application requirements

These general rules and requirements are for all limited issue licenses. Some season applications may have additional requirements that are presented on the application.

Drawing Statistics Available

Applicants may access previous years license drawing statistics online. Follow instructions on that page. The same link is available as an option when you sign into the online application system. Drawing information will be available from several past seasons. The current year information will be available when those drawings are complete.
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application rules

  • Applications not properly filled out will be returned.
  • You may submit only one application per season for the first drawing and receive no more than one license. Some seasons allow for additional tags after the first drawing - those details are listed under the "Application Deadlines" section of the respective application.
  • Applicants applying for differently priced licenses as first and second choice must include the higher fee. You will receive a partial refund if you draw the lower-priced license.
  • Licenses may not be transferred to another person.
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To apply for a resident license, a person must:

  • Have a domicile (person's established, fixed, and permanent home to which the person, whenever absent, has the present intention of returning) within South Dakota for at least 90 consecutive days immediately preceding the date of application for, purchasing, or attempting to purchase any hunting, fishing, or trapping license/permit; and
  • Make no claim of residency in any other state or foreign country for any purpose; and
  • Claim no resident hunting, fishing, or trapping privileges in any other state or foreign country; and
  • Prior to any application for any license, transfer to SD the person's driver's license and motor vehicle registrations.
EXCEPTIONS: The following persons are eligible for resident licenses:
  • Any person who previously had a domicile in SD who is absent due to business of the United States or SD, or is serving in the armed forces of the US or the spouse of an active duty military person;
  • Any person who previously had a domicile in SD who is absent due to the person's regular attendance at a post-high school institution as a full-time student;
  • Any person in the active military of the US or that person's spouse who is continuously stationed in SD;
  • Any person who is a patient in any war veterans' hospital within SD;
  • Any person who is an employee of the veterans' administration or any veterans' hospital in SD;
  • Any person residing on restricted military reservations in SD;
  • Any person attending regularly a post-high school institution in SD as a full-time student for 30 days or more immediately preceding the application;
  • Any foreign exchange student over 16 years of age attending a public or private high school who has resided in the state for 30 days or more preceding the application;
  • Any foreign exchange student who is between the ages of 12 and 16 who has completed GFP's course of instruction in the safe handling of firearms and has been issued a certificate of competency upon completion of instruction and who has resided in SD for 30 days or more preceding application for a license;
  • Any person who is a minor dependent of a resident of SD.

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termination of residency

A person (other than a person who fits into one of the previous EXCEPTIONS) is deemed to have terminated their South Dakota resident hunting, fishing, and trapping status if the person does any of the following:

  • Applies for, purchases, or accepts a resident hunting, fishing, or trapping license issued by another state or foreign country;
  • Registers to vote in another state or foreign country;
  • Accepts a driver's license issued by another state or foreign country; or
  • Moves to any other state or foreign country and makes it the person's domicile or makes any claim of residency for any purpose in the other state or foreign country.

However, a person who has lawfully acquired a resident hunting, fishing, or trapping license and who leaves the state after acquiring the license to take up residency elsewhere may continue to exercise all the privileges granted by the license until the license expires if the person's respective privileges are not revoked or suspended.
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Social security number

The last four digits of your Social Security Number are required. The Social Security Number information is required from all U.S. residents before this application will be processed [SDCL 25-7A-56.2]. This information will be kept confidential. The information is required to be in compliance with state law on collection of delinquent child support payments.

South Dakota law prohibits the issuance or renewal of any hunting or fishing license if an individual owes $1,000 or more in past-due child support unless the individual enters into a repayment agreement with the Dept. of Social Services for payment of the delinquent child support [SDCL 25-7A-56; 25-7A-1(28)]. There is a requirement to enter into a repayment agreement with the Dept. of Social Services even if the individual is presently making child support payments, or if child support is being withheld from wages or income. To enter into the required repayment agreement, individuals must contact the Dept. of Social Services - Office of Child Support Enforcement, 700 Governor's Drive - Kneip Building, Pierre SD 57501, or call 605.773.6456.
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Age Eligibility

  • Residents and nonresidents must be 12 years old by Dec. 31, of the current year to hunt.
  • Residents under age 16 must successfully complete a HuntSAFE course.
  • Nonresidents under age 16 must include the certificate number from their hunter safety card, or a current or previous hunting license issued to them from any state.
  • Residents and nonresidents who have not completed the HuntSAFE course at the time of application must use a paper application and leave that information blank on the application form. If drawn, their license will be held until the GFP License Office is notified of the HuntSAFE card number once the course has been successfully completed.

