South Dakota Deer Hunting Season 2024-2024


South Dakota is a deer hunter’s paradise with an estimated white-tailed deer population of over 400 000 and 80 000 mule deer. Deer conservation efforts, in the 1900s, by the South Dakota Department of Fish and Game have led to the increase of mule and white-tailed deer populations in the state.

The South Dakota Department of Fish and Game enforces seasonal deer hunting regulations and dates. If you plan on targeting your share of South Dakota deer this season, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know for a successful hunt.

Season Dates 2024-2024

South Dakota has six different deer hunting seasons, each with its own regulations. In addition, South Dakota is divided into separate wildlife management areas, and each area has its own seasonal deer hunting dates.

License Costs

Hunters are required to purchase a Big Game hunting license to hunt deer in South Dakota. The easiest way to purchase a hunting license in South Dakota is by applying online. All you need to do is create an account and select the type of deer season you are applying for and the unit.

Hunters can only apply for two deer hunting seasons (not the same one twice). After the license draws have taken place, if there are any surplus licenses available, hunters can apply for these licenses. Hunters that are rejected for a season may apply for any other season.


In addition to the hunter’s license fees, a $6 surcharge is mandated by state law. The funds derived from the surcharge are allocated to hunting access and wildlife damage management programs.

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Bag Limits

South Dakota has no bag limit restrictions for the amount or type of deer a hunter may harvest. However, hunters are only allowed to harvest the amount of deer specified by the license and tag.

Hunters can only purchase deer tags through a lottery system; every deer hunting license has a single deer tag that permits a hunter to harvest the allocated deer. They can apply for additional deer tags through the lottery system.

No hunter can transfer their deer license to another hunter when hunting. Hunters must at all times have (such as wild turkeys) their hunting licenses and deer tags. Once a hunter has used their deer tag, they can shoot other game with the same license.

What Weapons can you Hunt Deer with in South Dakota?

Like most states in the US, hunters are restricted to the type of weapons they may legally hunt deer with in South Dakota. The state of South Dakota allows any legal weapon. However, there are archery-only and muzzleloader-only seasons. Weapons that are permitted:

  • Archery- Bow & Arrow
  • Muzzleloading rifles
  • Shotguns
  • Crossbows


Bow and Arrow



Muzzleloading Rifle


What Types of Deer Are Popular to Hunt in South Dakota?

Deer hunting in South Dakota is extremely popular, with close to 100 different Wildlife Management Areas in the state. Each area guarantees a hunter an opportunity to harvest their seasonal deer. In addition, the state allows hunters to hunt two species of deer.

Mule deer and white-tailed deer are the only two species of deer that roam the prized public hunting areas of South Dakota. However, these two species of deer are relatively common throughout the US. White-tailed deer can be found in almost every state except Hawaii.

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What else is Popular to Hunt in South Dakota?

This may shock many, but South Dakota offers various Big and Small game animals for hunters to target. Popular species of game to hunt in South Dakota are:

  • Elk
  • Mountain Lion
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Pronghorn Antelope
  • Bighorn Sheep
  • Coyote
  • Mountain Goat
  • Pheasant
  • American Bison
  • Turkey
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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>