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Some general information you will need to know, when planning your South Dakota hunting trip.  There are two distinct types of venue you may hunt during the South Dakota  pheasant hunting season: preserve land and private land. There are categorical differences between the two South Dakota pheasant hunting seasons, such as: season dates, license fees, and limits. The information below creates a breakdown of these differences, in addition to other South Dakota pheasant hunting related information for consideration, when booking your pheasant hunting trip. 

In order for a given property to be designated as a preserve the owner must comply with the South Dakota Game Fish & Parks regulations for such services. Regulations state in part, a preserve must release a designated amount of Ringneck pheasant for every Ringneck pheasant shot on a preserve. Contributions like these from preserves are one of several reasons South Dakota has the best pheasant hunting in the county. Through the preserve program, South Dakota has increased its wild pheasant hunting population.


Season dates:

Before the opening of regular South Dakota pheasant hunting seasons, resident and nonresident youth have an extended weekend to themselves for pheasant hunting, and the dates are October 7-11, 2017. This is an opportunity for adults to take young people out to first-hand experience the joy of hunting as well as the responsibility. Resident youth must purchase and carry the Youth Small Game License. They must have their hunter safety certificate with them when purchasing the license.

Opening weekend of the South Dakota pheasant hunting season begins on October 21, 2017 and runs through January 7, 2018.

Preserves are allowed to begin pheasant hunting September 1, 2017 and run through March 31, 2018.


License fee to hunt small game (pheasant/grouse) is $33 for resident adult hunters and $5 for resident youth under the age of 16.  Resident youth between the ages of 16-18 must buy the Junior Combination License.  The License fee of $27.

License fee to hunt small game (pheasant/grouse) is $121 for non-resident adult hunters and $10 for non-resident youth under the age of 16 and need a copy of their hunter safety card or a copy of a current or a previous hunting license issued to them from any state. Both types of license are valid for two, five-day periods that the applicant designates, when applying.

Licenses for any preserve pheasant hunting trip beginning in the calendar year 2017 can be purchased beginning December 15, 2016. A non-resident hunter will need one of the following licenses to hunt preserve acres:

*One-day pheasant preserve License  $46.00
*Five-day pheasant preserve License $76.00
*Annual pheasant preserve License    $121.00

Resident and nonresident small game licenses can be purchased online with a credit card or from a license agent in towns across South Dakota.


Online purchase:

Locate License Agent:


Shooting hours:

Pheasant hunting is allowed between the hours of Noon, Central Standard Time, to sunset October 21, 2017 through October 27, 2017 in South Dakota.

Beginning on October 28, 2017 through the remainder of the pheasant hunting season the pheasant hunting hours allowed will be 10:00 am (CST) until sunset.

Pheasant Harvest Limits:

The daily limit for Ringneck pheasant per hunter is 3 Ringneck pheasants. The possession limit per hunter is 15 Ringneck pheasants, taken according to daily limit. The limit accrues at the rate of 3 pheasant a day, and 15 pheasant may not be possessed until after the 5th day of hunting.

Preserves set daily limits, based upon their desired replacement schedule. Please visit with your preserve pheasant hunting destination about daily Ringneck limits, when booking your South Dakota upland bird hunting trip.

Other Pheasant information:




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