Walk-In Areas are a part of the Wildlife Partners Program designed to provide additional hunting opportunity. Walk-In Areas, a part of Game, Fish and Parks' Pheasants for Everyone program that began in 1988, are designed to provide additional public hunting and trapping opportunities. These sites are selected annually based on habitat quality, location and sporting pressure in the area. No permission is required for hunting on these areas, but remember, the future of these areas depends largely on hunter behavior.
Annual listing of Walk-In Areas: available at Game, Fish and Parks Wildlife Division offices.
No one may enter, use, or occupy lands leased by GFP under the state walk-in area program for any purpose other than hunting unless they have permission from the landowner or any lessee of the land other than GFP.
Hunters may enter, use, or occupy lands leased by GFP under the state walk-in area program for purposes of hunting under the following conditions:
- The hunting of any species takes place only on dates and during shooting hours established by the department for that species.
- Any bag limit established by the department for the species being hunted is not exceeded.
- The person moves or travels only on foot.
Rules / Regulations
- Walk-In Areas with unharvested crops: The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks negotiates with the property owner about access rights to unharvested (standing) crop fields. Areas without "NO HUNTING IN UNHARVEST CROP" signs allow hunting. Avoid causing crop damage!
- Properly dispose of carcasses: Do not leave carcasses in the field or next to roads and parking areas of Walk-In Areas or any other public land. Field dressing (removal of entrails) is allowed.
- Hunters must be ethical, sportsmanlike, courteous, and safe: Many of these are one-year contracts. The sport-person's behavior will decide future enrollments of these areas.
- Obey the safety zone concept: Allow a wide safety buffer, do not hunt around buildings and livestock, and be aware of your target, especially when using a rifle.
- Walk-In Areas are for foot travel only: Vehicular travel is limited to designated parking areas and designated, signed trails only!
- Observe all special restrictions placed on a Walk-In Area: As part of the negotiations with the landowner, some Walk-In Areas may have additional restrictions.
- Hunters must not enter Delayed Opening Walk-In Areas until November 1. Entry before November 1 will be prosecuted as trespassing.
- Walk-In Areas are for hunting only: Other activities such as target shooting, camping, horseback riding, fishing, or dog training, are not included in the contracts and are prohibited. Trapping requires landowner permission.
- Do not contact cooperating landowners for the purposes of hunting other portions of their land: The purpose of enrollment of land into the Walk-In Area Program may be to reduce a landowner's direct contact with hunters.
- Signs will mark the actual boundaries of the hunting areas: Make sure that the land you are entering is posted with Walk-In Area, Game Production Area, Waterfowl Production Area and other signs.
- On occasion, sites enrolled in the program are removed at the landowner's request or due to poor habitat conditions. Some Walk-In Areas are complexes of small tracts in close proximity to one another. MAKE SURE THE LAND YOU ARE ENTERING IS POSTED WITH WALK-IN AREA SIGNS.