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Archery Deer

*E.H.D. Information >

The archery deer season is set in May and is open to residents and nonresidents. The application process opens in June . There is no deadline for submitting an application and licenses are sold throughout the season. Licenses must be purchased by application through the GFP License Office.

The primary archery deer season traditionally opens in late September.

All first time archery deer hunters, resident or nonresident, are required to pass the National Bowhunter Education course.

  • Season Dates:
    Archery Deer - 2014 Season TBD - , except:
    - Only unfilled antlerless tags are valid from Jan. 1-15
    - Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Brown Co. is open Oct. 19-Jan. 15 except during the refuge firearms deer season; archery antlerless tags are not valid in Sand Lake NWR; changes to placement of deer stands and areas open to deer hunting have been made. Please consult Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge for specifics, write 39650 Sand Lake Drive, Columbia, SD 57433, or call 605.885.6320.
    - Portions of Lacreek National Wildlife Refuge in Bennett Co. are open Sept. 28-Dec. 31 except during firearms deer seasons; to hunt within Lacreek Refuge, hunters must obtain a free permit at the refuge headquarters; additional restrictions may apply
    - The Waubay Lake State Game Refuge and Waubay National Wildlife Refuge in Day Co. are open Sept. 28-Dec. 31 except during the refuge firearms deer seasons
    - Most state parks, recreation areas, nature areas and lakeside use areas are open Oct. 1-Jan. 15; all archery permits are valid in Farm Island Recreation Area and LaFramboise Island Nature Area in Hughes County from Oct. 1-Dec. 31
    - Custer State Park is closed to archery deer hunting, except for special permit hunting issued specifically for the Park
    - In addition to a regular license, a free access permit is required to hunt the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, Good Earth State Park, and the Sioux Falls Antlerless Area.


Sioux Falls Archery Antlerless Deer Hunt
A limited public archery hunt has been set up to reduce the deer population within the city limits of Sioux Falls. This antlerless deer hunting opportunity will be administered by the Sioux Falls Police Department and South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. People interested must sign up to be included in the draw. The sign up period deadline is August 21.

Good Earth State Park and Adams Nature Area Access Permit
A limited public archery hunt has been developed for deer hunting opportunities within Good Earth State Park and Adams Nature Preserve. People interested in hunting these areas must apply on-line for a free, limited draw, Access Permit. The sign up deadline is August 21.

HuntSafe courses

The HuntSAFE program is a required course for young hunters in South Dakota. A list of upcoming HuntSAFE courses is available.

Archery Education Courses

Visit the bowhunter education page to view all requirements for purchasing an archery license. A list of upcoming BowEd courses is also available.

Volunteer Hunter

The Volunteer Hunter Program puts private landowners in touch with hunters willing to harvest big game on their land.

Healthy Hunter

The Healthy Hunter website was created to help hunters be more active and eat healthier as they prepare for the hunting season.