Elk are found primarily in the Black Hills; however, limited herds occupy prairie landscapes in Fall River, Meade, Butte, Bennett and Gregory counties. South Dakota's present-day elk herd, residing in the Black Hills, consists of over 6,000 Rocky Mountain elk. Only South Dakota residents are eligible to apply for and receive an elk license in South Dakota.
You may apply for any and all seasons for which you are eligible; however for equitable distribution of licenses you will be limited to one elk license for the year. Licenses are drawn in sequence from season to season.
Applicants must not currently hold an elk license for the 2021 season or have held an elk license in the past 9 years.
Applicants will not be able to use preference points and no landowner preference will be accepted. If successful in this drawing, the 9-year waiting period does not apply and hunters will still retain their elk preference points for future drawings.
There is a $10 nonrefundable application fee and if successful, the license cost is $116.
Applications are only available online and must be submitted by 8 a.m. Sept. 23.
Licenses in the respective units and related season dates will be identified within the online application.