Predator and Varmint Hunting

South Dakota offers sportsmen/women many great opportunities for predator calling and varmint hunting. Both of these activities are a great way to extend recreational opportunities.

The information below is for the hunting of these species, for trapping information, visit the Trapping page.

Seasons begin at sunrise of opening day and end at sunset of closing day. License requirements for each species are listed on the bottom of this page.

Coyote
Prairie Dog
  • Season: Year-round, Prairie dog shooting is prohibited year-round in the Conata Basin and several other areas within the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. Please contact the US Forest Service for additional information regarding specific closure locations at (605)279-2125.
  • Limit: Unrestricted
  • Shooting Hours: Unrestricted
  • More information...
Wolf
  • Season: Year-round.
  • Open Area: East of Missouri River.
  • Limit: Unrestricted
  • Shooting Hours: Unrestricted
  • License Requirements:
    -
    Resident - one of the following: predator/varmit license, any resident hunting license, furbearer license, no license required for youth under age 16.
    - Nonresident - one of the following: nonresident predator/varmit license, any nonresident hunting license, nonresident furbearer license.
Raccoon
  • Season: Statewide
    - Resident Season: Year-round
    - Nonresident Season: Dec. 1 - March 15
  • Limit: Unrestricted
  • Shooting Hours: Unrestricted
  • Nonresidents may not use dogs to aid in taking raccoon
  • For Trapping information, click here >
Bobcat
  • Season:
    - West River: Dec. 26 - Feb. 15
    - East River: Dec. 26 - Jan. 19
  • Open Area: South Dakota, west of the Missouri River and Buffalo, Brule, Charles Mix, Bon Homme and Yankton counties east of the Missouri River.
  • Limit:
    - West River: Unrestricted
    - East River: Bobcat hunters/trappers are restricted to one bobcat per hunter/trapper within the 5 counties east of the Missouri River
  • Shooting Hours: Unrestricted
  • Whole carcass and pelt of each bobcat taken must be presented to GFP personnel for registration and tagging within 5 days of harvest. Once season is closed, an individual has 24 hours to notify a Conservation Officer or Wildlife Damage Specialist of any untagged bobcats harvested during the season.
  • No person may possess, purchase, or sell raw bobcat pelts that are not legally tagged.
  • For Trapping information, click here >
Beaver
  • Season:
    -
    West River: (West River except Black Hills area described below), open year-round
    - Black Hills: (US Forest Service land within the Black Hills Fire Protection District south of I-90 and west of SD 79), open Jan. 1 - Mar. 31
    - East River: Nov. 2 to Apr. 30
  • Limit: Unrestricted
  • Shooting Hours: Unrestricted
  • For Trapping information, click here >
Muskrat
  • Season: April 1 - August 31
  • Statewide
  • Restrictions:
    - The season is open only to landowners and lessees, including School and Public Land surface lease holders, on land they own or operate and to state, county, or township highway officials within public road right-of-ways are allowed to take muskrats during the season.
    - Only .22 caliber or smaller rimfire cartridges, muzzleloaders of . 45 caliber or smaller, shotguns with non-toxic shotshells, and legal archery equipment may be used.
  • Limit: Unrestricted
  • Shooting Hours: Unrestricted
  • For Trapping information, click here >
Mink and Weasel
  • Season: Nov. 2 - Jan. 31
  • Limit: Unrestricted
  • Shooting Hours: Unrestricted
  • For Trapping information, click here >
Gopher, Ground Squirrel, Jackrabbit, Porcupine, Marmot, Badger, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Skunk, Opossum
  • Season: Statewide, year-round
  • Limit: Unrestricted
  • Shooting Hours: Unrestricted
  • For Trapping information, click here >

License Requirements for Hunting predator/varmint

Species
Resident
Nonresident
Coyote, Red/Gray Fox, Skunk

One of the following:
Predator/Varmint license, or
furbearer license, or
any resident hunting license.
No license required for youth under age 16.

One of the following:
Nonresident Predator/Varmint license, or
any nonresident hunting license.
Raccoon, Badger
One of the following:
Predator/Varmint license, or
furbearer license, or
any resident hunting license.
No license required for youth under age 16.
Nonresident Furbearer License
Bobcat, Opossum, Mink, Weasel, Beaver, Muskrat

Furbearer license.
No license required for youth under age 16

Nonresident Furbearer License
Prairie Dog, Gopher, Ground Squirrel, Jackrabbit, Porcupine, Marmot
One of the following:
Predator/Varmint license, or
furbearer license, or
any resident hunting license.
No license required for youth under age 16.
One of the following:
Nonresident predator/varmint license, or
nonresident furbearer license, or
any nonresident hunting license.