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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.

Season Information

Daily Limits

Ducks: 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 Pintails
  • 2 Canvasbacks

2 Bonus blue-winged teal (first 16 days of season only)

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

Coots: 15

Possession Limit

Three times the daily limit for each species.


One-half hour before sunrise to sunset.

Duck Hunting Zones

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High Plains Zone

Low Plains - North Zone

Low Plains - Middle Zone

Low Plains - South Zone