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Preserve Birds

Tagging, Marking, and Transporting

Bird marking requirements:
Marking of all game birds released (with the exception of chukar partridge), by toe clipping or the enlarged and rounded nares (from the anti-pecking devices placed on the bird's beak), will require some advanced planning, especially if buying birds from out of state. Be sure to advise your supplier that your birds must be toe clipped prior to reaching six weeks of age, (if toe clipping is the method of marking you use). The toe clipping is most easily accomplished with day-old chicks. If anti-pecking devices are used as a method of marking, the supplier should be advised that these must be placed on the birds beak before the birds are six weeks old and left on the birds until 15 weeks of age. It is your responsibility to see that the birds released on a shooting preserve are properly marked.

Bird release requirements:
The requirement to have bird releases verified by a department representative, means verifying that the birds have been properly marked and held until they are at least fifteen weeks (15) of age, prior to release. It may not be necessary to have the local Conservation Officer be contacted prior to all releases, but the operator will need to make arrangements with Conservation Officer for such verification before any releases occur. Only the birds released on a preserve from August 1 through March 31 can be listed on the Game Release Records.
The present rule for release of birds stipulates that pheasants must be Chinese ring-necked pheasants. The term "Chinese ring-necked" is not a reference to a particular subspecies. The term refers to the colloquial name commonly given to the wild pheasants. Any ring-necked pheasant resembling the wild bird may be released. The same rule prohibits the release of "jumbos." Pheasants commonly called jumbos are hens over four pounds and cocks over five pounds.

Captive game bird licenses:
A person may not possess captive game birds without a valid captive game bird license or a valid private shooting preserve permit. A person may possess captive game birds without a captive game bird license if the birds were acquired from a South Dakota Captive Game Bird licensee and the birds are released from captivity within two full calendar days from the date of receipt. A valid bill of sale must accompany the birds while being transported. If any birds are butchered, sold, or disposed of by means or methods other than release as part of the preserve operation, the operator must also obtain a Commercial Captive Game Bird License. This license will allow possession, sale, barter or trade of game birds held under the permit. The Commercial Captive Game Bird License has a fee of $50 for residents and $100 for nonresidents per calendar year. An application form and copy of the Captive Game Bird rules can be obtained by writing to the Department of Game, Fish, and Parks, 2064 SD Hwy 1806, Fort Pierre, South Dakota 57532, or call 605.223.7668 for an application.

Transportation of birds harvested on shooting preserves:
A preserve hunter may transport or be in possession of up to 20 undressed or processed pheasants with attached kill tags from the beginning of the hunting preserve season through the end of the statewide pheasant season. From the end of the statewide pheasant season through the end of the private shooting preserve season, a preserve hunter may transport or be in possession of up to 15 undressed or processed pheasants with attached kill tags. Possession of more than 20 tagged pheasants will be allowed, provided the hunter can document multiple days of hunting on a preserve operator's guest register record or by obtaining a transportation permit from a Conservation Officer (see paragraph below).

A shooting preserve operator may obtain Transportation for Processing Permits from the department's Pierre office, that will allow the operator to write Transportation for Processing Permits that will allow a preserve employee(s) to transport tagged birds to a processing facility for cleaning and packaging.

Transportation permits for a person(s) to transport another hunter's birds must be obtained from a Conservation Officer. These permits must be obtained after the hunt with all the birds being transported and in the presence of the licensed hunter(s) involved.

Tagging harvested birds:
All RELEASED and WILD birds harvested on a shooting preserve must be documented on the guest register records and these harvested birds must also be tagged around the leg or neck: 1) before leaving the preserve acreage, 2) at the time the birds are cleaned or processed, 3) prior to being placed in a cooling or freezing device or facility, or 4) prior to midnight of the day the birds were harvested. For possession or transportation, all harvested or shot birds must have at least one leg with the spur or the head attached to identify the sex of the bird. However, the head, leg and sufficient plumage may be detached from the bird and discarded if the bird is processed at a wildlife processing facility, if the bird is immediately packaged by a transparent vacuum-sealed or shrink-wrap packaging process, and if the kill tag is encased in the same package and clearly legible. All untagged birds held in possession or storage will be considered wild birds and the state daily and possession limits for each species will apply. The sequentially numbered kill tag (e.g. 345001) is specific only to a preserve operation not to an individual hunter.