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Falconry - General

A person may hunt by falconry in South Dakota if they have been issued a falconry permit by their state of residence and have obtained the appropriate South Dakota hunting licenses. Nonmigratory game birds and game animals may be hunted Sept. 1-March 31. Migratory game birds may be hunted only in accordance with state and federal migratory game bird season regulations for 107 days beginning no earlier than Sept. 1 and ending by Jan. 15. The daily bag limit is three and the possession limit is six of game species in the aggregate.

A person may not hunt by falconry and be in possession of a firearm or be accompanied by a person carrying a firearm, except if the person is carrying a pistol and possesses a valid concealed pistol permit. Protected nongame birds and animals taken incidentally by a raptor may not be retained or possessed.

Falconry-Permit Application A person may not take, transport, possess, sell, purchase, or barter a raptor unless a falconry permit to do so is obtained from the department. Only residents of South Dakota may apply for a falconry permit. Applicants for falconry permits shall fill out application forms furnished by the department. Applicants for an apprentice permit must also pass a written exam given by the department concerning raptors and falconry.  Licenses are renewed at three-year intervals. New permits issued during a three-year interval are issued for the remainder of that three-year period. The fee for an initial apprentice, general, or master falconry permit is $50.00. The fee for a renewal permit of any class is also $50.00.

Falconry-Taking or acquisition of raptors No person may take or attempt to take any raptor without first acquiring a raptor collecting permit issued by the department. Permittees must be in immediate possession of the raptor collecting permit while taking or attempting to take raptors. Nonresident applicants must provide a copy  of any federal and state of residence falconry permits prior to being issued a raptor collecting permit. The fee for a non-resident raptor collecting permit is $200.00. No permittee may take, purchase, receive, or otherwise acquire, barter, transfer, or dispose of any raptor unless the permittee submits a copy of the migratory bird acquisition/disposition report to the department within ten calendar days after the transaction. Wild raptors may not be purchased or sold, only transferred. No more than two wild raptors may be taken in any twelve month period

The trapping of passage raptors (immature raptors in their first year plumage) is permitted only between August 1 and March 31. Raptors which are marked and have subsequently escaped may be retrapped at any time throughout the year. Only resident general or master falconry permittees may take eyas (young, flightless birds) from a nest or aerie. At least one eyas must be left in the nest or aerie. Eyas may be taken only between May 1 and July 31. The permittee shall allow a department representative to observe the permittee’s attempt to take eyas if so requested by the department.

For additional information on falconry regulations, call 605-773-4345