South Dakota Duck Hunting
Duck Hunting in South Dakota is superb again this year!
South Dakota is a duck hunter's paradise. Not only do you have this rich setting for ducks, but also unique settings along major rivers like the Missouri, James and Big Sioux; jumping ducks on stock dams in western South Dakota; and the forested streams of the Black Hills.
Duck Hunting in South Dakota 2010
The state is divided into four duck hunting zones. Federal guidelines for the hunting seasons allow us to open in late September and run into December in most areas. The "Prairie Pothole" region of the Dakotas is some of the prime duck nesting habitat in North America.
Take a look around at the tools and information on the left to find Season Dates, License and Application Requirements and much more.
Ducks can be found and hunted statewide, with varying numbers of birds depending on the fall migration. In the northeastern half of the state, numerous potholes, marshes and lakes, many state or federally owned, provide ideal early season hunting areas. Along the Missouri River, the migration peaks in mid November with 600,000 ducks, primarily mallards. Western reaches of the state also hold ducks on stock dams, rivers and small lakes.
South Dakota’s prairie pothole country, located in the heart of the Central Flyway, consistently leads the nation in duck production. More than 15 million ducks migrate annually through South Dakota. They include mallards, gadwall, pintails and teal.
The Mallard, probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks, is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand (where it is currently the most common duck species), and Australia. It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south. For example, in North America it winters south to Mexico, but also regularly strays into Central America and the Caribbean between September and May.
The Mallard is 56-65 cm long, has a wingspan of 81-98 cm, and weighs 0.9-1.2kg. The breeding male is unmistakable, with a green head, black rear end and a yellowish orange (can also contain some red) bill tipped with black (as opposed to the dark brown bill in females). The female Mallard is light brown, like most female dabbling ducks.
However, both the female and male Mallards have distinct purple speculum edged with white, prominent in flight or at rest (though temporarily shedded during the annual summer molt). In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage the drake becomes drab, looking more like the female, but still distinguishable by its yellow bill and reddish breast.
If you are ready to hunt Ducks in South Dakota, or need more information, stop by our Galleries, Forums or Blog to get the latest scoop on the the 2010 South Dakota Duck Hunting Season.
South Dakota Hunting provides information on Pheasant Hunting, big game hunting, small game hunting, waterfowl hunting, and predator hunting. If you are looking for a professional outfitter to guide you on your hunt, South Daktoa Outfitters is where you will find it.