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Goose hunting

The hunting season structure for the fall goose seasons are set in early spring. Nonresident licenses are limited in number and issued through an application process and lottery drawing. The application deadline for this drawing is early July.

Shooting Hours: One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is current working on a revised Canada Goose Management Plan in 2016.

Canada Goose

The Canada goose season includes brants.

For the 2016 hunting season, Units 1 and 2 have been modified in the southeastern part of the state. Unit 2 now includes Union county and the southern portions of Yankton and Clay counties. This area will not be available to Canada goose hunting during the Early Fall Canada Goose Season. (see below in interactive unit map).

Unit 1
  • Sept. 2 - Dec. 17, 2017
  • Daily Limit:
    15 - from Sept. 3-30;
    8 - from Oct. 1 - Dec. 18

  • Possession Limit: Three times the daily limit, taken according to daily limit.

  • The counties of Aurora, Beadle, Brookings, Brown, Butte, Campbell, Clark, Clay, Codington, Corson, Davison, Day, Deuel, Douglas, Edmunds, Faulk, Grant, Haakon, Hamlin, Hand, Hanson, Harding, Hutchinson, Jackson, Jerauld, Jones, Kingsbury, Lake, Lawrence, Lincoln, McCook, McPherson, Marshall, Meade, Mellette, Minnehaha, Moody, Miner, Roberts, Sanborn, Shannon, Spink, Todd, Turner, Union, Walworth, Yankton, and Ziebach, that portion of Dewey County north of Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 8, Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 9, and the section of U.S. Highway 212 east of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Road 8 junction, that portion of Potter County east of U.S. Highway 83, that portion of Sully County east of U.S. Highway 83, portions of Hyde, Buffalo, Brule, Charles Mix, and Bon Homme counties north and east of a line beginning at the Hughes-Hyde county line on State Highway 34, east to Lees Boulevard, southeast to the State Highway 34, east 7 miles to 350th Avenue, south to Interstate 90 on 350th Avenue, south and east on State Highway 50 to Geddes, east on 285th Street to U.S. Highway 281, north on U.S. Highway 281 to the Charles Mix-Douglas county boundary, that portion of Bon Homme County north of State Highway 50, and that portion of Perkins county west of State Highway 75 and south of State Highway 20.
  • From Sept. 1-30 nonresidents may not hunt in Beadle, Brookings, Hanson, Kingsbury, Lake, Lincoln, McCook, Miner, Minnehaha, Moody, Sanborn, Turner and Union counties. More information on the NR September Canada Goose season.
  • Sportsmen Against Hunger Goose Donation Program.
Unit 2
  • Nov. 6, 2017 - Feb. 18, 2018

    Daily Limit: 4

  • Possession Limit: Three times the daily limit, taken according to the daily limit.

  • Those areas not included in Unit 1 or Unit 3.
Unit 3
  • Oct. 21 - Dec. 24, 2017; Jan. 13 - 21, 2018
  • Daily Limit: 4

  • Possession Limit: Three times the daily limit, taken according to the daily limit.

  • Resident Bennett County Canada Goose Unit Info >
    Resident-only Canada goose hunting by special permit only. Click the link above for more information.


White-Fronted Goose

  • Sept. 30 - Dec. 24, 2017
  • Daily Limit: 2
  • Possession Limit: Three times the daily limit

Light Goose (Fall)

Includes snows, blues, Ross', and all other geese except Canada, brants, and white-fronted geese.

  • Sept. 30, 2017 - Jan. 12, 2018
  • Daily Limit: 50
  • Possession Limit: Unlimited

Light Goose (Spring)

A Conservation Order is issued annually for a spring hunt to control an overabundance of light geese. Light geese generally migrate into the eastern one-third of South Dakota in late February to early March.


This is a resident only August Management Take for Canada Geese for Pennington County only.

Youth Waterfowl

Besides the opportunity to introduce young people to waterfowl hunting during the regular seasons, a weekend is set aside for youth hunting. Also, adults may take youth as young as 10 years hunting through the Mentored Hunt program.

Nontoxic Shot

Approved nontoxic shot includes steel shot, bismuth-tin, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, and any combination of tungsten-iron-nickel-tin-copper-bismuth. Coated lead shot does not qualify as nontoxic shot. Tom Roster's Nontoxic Shot Lethality Table © 2012

Antelope Island Restrictions

The Antelope Island area* south of Pierre on Lake Sharpe has the following restrictions:

  • No waterfowl decoys or hunting blinds may be left in the area between sunset and 5 a.m.
  • No waterfowl decoys may be left unattended between 5 a.m. and sunset

*The area within the water's edge from a north-south line across Lake Sharpe through the dredged channel at the east end of Hipple Lake, downstream to the north-south line across the reservoir 100 yards east of the easternmost emergent vegetation on Antelope Island.