The South Dakota archery season offers hunters plenty of opportunities to hunt elk, antelope, deer, turkey, mountain lion, and small game. The “Mount Rushmore State” has an expansive list of game available for your hunting trip. Many seasons are restricted to participation by South Dakota residents only.
South Dakota (SD) Archery Season, 2022-2023
South Dakota offers a Volunteer Hunter program, pairing hunters and landowners looking to maintain their property and thin herd and flock sizes.
When does Archery Season Start in SD?
South Dakota Antelope Seasons
Archery August 20-October 31*
Mentored Archery October 1-16
Landowner October 1-16
*Pronghorn are limited in South Dakota due to habitat changes and extreme weather events. South Dakota offers limited bag limits for antelope hunting.
South Dakota Deer Seasons
Archery September 1-January 1
Apprentice and Mentored Hunts September 10-January 1
General Season November 1-December 18*
*Season dates vary by region.
South Dakota Elk Season
Archery September 1-30
General Season October 1-December 31*
*Season dates vary depending on the region. Only South Dakota residents may purchase elk licenses.
South Dakota Black Hills Bighorn Sheep Seasons
General Season September 1-December 31
Bighorn sheep season is available to residents only on a limited basis. The South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks Division uses a bighorn sheep auction license to raise funds for bighorn sheep management.
South Dakota Wild Turkey Seasons
General Fall Season November 1-January 31
South Dakota Mountain Lion Seasons
General Season Year-round til annual harvest limits is met.*
*South Dakota restricts mountain lion season to state residents only. Permits are required, and hunts have limits of 60 males or 40 females, whichever hunters reach first. Hunters must check harvest status online to ensure the season is open.
South Dakota Small Game Seasons
Crow September 1-October 31 / March 1-April 30
Common Snipe September 1-October 31
Rabbit September 1-February. 28
Quail September 24-January 31*
Partridge September 16-January 7
Pheasant September 24-January 31*
Ruffed Grouse and Prairie Chicken September 17-January 7
Tree Squirrel September 1-February 29
*Season dates vary by area and hunting permit.
What are the Legal Hunting Hours in South Dakota?
Authorized shooting hours are 30-minutes before sunrise to 30-minutes after sunset.
Hunting Licenses and Permits in SD
Visit the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks website for more details on purchasing hunting licenses and permits.
South Dakota Residents
A resident is a person who has lived in the state permanently for at least 90-days. Full-time, non-resident students and active-duty military personnel are considered residents. All residents aged 13 or older must have a hunting license.
Non-residents aged 13 or older must have a hunting license.
Youth Hunting Licenses
South Dakota residents and non-residents aged 10 to 12 need a hunter education certificate to hunt but no license. Residents and non-residents aged 13 to 15 must buy a junior hunting license.
Senior Hunting Licenses
South Dakota residents aged 65 or older can apply for the reduced-fee Annual Senior Citizen Hunting License or the Permanent Senior Hunting License.
Disabled South Dakota residents are eligible for specialty licenses.
Veteran and Military Licenses
Active-duty military personnel stationed in South Dakota can buy a resident hunting license. Additionally, active-duty military personnel that is South Dakota residents but stationed in other states don’t need to buy a hunting license while on leave. Disabled resident veterans may be eligible for the Permanent DAV Hunting and Fishing License.
Migratory Waterfowl Requirements
Hunters aged 16 or older must buy a South Dakota Migratory Bird Permit and Federal Duck Stamp when hunting migratory waterfowl. The permit is proof of participation in the Harvest Information Program (HIP).
South Dakota hunting licenses are valid from December 15 to January 31 of the following year.
Check out our guide 30+ Hunting Rules to Keep You Safe while bowhunting in the wild.