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Course Outline

Firearms and Accompanying Persons: If you have a license to bowhunt big game and are hunting during an archery only season, it is illegal to:

  • Possess a firearm while you are in the field bowhunting or …
  • Be accompanied by someone carrying a firearm or …
  • Be accompanied by someone who has a bow and arrow but does not have a license to bowhunt in the same area and during the same time of year as shown on your license.

Electronic Calls: Electronic calls are prohibited when bowhunting big game.

  • This includes turkeys.
  • If you are hunting mountain lions, electronic calls are allowed.

Dogs: Dogs are prohibited when bowhunting big game unless:

  • You are hunting mountain lions during an established season and according to GFP rules or …
  • The dog is on a leash, is being controlled by a person, and is being used only to retrieve a big game animal that is wounded or dead and the person controlling the dog complies with Chapter 41-8 of South Dakota’s Codified Laws.

Spotlighting: Using any type of artificial lighting while hunting at night (called “spotlighting”) is illegal in South Dakota.

  • From sunset to sunrise, it is illegal to use or possess night-vision equipment or artificial lights, including spotlights and headlights, if you:
    • Are on a highway or in a field, pasture, woodland, forest, or prairie and …
    • Are spotting, locating, taking, or attempting to take or hunt an animal and …
    • Possess or are using archery, firearm, or other hunting equipment.
  • If you are on foot, you may use a handheld light to take raccoons that have been treed by a dog.
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