PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission finalized the 2019 spring turkey hunting season which included the removal of rifles to hunt spring turkeys. A rifle is defined as rimfire, centerfire and muzzleloading rifles. This decision was made due to safety concerns with the increased use of life-like decoys and other techniques used by spring turkey hunters. This new regulation will take effect for the 2019 spring hunting season.
The Commission also decided to:
1. Offer residents 55 more one-tag male turkey licenses and 150 less two-tag male turkey licenses for the prairie units than 2018 for an overall decrease of 245 tags.
2. Offer nonresidents two more one-tag male turkey licenses and 12 less two-tag male turkey licenses for the prairie units than 2018 for an overall decrease of 22 tags.
3. Modify the season end date for turkey hunting on the prairies, in the Black Hills and during the archery season from the eighth day prior to Memorial Day weekend to May 31.
4. Adjust the hunting season end date for Sica Hollow in unit 48A to end on May 31.
2019 season dates:
- Archery: April 6 – May 31
- Black Hills regular and single-season prairie units: April 13 – May 31
- Split-season early prairie units: April 13 – April 30
- Split-season late Prairie units; Black Hills late season: May 1 – May 31
Licenses available include:
- Black Hills: Unlimited resident and nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses.
- Prairie: 5,657 resident and 246 nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses.
- 600 resident and 48 nonresident two-tag male turkey licenses.
- Archery: Unlimited resident and nonresident one-tag male turkey licenses.
- Access permits are required to turkey hunt Good Earth State (five archery permits available) and Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve (20 archery permits available).