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.
WATERFOWL HUNTING TOOLS
- Waterfowl population index / hunting opportunity thunderstorm map.
This map will be updated on a weekly basis by area GFP field staff and should provide an indicator of hunting opportunity.
- Missouri River Fall Waterfowl Counts: Aerial surveys conducted throughout fall to estimate goose and duck numbers staging on Lake Oahe and Lake Sharpe.
- Mallard Migration Observation
- Public Hunting Areas
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
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
Another large migratory bird that travels through South Dakota in the fall, and another unique hunting opportunity.
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
|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|