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Private Land Hunting Access (Walk-in)

Walk-In Areas (General Hunting Access)
Walk-In Area signSouth Dakota has a rich hunting heritage; one that includes lots of game and lots of places to hunt. For the past 25 years, GFP has been working hard to maintain that rich heritage by providing hunting access on privately owned lands. The department does this by contracting with landowners who have CRP or other valuable wildlife habitat. The landowner opens the land to unlimited, free public hunting, which is open to foot-traffic only hunting, in exchange for a small payment and immunity from non-negligent liability. It has been a great program and currently has more than 1.25 million acres enrolled. See the South Dakota Hunting Atlas for a list of these and other hunting areas.

Here are the rules Walk-In Area users must know.

Lower Oahe Waterfowl Hunting Access
The 1998 South Dakota legislature passed produced a law that increased the number of nonresident waterfowl hunting licenses in the Pierre area. One part of the law requires that funds from the sale of these licenses must be used to provide additional public waterfowl hunting opportunities in the Pierre area. Although it is all quite new, the department has contracted with several landowners in the Pierre area to provide a host of new waterfowl hunting opportunities to the public. This is a fairly special practice that is only available to landowners in the immediate Pierre area. But if you live in this area, and you have great quality goose hunting opportunities to offer, you might want to consider the program. For more information or assistance, go to the Fact Sheet.

Controlled Hunting Access Program (CHAP)
In 2008, GFP initiated a new big game hunting access program - CHAP. CHAP is a cooperative effort between private landowners and Game, Fish and Parks. Landowners who enroll in CHAP will have more controll over hunter activities on their land, including controlling the amount of hunter use at a given time, setting special provisions for use, placing restrictions on big game species allowed to be harvested, and game retrieval. For more information or assistance, go to the Fact Sheet. Private Landowners: WIA Program Summary.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)
The S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Department has identified the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program as a powerful tool to meet goals to provide additional undisturbed habitat for wildlife and public hunting access. Administered by the USDA's Farm Service Agency, CREP is simply a "state-sponsored" Conservation Reserve Program designed for a specific geographic area that will address resource concerns identified by state partners. In South Dakota, the focus will be on creating additional pheasant nesting habitat. Learn more...

Contact a GFP Wildlife Habitat Biologist...

For more information on any of these programs.