Eastern South Dakota is located within the important waterfowl breeding grounds known as the "Prairie Pothole" region. The area was scarred by glaciers at the end of the last ice age resulting in landscape dotted with lakes, wetlands and streams where ducks abound. Areas west of the Missouri River can be important waterfowl production areas as well, with vast areas of intact grassland, rivers and stock ponds.
These wetland resources are what make South Dakota a duck hunter's paradise. From small pothole hunting with a dozen decoys, layout blinds in corn fields for feeding ducks, or hunting big water on the Missouri River or glacial lakes, South Dakota provides many duck hunting opportunities.
Duck hunting seasons are set in early spring after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued South Dakota federally mandated guidelines for the hunting seasons. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset.
The importance of CRP and grasslands in combination with good wetland water conditions continue to be visible with 53 percent of all ducks banded this year where young-of-year birds.
This type of production will continue to be evident with our duck banding efforts if everyone supports saving and protecting adequate nesting cover (CRP and grasslands) and wetlands.
Our wetlands, especially in the Prairie Coteau region, are of important quality meeting molting requirements for adult male wood ducks coming from many southern state’s populations. This is exemplified by the high proportion (82%) of total number (203) of wood ducks captured and banded this year were adult males (167). Many of these newly banded adult males will be recovered through out many southern states. Also, this year 31 percent of the total number (830) of mallards banded was adult males (260).
Duck banding efforts began on August 12 and continued through September 15.
Capture methods included the use of rocket netting and a swim-in trap. We utilized three rocket sites in Hamlin, McPherson, and Faulk counties and one swim-in trap location in Faulk County.
The number of ducks banded with rocket netting totaled 1,017 while 262 blue-winged teal were banded with the use of the swim-in trap.
Total of all ducks banded this year under the GFP banding permit was 1,279 ducks.
Species of Ducks Banded:
Mallard - 830
Pintail - 75
Wood Duck - 203
Blue-winged teal - 2
Mallard x Black Duck - 1
Green-winged Teal - 2
Redhead - 5
In addition to banding ducks, SD GFP participated in a nationwide surveillance effort to monitor Avian Influenza (AI) in wild migratory waterfowl, especially the HPAI (Highly Pathogenic) type, by taking 340 live bird samples during our banding operations. As of to date, no positive for HPAI has been detected.
Possession limit is three times the daily limit for each species.
6 and comprised of no more than:
5 Mallards, which may include no more than 2 hens
3 Wood Ducks
2 Bonus blue-winged teal (first 16 days of season only)
Mergansers: 5 (including no more than 2 hooded merganser)
High Plains Zone
Boundary = South Dakota west of a line beginning at the North Dakota state line and extending south along US 83 to US 14; east on US 14 to the town of Blunt; south on the Blunt-Canning Road to SD 34; east and south on SD 34 to SD 50 at Lee's Corner; south on SD 50 to I-90; east on I-90 to SD 50; south on SD 50 to SD 44; west on SD 44 across the Platte-Winner Bridge to SD 47; south on SD 47 to US 18; east on US 18 to SD 47; south on SD 47 to the Nebraska state line.
Low Plains - North Zone
Boundary = South Dakota east of the boundary definition for High Plains, and north of a line beginning at the junction of US 83 and US 212; then east on US 212 to the Minnesota state line.
Low Plains - Middle Zone
Boundary = South Dakota east of the boundary definition for High Plains, and south of a line beginning at the junction of US 83 and US 212; then east on US 212 to the Minnesota state line; and north of a line beginning at the junction of SD 47 and the Nebraska state line; then north on SD 47 to SD 44; then east on SD 44 to SD 50; then south on SD 50 to CFAS 6198 (Geddes Highway) at Geddes; then east on Geddes Hwy to US 281; then south on US 281 to SD 50; then east on SD 50 to I-29; then south on I-29 to the Iowa state line.
Low Plains - South Zone
Boundary = South Dakota within a line beginning at the junction of SD 47 and the Nebraska border; then north on SD 47 to SD 44; then east on SD 44 to SD 50; then south on SD 50 to CFAS 6198 (Geddes Highway) at Geddes; then east on Geddes Hwy to US 281; then south on US 281 to SD 50; then east on SD 50 to I-29; then south on I-29 to the Iowa state line.