South Dakota Deer Hunting Laws & Regulations

Deer Hunting Regulations in South Dakota: Chronic Wasting Disease and License Changes

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in South Dakota

  1. Definition: CWD is a fatal brain disease affecting deer, elk, and moose.
  2. Prevalence: Confirmed in Lawrence, Pennington, Custer, and Fall River Counties, as well as in Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park.
  3. Additional Resources: Detailed information about CWD and a map of approved big game carcass disposal sites are available online.

Nonresident Archery Deer Hunting Changes

At the June 2019 GFP Commission meeting, significant changes were approved for nonresident archery deer hunting:

  1. Change #1 - Hunting Start Dates:

    • Public Lands and Leased Private Lands: Hunting begins on October 1.
    • Other Private Lands: Hunting remains permissible from September 1.
  2. Change #2 - Application Deadline:

    • New Deadline: April 1 (starting 2020).
    • Implications: Licenses obtained after this deadline are only valid on private lands, excluding department-leased areas like WIA, CREP, and CHAP. Violations could lead to citations.
  3. Change #3 - Access Permits in Unit 35L:

    • Permit Allocation: 500 for residents and 125 for nonresidents.
    • Distribution Method: Free permits through a lottery system.

Changes to Deer Drawing Structure

The GFP Commission also implemented changes to the deer license allocation process:

  1. First Draw: Residents can apply for two out of six seasons: East River/Special Buck, West River/Special Buck, Black Hills, Muzzleloader, Refuge, and Custer State Park. Special Buck license holders have additional limitations.

  2. Nonresident Allocation: Nonresidents are eligible for 8% of allocations for certain seasons in the first draw.

  3. Subsequent Draws:

    • Second Draw: Those with two licenses can't apply for a leftover license. Those with one can apply for a different season.
    • Third Draw: Residents with two licenses can still apply for unlicensed seasons.
    • Fourth Draw: Residents can submit up to five applications. Nonresidents without a license can apply for leftover nonresident pools.
  4. Open Sales: Remaining licenses post-fourth draw are sold on a first-come, first-served basis without a limit.

  5. Youth Preference Points: Free for youth aged 15 or younger. First-time applicants of the same age group receive a bonus point.

  6. Review Period: A comprehensive review of these changes is planned after three years.

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