands removed from a raptor shall be returned to GFP. No raptor may be possessed unless the permitted person has a completed migratory bird acquisition/disposition report for each bird possessed.

For additional information, write Game, Fish and Parks; 523 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre SD 57501-3182 for Falconry Permit rules.