Hunting & Fishing in South Dakota

South Dakota pheasant hunting in the last 10 years has been among the best in the state’s history. Every year since 2002, hunters — resident and nonresidents — have harvested at least 1.2 million pheasants during the season. In 2011, hunters harvested more than 1.5 million pheasants, and 2007 was a near-record year, when hunters harvested 2.1 million birds. It’s clear why South Dakota is the pheasant hunting capital of the world. In 2012, the season starts on Oct. 20 and runs through Jan. 6, 2013. The daily limit is three roosters with a possession limit of 15.

Other species hunted regularly in the region are ducks, geese and deer. Statewide, hunters harvested 262,000 ducks and 129,000 Canada geese in 2010, the most recent study available. That same year, 94,700 deer were harvested. Besides the great hunting options across the state, fishing is also one of the leading outdoor activities.

The Missouri River crosses Interstate 90 at Chamberlain, where anglers can regularly be seen searching for walleye or any of the near 30 species of fish in the state. The Missouri River accounts for 40 percent of the fishing in the state, according to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department.

Annually, about 300,000 anglers spend more than 3.5 million days fishing South Dakota
waters, which hold 700,000 acres of public fishing.

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