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Duck Hunting

The Dakotas are at the heart of American waterfowl production, and South Dakota's prairie potholes in the northeastern part of the state are a hotbed for ducks and geese.

We are experiencing some of the best waterfowl hunting in decades. In fact, an overabundance of certain geese in North America has brought added opportunity for goose hunting.

Take a trip to a slough near you. The ducks and geese are calling.



The state is divided into four duck hunting zones. Federal guidelines for the hunting seasons allow us to open in late September and run into December in most areas. The "Prairie Pothole" region of the Dakotas is some of the prime duck nesting habitat in North America. More Information


Many parts of North America, including South Dakota, are experiencing an overabundance of geese on traditional breeding grounds. Liberal hunting seasons to help control the goose population benefit both hunters and agriculture producers. More Information

Tundra Swan

South Dakota is part of a central migration route for these large birds. A limited number of licenses are available for a unique hunting opportunity. More Information

Sandhill Crane

Another large migratory bird that travels through South Dakota in the fall, and another unique hunting opportunity.
More Information

Youth Waterfowl

A weekend set aside to introduce young people to waterfowl hunting. More Information

Nonresident Waterfowl Licenses

A limited number of hunting licenses are issued each year by application to a lottery drawing. More Information

Waterfowl Hunting Season Date Table

Season Start End
Youth Waterfowl Season Sept. 20 Sept. 21
Canada Goose Unit 1 Sept. 1 Dec. 16
Canada Goose Unit 2 Nov. 3, 2014 Feb. 15, 2015
Canada Goose Unit 3 Jan 10 Jan. 18, 2015
Fall Light Goose (Snow, Blue Ross') Sept. 27 Dec. 21
High Plains Duck Season Oct. 11, 2014 Jan. 15, 2015
Low Plains Duck Season- North and Middle Zones Sept. 27 Dec. 9
Low Plains Duck Season - South Zone Oct. 11 Dec. 23
Sandhill Crane Sept. 27, 2014 Nov. 23, 2014
White-Fronted Goose Sept. 27 Dec. 21

Waterfowl ID

Learn more about waterfowl id

waterfowl production

Learn more about production Status

Reduce Wounding Loss

Here's how to reducing Wounding loss

Hunter Survey Reports

Waterfowl Management

Duck Banding

Duck banding locations and numbers