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How to buy a South Dakota Pheasant Hunting License

For the Non-Resident

For the Non-Resident

By: Chris Hitzeman
UGUIDE South Dakota Pheasant Hunting

Depending on your proficiency to utilize technology or your predilection for rubbing elbows with native South Dakotans, there is a way to buy a non-resident South Dakota Pheasant Hunting License that should suit your fancy.

There are two options for buying a license; order online or through a registered sales agent in the state of South Dakota (aka the local hardware store, gas station, Cabela's, etc).

To order licenses online, go to South Dakota's Game, Fish and Parks website at the following link This site provides links you can select based on questions you may have. When you are ready to purchase a license, click on the "Purchase a General/Hunting/Fishing License" link. You will be taken to SDGF&P's online license sales site. You will need a driver's license or other state issued ID and major credit card. If you are buying a license for a youth, you will need their hunter safety ID.

The system will ask you questions for all pertinent info. The license required for hunting at UGUIDE Camps is the "Non-Resident Small Game License".  A Shooting Preserve License is for hunting places that put birds out.  That is not what we do.  The most confusing part of the process for new licensees is selecting their two 5-day hunting periods. When you buy a non-resident pheasant hunting license in South Dakota, you can select two 5 day periods in which to hunt. The first period will obviously be when you have planned your first hunt. Make sure the dates you select allow for your hunting days planned in the state to fall within your selected time period (5 day duration). My recommendation when selecting your second 5 day period (even if you know when it will be) is to select the time period the farthest out on the calendar that the system will allow. The reason for this is that in South Dakota you can never move your 2nd period dates back or out but you can always move them up. If you have a 2nd trip booked but run into bad weather and your hunt gets postponed, you could then adjust your hunting period to meet your new hunting time frame.

Another valuable tidbit to consider, especially if you are fond of late-season hunting, is to buy your license on Dec. 15th or later. This will allow you to use your first hunting period in the year the license was purchased and the second period in the following year's hunting season.

Additionally, South Dakota GF&P now allows you to carry your hunting license on your smartphone and here is info on how to do that.

If you prefer to rub elbows with local natives while in the state hunting, you may wish to purchase your license from one of the many registered license agents in South Dakota. The best way to locate an agent near or on the way to your destination is to go to the following link You can locate the one nearest your county or you can search alphabetically by city as well. If you don't have access to a computer, you can call Game & Fish directly at (605) 773-3485 and they can direct you to the nearest agent.

Happy and safe hunting!