Duck Hunting

Northeastern South Dakota is part of the major waterfowl breeding grounds known as the "Prairie Pothole" region. This country was scarred by glaciers many centuries ago and now is dotted with lakes, sloughs and streams where ducks abound.

This is part of what makes South Dakota a duck hunter's paradise. Not only do you have this rich setting for ducks, but also unique settings along major rivers like the Missouri, James and Big Sioux; jumping ducks on stock dams in western South Dakota; and the forested streams of the Black Hills.

Duck hunting seasons are set in early August after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has issued South Dakota federally mandated guidelines for the hunting seasons.

Waterfowl License Information
Nonresident Waterfowl License Information

Hunting Regulations

DUCK HUNTING TOOLS

Season Information

Daily Limits

Duck: 6 and comprised of no more than:
  • 5 Mallards, which may include no more than 2 hens
  • 3 Scaup
  • 3 Wood Ducks
  • 2 Redheads
  • 2 Pintail
  • 2 Canvasback

Mergansers: 5 (including no more than 2 hooded merganser) Coots: 15

Possession Limit

(Three times the daily limit for each species (not to exceed 18 ducks total)

SHOOTING HOURS

(One-half hour before sunrise to sunset )

Duck Hunting Zones


View Larger Map

High Plains Zone

  • Season Dates: 2014 Season TBD -
  • Boundary = South Dakota west of a line beginning at the North Dakota state line and extending south along US 83 to US 14; east on US 14 to the town of Blunt; south on the Blunt-Canning Road to SD 34; east and south on SD 34 to SD 50 at Lee's Corner; south on SD 50 to I-90; east on I-90 to SD 50; south on SD 50 to SD 44; west on SD 44 across the Platte-Winner Bridge to SD 47; south on SD 47 to US 18; east on US 18 to SD 47; south on SD 47 to the Nebraska state line.

Low Plains - North Zone

  • Season Dates: 2014 Season TBD -
  • Boundary = South Dakota east of the boundary definition for High Plains, and north of a line beginning at the junction of US 83 and US 212; then east on US 212 to the Minnesota state line.

Low Plains - Middle Zone

  • Season Dates: 2014 Season TBD -
  • Boundary = South Dakota east of the boundary definition for High Plains, and south of a line beginning at the junction of US 83 and US 212; then east on US 212 to the Minnesota state line; and north of a line beginning at the junction of SD 47 and the Nebraska state line; then north on SD 47 to SD 44; then east on SD 44 to SD 50; then south on SD 50 to CFAS 6198 (Geddes Highway) at Geddes; then east on Geddes Hwy to US 281; then south on US 281 to SD 50; then east on SD 50 to I-29; then south on I-29 to the Iowa state line.

Low Plains - South Zone

  • Season Dates: 2014 Season TBD -
  • Boundary = South Dakota within a line beginning at the junction of SD 47 and the Nebraska border; then north on SD 47 to SD 44; then east on SD 44 to SD 50; then south on SD 50 to CFAS 6198 (Geddes Highway) at Geddes; then east on Geddes Hwy to US 281; then south on US 281 to SD 50; then east on SD 50 to I-29; then south on I-29 to the Iowa state line.

Youth Waterfowl

Besides the opportunity to introduce young people to waterfowl hunting during the regular seasons, a weekend is set aside for youth hunting. Also, adults may take youth as young as 10 years hunting through the Mentored Hunt program.

Nontoxic Shot

Approved nontoxic shot includes steel shot, bismuth-tin, tungsten-polymer, tungsten-matrix, and any combination of tungsten-iron-nickel-tin-copper-bismuth. Coated lead shot does not qualify as nontoxic shot. Tom Roster's Nontoxic Shot Lethality Table © 2012

Antelope Island Restrictions

The Antelope Island area* south of Pierre on Lake Sharpe has the following restrictions:

  • No waterfowl decoys or hunting blinds may be left in the area between sunset and 5 a.m.
  • No waterfowl decoys may be left unattended between 5 a.m. and sunset

*The area within the water's edge from a north-south line across Lake Sharpe through the dredged channel at the east end of Hipple Lake, downstream to the north-south line across the reservoir 100 yards east of the easternmost emergent vegetation on Antelope Islan