South Dakota Bowhunter Laws and Regulations

Passing this Bowhunter safety course will complete your online safety education for South Dakota.

Do you need South Dakota Bowhunter education?

South Dakota

You need bowhunter education certification if you are age 12 (or will turn 12 by Dec. 31 of current year) through age 15 and will be purchasing a big game archery license (in addition, must have a valid hunter safety certificate) or if you are a first-time big game archery licensee regardless of age, or anyone who receives an archery elk license.

You must be at least 11 years old to take this online course.

You do not have to be a resident of South Dakota to take this online course.


Hunter education is currently required in all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces, three Northwest Territories, and Mexico. A separate bowhunter education course is required in many of the states and provinces to comply with the bowhunting laws and regulations in those jurisdictions.

The states and provinces requiring an IBEP course are:

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Brunswick
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Nova Scotia
  • Quebec
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont

Why Bowhunter Safety Education Is Important

Bowhunting is a challenging sport! This type of hunting is done at a much closer range and requires a high degree of stealth, perseverance, patience, and effort. Bowhunters must become adept at scouting, tracking, and recovering game. Bowhunters must master new archery techniques and learn the anatomy and behavior of the game. Before attempting to use archery equipment as a hunting tool, each bowhunter should become a proficient archer. This requires dedication, practice, and good distance-judging ability.


All U.S. states, provinces, and countries that have mandatory bowhunter education requirements will accept the Online Course Completion Certificate. Likewise, South Dakota will accept Bowhunter Education certifications that are issued by other jurisdictions that meet official IHEA requirements. (This is known as “reciprocity.”)

Need help? Here are the answers to the questions South Dakota Bowhunter students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions