As much as the 2022 calendar doesn’t want to admit it, fall is in the air. With September upon us, that means several hunting seasons will open up.
These include a host of traditional seasons, such as bowhead deer, mentor/youth deer, and three migratory bird seasons: mourning dove, Canadian goose, and duck. Some of the non-traditional seasons that will open are Cottontail Rabbit, Tree Squirrel, Raven, and Snipe.
I would like to offer a few reminders for some of the hunting seasons that will open up shortly. Let’s start with the mourning dove season which starts on September 1st. Hunters are reminded that a state migratory bird certification is required along with their regular small/combination hunting license; however, a federal waterfowl stamp is not. Too often we come across hunters in the field who have their regular license but forget to purchase certification.
Here are a couple of other reminders about mourning dove restrictions:
- Hunters may not hunt mourning doves within public road rights-of-way.
- Hunters can only shoot a bird in flight.
- There is a daily limit of 15 (45 possession).
- Your shotgun must have a maximum capacity to hold three shells.
That same day (September 1), Canada goose season kicks off here in northeastern South Dakota. Shooting times are from half an hour before sunrise to sunset.
To legally hunt this season, a hunter must possess one of the following:
- A small game hunting license,
- One day small game hunting license
- Any combined license or a juvenile small game license
Hunters must also have a state migratory bird certification and a federal waterfowl stamp for anyone over the age of 16. The habitat stamp is part of the small game/combination purchase. The daily limit for Canada Geese from September 1 to September 30 is 15 geese. Then the daily limit drops to eight geese from October 1 to December 16. The possession limit is three times the daily limit.
Junior waterfowl season is September 10-11. This upcoming waterfowl season looks to be fantastic and the duck hatching looks to be one of the best we have had in a long time thanks to timely rainfall this spring and summer. This is an excellent opportunity for youth to be exposed to the sport of waterfowl hunting.
For big game hunters, you can go to the tree or the ground to go bowhunting for deer starting September 1. Non-residents on public land will have to wait until October 1. Young and mentored hunters will have their first opportunity to hunt a deer at the start of their season on September 10.
If you have tree stands or trail cameras on public land, make sure your name/address or year and current applicable big game license number are displayed on the cameras and tree stands/ground shutters. Additionally, it is illegal to hunt deer over any type of bait station, salt block, or any commercial by-product containing natural foods used to attract deer.
For more specific rules and regulations regarding proper licenses, daily and possession limits, and other questions you may have for each particular hunting season, please refer to the 2022 South Dakota Hunting Handbook found in every hunting season. Game Fish & Parks offices and anywhere you can purchase a South Dakota hunting or fishing license.
Tim McCurdy is a Supervisory Conservation Officer for the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks District.