South Dakota Deer Hunting

South Dakota mule deer hunting

South Dakota deer hunting archery tags are available over-the-counter for both residents and non-residents. Rifle tags are guaranteed for residents. Non-residents must apply for leftover rifle tags. Statewide, much of South Dakota consists of hills and prairies. Setting up at higher elevations and glassing is the best strategy.

  • Over the counter archery deer tags.
  • Good trophy quality.
  • Lots of deer. Mule deer live in the short grass prairie, with whitetails living in the draws, and wooded areas.
  • Economical hunts when compared to other states.
  • Hunt during the rut.
  • High success rates.

South Dakota Deer Hunting Season

Season dates vary by region, so check regulations for your area(s). However, for most hunters, bow season opens September 1 and runs through January 1. Rifle season dates vary greatly by unit. Muzzleloader runs from December 1 to January 1. Other South Dakota deer hunting season dates for antlerless deer are weapon- and unit-specific. These are the dates set when published. Please check the state DNR’s website to confirm.

Trophy Quality in SD

If you’re wanting a big buck the eastern third of the state is where you should be hunting. Historically, Brown, Clay, Day, Lincoln, Minnehaha, Roberts, Spink, Hand, Union, and Yankton counties are top producers. However, don’t forget about the Black Hills National Forest in the western region.

CWD Regulations in South Dakota

The South Dakota GFP Commission has revised regulations for the transportation and disposal of deer and elk carcasses from other states and from the county of harvest within South Dakota. The revised regulations will go into effect for the 2021 hunting seasons.

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