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Resident Landowner preference

  • Half the resident permits for this season are set aside in the first drawing for residents who qualify for landowner preference.
  • To be eligible for landowner preference, a landowner or tenant must operate at least 160 acres of private land within the unit applied for as first choice.
  • "Operate" means: to lease or hold fee title to farm or ranch real property and be directly involved in the management decisions made for agricultural purposes on the farm or ranch.
  • "Agricultural purposes" includes the producing, raising, growing, or harvesting of food or fiber upon agricultural land, including dairy products, livestock, crops, timber, and grasslands.
  • Land leased solely for hunting, fishing or trapping does not qualify for landowner preference.
  • A landowner or tenant, but not both, may claim landowner preference for the same qualifying property.
  • Immediate family members are eligible, and include the applicant's spouse and the applicant's children residing with the applicant or on land owned or leased by the resident farmer or rancher.
  • Employment on a farm or ranch alone does not qualify an individual for landowner preference.
  • Shareholders of a cooperation, members of a limited liability company holding a membership interest in the company, partners in a partnership, and beneficiaries of a trust entitled to the current income and assets held in trust; all organized and in good standing under the laws of South Dakota are eligible for landowner preference if:
    1. The entity holds title to 160 acres or more of private land located within the hunting unit applied for;
    2. The shareholder, member, partner, or trust beneficiary applying for landowner preference is a resident; and
    3. The shareholder, member, partner, or trust beneficiary has responsibility for making the day-to-day management decisions for agricultural purposes on the farm or ranch.
  • Nonresident landowners do not qualify for this preference.

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Submitting Applications

Applications may be submitted online or on the form provided in the application (the forms may be photocopied), and be mailed to the address below. Proper postage must be affixed to the envelope to ensure delivery.

  • Mail to:
    Game, Fish & Parks License Office
    20641 SD Hwy 1806
    Ft. Pierre, SD 57532.

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Group Applications

  • Applications with matching first and second choices, submitted in the same group, will be treated as a group application. All applicants will either be successful or unsuccessful in the drawings.
  • Applications submitted in the same group with first or second choices that do not match will be treated as individual applications in the drawings, not as a group application.
  • No more than six applications may be submitted in the same group.
  • An incomplete application voids all other applications in the group.
  • Applicants with preference points should be aware when applying with applicants with fewer preference points. Doing so gives all applicants the lowest point represented in the group.
  • Residents and nonresidents may apply together in the same group.
Either all in the group will be drawn together or all will be rejected. Residents must submit the resident fee and nonresidents must submit the nonresident fee. This is valid only in seasons and units where both resident and nonresident licenses are available for a specific drawing. It should be noted that in most instances, residents who apply with nonresidents will have a diminished chance of drawing a first-choice license.

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Submitting Fees

You must submit the appropriate license fee to cover the cost of each season applied for on this multiple application form. One check may be written to cover the cost of all seasons you apply for on this form. We recommend the fee be sent in the form of a personal check, but a cashier's check, money order or cash will be accepted. Cash is not recommended. Make checks payable to "South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks." Payment for applications submitted online must be made with a valid credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Your credit card will not be charged until, and only if you are successful in the drawing. Nonpayment in the form of a cancelled credit card will result in your license being withheld and the blocking of any future license purchases until the unpaid fee, along with any penalties, is paid in full. A bad check will either void the license if the draw has not yet occurred; or if the drawing has been completed, it will result in the blocking of any future license purchases until the unpaid fee, along with any back check fees and penalties are paid in full.
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successful applicants

Successful applicants for limited licenses are selected at random by computer lottery.
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Unsuccessful Applicants

Unsuccessful applicants will receive a refund check from the State of South Dakota if they applied by paper application. Each member of a group who applied together will receive a separate refund. Members of a group who sent one check will be responsible for reimbursement among themselves. Those who applied online using a credit card will be charged only if they are successful in the drawing. Those unsuccessful will not be charged and there will be no refund required.
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Preference POints

Seasons with a limited number of licenses have a point system for applicants who are unsuccessful on their first choice in the first drawing. One point is earned each year the applicant is unsuccessful. Preference is valid on first choices in the first drawing only. Preference points are automatically credited to an application by the computer system. Preference is maintained by the computer system even if you do not apply the following year. Your preference will still be available for the same season for up to five years. Preference cannot be transferred to another person and is only valid for the first drawing in the applicant's first unit-type choice. If you have any questions about your preference, please contact our Information Office.
NOTE: Applicants who draw a first-choice license and subsequently refuse to take the license will lose all accumulated preference and eligibility.
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