Black Hills South Dakota Elk & Deer Hunting Trips, Outfitters

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Hunting / Outfitters

Three quarters of Black Hills National Forest’s 2.3 million acres are open to hunting and non-residents can hunt deer, antelope, turkey, sharp-tailed grouse, ring-neck pheasants, and waterfowl. Find a Black Hills hunting outfitter to guide you to the goods.

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Providers These companies can get you there

  • Three quarters of Black Hills National Forest’s 2.3 million acres is open to hunting.
  • Non-residents can hunt deer, antelope, turkey, sharp-tailed grouse, ring-neck pheasants, waterfowl and more.
  • South Dakota and Wyoming-based outfitters provide guided hunting adventures into the Black Hills wilderness, with prices ranging from $300 to $10,000 and beyond.

Overview

The Black Hills features prime hunting habitat for big game, small game, and waterfowl. Black Hills’ deer hunting begins in November, with rifle and archery seasons for residents and non-residents. Turkey hunting is open to non-residents in spring and fall, and pronghorn antelope and pheasant hunting is popular in the prairie areas. A limited number of sharptail grouse are located in the Black Hills and open to resident and non-resident hunting. South Dakota Elk and Big Horn Sheep licenses are limited to residents only, and SD Mountain Goat hunting is currently closed to everyone.

With nearly five million acres of public land available for hunting in South Dakota, including more than 80% of the 2.3 million acres within Black Hills National Forest, hunters have ample room to search for that trophy whitetail or mule deer in the mountainous regions, grouse in the woodier areas, and antelope and birds in the surrounding grasslands. 

Non-resident licenses can be purchased online, through the Game, Fish and Parks website, or at local merchants such as hardware and sporting goods stores. Licenses fees, regulations and hunting areas depend on the species, time of year, location and resident status.

Deer

  • Whitetail deer comprise 75% of the total deer population in the Black Hills area.
  • Mule deer can be located west of Custer and in the surrounding foothills.
  • Black Hills season dates – November 1 – November 30.
  • Application process begins in late June.
  • Archery and firearm seasons open to residents and non-residents.

Antelope

  • Prefer wide open prairie areas.
  • Archery Season – Open to residents and non residents; season from mid – late October.
  • Firearm Season – Open to residents and non residents; season starts Saturday nearest October 1.
  • Custer State Park (71,000 acres) antelope hunting application process begins in July.

Elk/Big Horn Sheep/Mountain Lions

  • Licenses available to South Dakota residents only (in SD sections).
  • “Any Elk” Black Hills elk hunting season from October 1 – 31.
  • “Antlerless Elk” Black Hills elk hunting season from October 16 – 31; December 1 – 15.
  • Limited licenses for Custer State Park elk for SD residents only.

Pheasants:

  • Hunting open to residents and non-residents.
  • Season – Mid-October through early-January.
  • Daily limit - 3; Possession limit - 15

Sharptail Grouse:

  • Hunting open to residents and non-residents.
  • Season – Mid-September through early-January.
  • Daily limit -3; Possession limit - 15
  • *Limited numbers in the Black Hills.

*Other small game includes rabbit and squirrels. Sport shooting for prairie dogs is also open to non-residents. (No season; $5 non-resident General Hunting License required.)

Hire A Guide

Non-resident hunters and those unfamiliar with the Black Hills region have numerous outfitting services and guides to choose from. Guided turkey and pheasant hunts are popular, as well as trophy deer hunting trips. Accommodation, food, transportation and equipment costs are generally included in outfitter fees, however daily trips are also available with fewer included amenities. Trips can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars for a one-day hunt to $6000 - $10,000 or more for multi-day adventures, depending on duration and species. Guides and outfitters work long, hard days to put you in the midst of fine animals – remember to tip generously for good service.

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Other Hunting / Outfitters Resources

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation promotes the natural habitats for elk and encourages responsible hunting practices.

Hunt of a Lifetime

This organization is dedicated to providing hunting experiences for children with illnesses.