Group of Pheasant hunters
SD Pheasant Hunting

Get a Pheasant Hunting License

A small game license is required to pheasant hunt in South Dakota. It also allows you to hunt a wide variety of other game, like grouse, gray partridge, quail and more. 

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Resident & Nonresident Licenses

There are differences between resident and nonresident licenses but the buying process is the same. Take note of the different season dates, get your license, and plan your outdoor adventure.  

Youth Only—Pheasant Season

Start Date: September 25, 2021

End Date: October 3, 2021

Resident Only—Pheasant Season

Start Date: October 9, 2021

End Date: October 11, 2021

Traditional—Pheasant Season

Start Date: October 16, 2021

End Date: January 31, 2022

SD Hunting - License

Buy in South Dakota

Hunters can buy licenses from 255 registered sales agents in South Dakota (like select gas stations and bait shops). Find locations online or call SD GFP at (605) 223-7660 and they’ll point you in the direction of the nearest agent. 

SD Pheasant Hunting - License

Buy Online

To purchase online, visit the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks website and go to the licenses page. At the top, you’ll see an option to purchase or view your license. Follow the link and either sign in or and select “new user” on the welcome screen. From there, all you’ll need a driver’s license or state-issued ID and a major credit card. You’ll need a hunter safety ID as well if you are buying a license for a youth hunt.

SD Pheasant Hunting

Nonresident Licenses Special Information

Nonresident licenses are for anyone who does not live in the state of South Dakota. They are redeemable for two 5-day hunting periods. A little tip for selecting your dates: Choose your first hunting period for when you plan to visit South Dakota. Then, if you aren’t sure when you’ll be back for the second trip, choose the last week the calendar will allow. You can always move these dates up on the calendar, but you can’t move them back. 


SD Pheasant Hunting

Nonresident Shooting Preserve Licenses

Shooting Preserve Licenses allow nonresidents to hunt on licensed shooting preserves and take the small game for which that preserve is licensed. They are available for the following periods: one day, 5-day period, season long.

SD Pheasant Hunting

Bringing Your Dog to South Dakota

Your hunting buddy is welcome in South Dakota! And while a rabies vaccination for your dog is mandatory, you don’t need to bring a health certificate if you’ll be here for less than 30 days. Check out the Hunting and Trapping Handbook for details. 


View some common questions below or contact SD Game, Fish and Parks for additional clarification at [email protected] or 605-223-7660.


How do I get a copy of my small game license?


The small game hunting license asks for two five-day periods, what should I put down for the second period if I don’t know when I'm going to be able to hunt again?


The small game hunting license asks for two five-day periods, what should I put down for the second period if I don’t know when I'm going to be able to hunt again?


Can I carry my license on my smartphone or in the app?

Group Hunts
Group Hunts
Youth Season
Youth Season
Guide Services
Guide Services
Public Land
Public Land

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