Below you will find information on accessibility permits available within the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. We provide applications and permits for a variety of situations and for individuals with disabilities so that we all have access and opportunities to the great outdoors of this state.
A Crossbow/Draw-lock Permit is available to any person who is permanently incapable of using a bow and arrow due to the loss of or use of one or both arms, caused by birth defect, injury, disease, or who is confined to a wheelchair.
- Crossbows used for hunting shall have a minimum pull of 125 pounds and be equipped with a functional mechanical safety device.
- The bolts shall be equipped with a broadhead that has at least two metal cutting edges.
- This permit also entitles a person to use a bow that is equipped with a draw-lock device that holds the bow at a partial or full draw.
- A person issued a crossbow/draw-lock permit may not possess a firearm in the field nor be accompanied by a person carrying a firearm during any season restricted to archery, except for those persons who possess a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon.
For permit application please contact GFP at 605.223.7660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Designated Shooter Permit is available to any person, who
- is blind/visually impaired or to any person with paralysis of all four limbs . A blind or visually impaired person is defined as a person who has a visual acuity 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses or has a limited field of vision such that the widest diameter subtends an angular distance of no greater than twenty degrees.
- is legally licensed for the specific season hunted.
- is in immediate physical presence of the designated shooter and participates in the hunt.
Permits are free of cost and are not transferable.The permittee may claim the game animals taken by the designated shooter in accordance with the license(s) possessed by the permittee.
Youth Designated Shooter Permit
A Youth Designated Shooter Permit is available to any youth who has a permanent or temporary disability who is missing an upper limb, physically incapable of using an upper limb, or confined to a wheelchair.
- The disabled youth must be legally licensed for a youth big game hunting season.
- The youth designated shooter permit is valid only during the youth deer season.
- The youth applicant may designate one shooter to legally hunt on their behalf.
- The designated shooter must be in immediate physical presence of the youth during the hunt or taking of game animals.
A Disabled Hunter Permit authorizes qualifying individuals with disabilities to lawfully shoot game animals from a stationary motor vehicle. This includes big game animals such as deer, antelope, elk, and turkey, and small game animals such as grouse, pheasants, partridge, rabbits, and waterfowl. The hunter will need to obtain the required state licenses for whatever species are to be hunted.
A Disabled Hunter Permit is issued cost free by GFP to qualifying hunters and is valid for a four-year period. Individuals will need to reapply for a permit renewal at that time. A Disabled Hunter Permit may be issued for a period not to exceed 12 months to any person with a temporary ambulatory injury.
This permit is intended for use in situations where an applicant's physical or medical condition makes it impossible or causes severe pain or physical hardship on the applicant, when walking afield while hunting.
Licensed hunters who are paraplegics or otherwise physically unable to walk with or without crutches, braces, or other mechanical support, and who have a Disabled Hunter Permit, may shoot in fields, woods, or from public roads from a stationary motor vehicle or all-terrain vehicle while hunting game animals or game birds in accordance with the conditions of the permit.
Permit limitations or guidelines specify what a person legally can and cannot do while in possession of a Disabled Hunter Permit.
A qualifying person must have at least one of the following physical disabilities or medical conditions:
- has lost one or both legs or who has temporarily or permanently lost the use of one or both legs;
- requires a wheelchair for mobility;
- is physically unable to walk without the assistance of another person, prosthetic aid, brace, crutch, or other device that is intended to support or assist the person while walking;
- is on portable oxygen;
- is unable to walk a distance of more than 300 feet without assistance or rest due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition;
- has been diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder such as muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis;
- has been diagnosed with a Class III cardiac disease resulting in marked limitation of physical activity;
- has been diagnosed with a Class IV cardiac disease resulting in the inability to carry on any physical activity without discomfort; or
- is restricted by lung disease to such a degree that the person's forced expiratory volume in one second, when measured by a spirometer, is less than one liter; or the arterial oxygen tension is less than 60 mm/hg on room air at rest.
Authorized activity and limitations
A Disabled Hunter Permit authorizes the permittee to shoot from a stationary motor vehicle with the following exceptions or limitations:
- shooting from a federal or state highway or across any public road is prohibited;
- when hunting big game from public road rights-of-way, the permittee must obtain prior written permission from the owner or lessee of the immediate adjoining private lands;
- the permittee may shoot from a stationary all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and may lawfully transport a firearm on an ATV while hunting without having to unload and/or case the firearm;
- shooting from a snowmobile or the use of any motor vehicle to chase or pursue any game animal is prohibited; and
- the use of any motor vehicle is prohibited on lands owned, leased, or controlled by GFP, except on designated roads, trails, or parking areas.
Applicants for this license must be a resident of South Dakota and meet at least one of the following conditions:
- has a total disability (limited to a wheelchair and permanently physically unable to walk);
- provide a copy of a letter from the VA indicating they have received the "K" award or they receive a veteran's allotment for a total (40 percent) disability which is deemed a service-related injury and will meet eligibility as established in state law 41-6-10.2;
- provide a copy of a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating they are receiving a 40 percent Social Security disability and verification they have served on active duty in the armed forces or as a member of the armed forces reserve or National Guard; or
- provide a copy of the discharge papers showing their former status as a Prisoner of War.
A person must apply on forms provided by GFP and include with the application proof of South Dakota residency and a written statement from a doctor of medicine, osteopathy, or chiropractic, which is currently and validly licensed by the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners or Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The doctor shall verify the applicant has a permanent inability to walk.
For subsequent applications, a conservation officer in the county of the applicant's residence may verify the applicant's total disability in lieu of the doctor's statement.
A veteran may provide proof at the time of application of receipt of such allotment, social security disability benefits, discharge papers, or award. If you do not have the verification papers in your possession, you may contact the Veterans Administration in Sioux Falls and have them sent to you.
The Disabled Vet and Prisoner of War Lifetime State Park Entrance License Application is open to residents of South Dakota. Along with this completed application form, you must submit a copy of the “K” award or letter from the Veteran’s Administration indicating you receive a veteran’s allotment for 100% total disability which is deemed a service connected injury or that you were held as a prisoner of war, which will meet eligibility as established in state law SDCL 41-17-13.4.
If you do not have these papers in your possession you may contact the Veteran’s Administration office in Sioux Falls and have them sent to you or you may request in writing that the Veteran’s Administration mail a copy of these papers to the Department Of Game, Fish, and Parks.
The license also grants the license holder a 50% discount on any camping fee or associated electrical service fee for their site or camping cabin. The discount does not apply to state park lodges. Reservations when using this discount must be made through the call center at 1.800.710.2267. Campers calling to use the discount are exempt from the $2 call center fee.?
GFP has a special unit for the West River firearms deer season in Stanley County (Unit 58D) for individuals who use a wheelchair for mobility.
This hunt takes place on a specified weekend in November. Individuals must complete the standard West River Deer application and submit it for the drawing of licenses.
An individual who is successful in drawing a license may hunt anywhere in Stanley County as allowed by the regular West River Deer license. In addition, GFP will allow successful applicants to hunt with volunteers from established blinds in a forested area below the Oahe Dam in Oahe Downstream Recreation Area north of Ft. Pierre.
The West River Accessible Firearms Deer Hunt Application is available when the application process opens in late June. The application deadline is usually in late July.