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Waterfowl Hunts


Plan an unforgettable hunt in northeastern South Dakota where waterfowl thrive. The Aberdeen area produces hundreds of thousands of quality birds each year, making us the waterfowl hunter’s perfect getaway destination.

Aberdeen and the surrounding area is home to a number of duck species including Mallard, Pintail, Gadwall, Greenwing Teal, Redhead, Widgeon and Shoveler. Duck hunting techniques include decoys, blinds and big water hunting in some areas. You’ll also find more than enough snow geese and Canada geese to bag your limit in the spring and fall seasons.

Public Hunting Land

South Dakota has over 5 million acres of hunting opportunity on public land and leased private land. Enjoy free hunting in designated Walk-In Areas, CREP lands, Game Production Areas, Waterfowl Production Areas and more.

The interactive South Dakota Hunting Atlas is a hunter’s guide to all lands open to the public. You can also download the app and maps to use the data when an internet connection isn’t available.


Walk-In Areas 

More than 1.25 million acres of privately owned land is leased for public hunting access by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks. Driving is not allowed on walk-in areas except on designated trails and parking areas.


Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program lands are owned by private individuals who have enrolled them in CRP and signed a lease agreement with South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks to provide public hunting and fishing access.

Game Production Areas

South Dakota has approximately 730 Game Production Areas, totaling more than 295,000 acres. Each area is managed for the production and maintenance of all wildlife species with species emphasis varying from site to site.

Waterfowl Production

Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA) are owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and are managed for the production of waterfowl, but other game and nongame species thrive on them as well. There are 1,000 WPAs in South Dakota, totaling nearly 150,000 acres.

Waterfowl Hunting Regulations

Visit the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks site to find dates for duck and goose hunting.

Shooting hours begin thirty minutes before sunrise and run until sunset.

A Nonresident Waterfowl License and Federal Waterfowl Stamp are required for most waterfowl hunts.

Fall waterfowl licenses are limited and awarded on a lottery system. Some goose seasons are not lottery-drawn.

Tribal Land Hunt Regulations

The tribal lands of South Dakota provide incredible waterfowl hunting opportunities you can’t find anywhere else. Each of the 9 tribes have their own rules and regulations to follow. Hunters must apply for a license from the Tribal Game, Fish & Parks office for that tribe. Tribal hunting licenses are not interchangeable with the state of South Dakota hunting licenses or those of other tribes.

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