About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the South Dakota Bowhunter Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Online Course Completion Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

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.