South Dakota is known around the world as home to world-class hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities of all kinds. It is also home to some uninvited guests in the form of invasive species and pests. The presence of these species is creating challenges, and the state is working toward ridding its lands of these undesirable intruders.
Asian carp (including silver, grass, and bighead carp) are among South Dakota's most prevalent invasive pests. Because of their profound negative effects on food webs in aquatic habitats, these varieties of fish are unwelcome in South Dakota, according to the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department
. They have been in the region for 20 years and reproduce at a very fast pace.
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Although the species listed as invasive in South Dakota are all aquatic, there are a number of non-aquatic animals considered to be pests as well. These animals fall into the category of predators and varmints, and the state permits hunting of these animals, in some cases year-round.
Predator and varmint hunting in the state requires no license for resident hunters younger than age 16, according to the Game Fish and Parks Department
. For adults, any type of resident or nonresident hunting permit allows the bearer to participate in predator and varmint hunting. Those without a hunting permit can apply for a specific predator and varmint hunting license.
Here are four animals that fall in this category.
Coyotes can be found throughout the state and can be hunted unrestricted year-round. There is no limit on number and no requirement for the type of firearm that may be used.
2. Prairie Dogs
Although there are certain areas within the state that restrict the hunting season for prairie dogs, in most areas it is open year-round. As with the coyote, there is no restriction on the number of prairie dogs each hunter may take and no restriction on the type of firearm.
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Hunting season in South Dakota for these animals is early April through the end of August, but there are specific restrictions on who may hunt muskrats. Hunting muskrats is limited to landowners and lessees and state officials and must only be done on approved land. The type of firearm also is restricted and must be .22 caliber or smaller rimfire cartridges or muzzleloaders of .45 caliber or smaller. Legal archery equipment also is permitted.
For beaver hunting, limit and shooting hours are unrestricted, but the season is a bit more complicated. For the West River area of the state, it is open season year-round. The season begins in early January for the Black Hills area and ends in late March. For hunters in the East River portion of the state, it begins in early November and runs through late April.
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.
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