Season Dates: The sage grouse hunting season will remain closed in 2016. View the Greater Sage-Grouse Management Plan for South Dakota to obtain more information about how future hunting season recommendations will be developed.
The Greater Sage grouse are found in limited numbers on native sage-steppe habitat in northwestern South Dakota. They are a large, rounded-winged, ground-dwelling bird, up to 30 inches long and two feet tall, weighing from two to seven pounds. They have a long, pointed tail with legs feathered to the base of the toes. Females are a mottled brown, black, and white. Males are larger and have a large white ruff around their neck and bright yellow air sacks on their breasts, which they inflate during their mating display.
The sage grouse hunting season in South Dakota is very restrictive. In the past:
- a two-day season in late September (Wednesday and Thursday)
- one bird season limit per hunter
- open only on public lands (U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, State School and Public Lands, and private land leased by SD GF&P for public hunting as Walk-In Area) in all of Harding and those located west of US Highway 85 in Butte County
Sage grouse are monitored by counting males on traditional spring breeding grounds called leks.
Males per attended lek for all sage grouse leks counted since 1990. In 2016, 278 males were counted on 24 attended leks.
LINKS TO RECENT SAGE GROUSE RESEARCH PROJECTS