Do You Need A Shooting Preserve Permit?

There has been an increased interest in private shooting preserve permits in South Dakota, but an individual should first look at the high costs and requirements of such an operation. A shooting preserve requires compliance with various laws and rules, minimum release/harvest of birds, and recordkeeping requirements for such a permit. Success or profit of such an operation requires increased costs of advertising, lodging facilities, plantings for dense nesting cover (DNC), food plots, and wide tree belts for increased winter season bird survival.

Any individual may charge a hunter to hunt on leased or privately owned land and may release pen-reared pheasants into an area to supplement native bird numbers for hunting. These birds may be purchased as day old chicks (raised for later release) or older fully colored adult type birds.

If an individual chooses to raise or hold birds in confinement for future releases, they must first obtain a Captive Game Bird license from the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks. The Noncommercial Captive Game Bird license allows an individual to raise and release game birds, but they cannot be sold or offered for sale. The license fee is $10 for residents and $20 for nonresidents. Shooting preserve operators are exempt from purchasing a Captive Game Bird license if the birds they raise are used only for release and are not allowed for sale. A Commercial Captive Game Bird License, authorizes the licensee to possess, produce, release from captivity, sell, offer for sale, and ship game birds. The license fee is $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Please contact 605.223.7668 for an application.

Anyone can hunt and release birds without a shooting preserve permit, provided the hunting takes place during the normal pheasant season, beginning on the 3rd Saturday of October. Normal shooting hours, bag limits, and required state licenses must also be complied with. This commercial type of hunting can be used by anyone, without having 1) a licensed shooting preserve, 2) minimum release requirement for the birds, and 3) recordkeeping requirements for bird release or harvest.