Big Game

One of the most challenging aspects of our work at GFP is managing South Dakota's big game populations for our citizens. The most effective tool we have for management is through our hunting seasons.

  • Antelope: South Dakota hosts one of the highest populations of the antelope in the United States. The pronghorn, a native to the wide-open prairie, is a speedy challenge whether archery or firearm hunting.
  • Deer: South Dakota features a variety of deer hunting opportunities centered on the East River, West River, and Black Hills deer seasons.
  • Elk: Residents of South Dakota may apply for archery and firearm elk hunts in the Black Hills and Custer State Park, as well as a couple of areas outside the Black Hills where resident herds roam.
  • Turkey: South Dakota, like many states, has seen turkey populations bloom over the past couple of decades. There are opportunities to hunt turkey in both spring and fall seasons.
  • Bighorn Sheep: A limited number of licenses are available to residents only for specific areas in the southern Black Hills.
  • Mountain Goat: The season for mountain goat is currently closed as work continues to strengthen mountain goat numbers in mountainous terrain of the southern Black Hills.
  • Mountain Lion: South Dakota residents have two options for hunting mountain lions. A statewide license (the primary focus for mountain lion hunting is in the Black Hills) is available to applicants on an unlimited basis. A limited number of Custer State Park licenses (10 in 2011) are available by application and lottery drawing.

Application Forms, Season Dates and Deadlines are available here

Big Game Regulations - Each license holder will also receive a copy as part of their license package

Turn In Poachers (TIPs)

1.888.OVERBAG (683.7224)
More information about TIPs

Healthy Hunter

The Healthy Hunter website was created to help hunters be more active and eat healthier as they prepare for the hunting season.