The purpose of the non-trophy bison hunt is to remove excess cows and bulls, (primarily two year old bulls), from the herd of Custer State Park in addition to our annual auction. A guide will locate this class of bison for your selection. Non-trophy bulls are typically 2 1/2 years of age and will range from 900-1,100+ pounds.
Local taxidermists are available to prepare a cape for shipping or for complete service in mounting the animal. Contact them early.
Hunters are allotted one day. If applying as a group of two, both hunts can be scheduled on the same day. Typically a half day (3-4 hours) is sufficient. Hunts are scheduled Monday through Friday excluding holidays. Group applicants (2 to a group) must both apply for the same license, bull or cow, not one of each. One guest may accompany the hunter.
South Dakota Administrative Rule requires the hunter to be guided during this one-day hunt. Your provided guide will locate this class animal for your selection. Field handling and transportation back to the buffalo corrals is included in your hunt. The carcass will be transferred to your vehicle.
Rifles must be at least .270 caliber and generate a minimum of 2,200-foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Typical shot distance for firearms is 50-100 yards. Archers should be proficient out to 50 yards; however, often we can get within 25 yards. Your equipment will be required to meet restrictions. In the case of a non-lethal shot, it will be at the park official's discretion if a follow-up firearms shot is required.
The meat, hide and head are all the property of the hunter. Typically, a non-trophy bison will dress 50-55% from live weight to hot hanging carcass weight. From hot hanging weight to boneless packaged meat will be 65% of carcass. Example: 1,000 pounds live weight will dress 500 pounds hot hanging carcass. From 500 pound carcass to boneless packaged meat will be 325 pounds. These numbers are approximate, it depends on field handling, shot placement and how much trimming must be done.
7 non-trophy bull licenses are allocated to a residents-only draw. Leftovers from the first draw will be available in a second draw to all applicants. Successful applicants will be contacted by Custer State Park officials to schedule the hunt the week following the draw. The fee is $3,256, only successful applicants will be charged.
Standard South Dakota big game regulations apply. Minimum age is 12 with hunter safety certificate.
Deadline: September 6, 8 a.m. CST