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bighorn sheep and mountain goat

Bighorn Sheep

The limited population of bighorn sheep in the Black Hills offers South Dakota residents an opportunity to take part in a unique hunt.

There are two areas outside of Custer State Park open to hunting. The season within the park has been closed for the past few years after the herd was decimated by an outbreak of pneumonia.

The traditional hunting unit is Pennington County west of SD Highway 79. The other unit is Custer County west of SD Highway 79.

The application process for this season opens in mid April with a late May deadline.

Mountain Goat

The mountain goat hunting season has been closed since 2007 as GFP biologists work to strengthen the herd in the Black Hills.

Archery Educational Requirements*

To be able to apply for a SD archery big game license, all big game archery licensees ages 11 through 15, all first-time archery big game licensees regardless of age, and all archery elk licensees must possess a National Bowhunter Education Foundation (NBEF) certificate or certification of completion from a bowhunter education course approved by any state or provincial government.

*Note: Applicants who have held a big game archery license in the past may apply for antelope without completing an NBEF course if they indicate on the application the year and state of a former archery license held.

HuntSafe courses

South Dakota's HuntSAFE program takes the responsibility of teaching hunter ethics seriously. The HuntSAFE program is a required course for young hunters in South Dakota before youth can enter the field and hunt game. With participation in this course, the young hunter learns about respect for our state's natural resources, respect for other hunter's and perhaps most importantly, respect for landowners.

Volunteer Hunter Program

The Volunteer Hunter Program was developed to provide a list of hunters willing to harvest antelope, deer, turkey or Canada geese on private land and to enable landowners to contact those hunters directly. 

Healthy Hunter

The Healthy Hunter website is sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Health and the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. It was created to help hunters be more active and eat healthier as they prepare for the hunting season.


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