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Prairie Dog Hunting

Prairies dogs are actually small types of squirrels that belong to the North American grasslands. They live in burrows and are found in five species such as black-tailed, white-tailed, Gunnison, Utah and Mexican prairie dogs. Prairie dogs are considered pests since they feed on grass, roots and seeds and also because of their destructive landscaping. That is why they are shunned away or killed in places like farms or pasturelands. Prairie dog hunting is considered as a pastime by many hunters.


Prairie dog hunting is not permitted during the period of March 1 till June 14 on public lands that are usually open for hunting in South Dakota. You can shoot all the year round on private or tribal lands though. The Conata Basin in Buffalo Gap National Grassland is one place where prairie dog shooting is closed at all times. Some famous tribal lands for shooting prairie dogs are on the Crow Creek and the Lower Brule. The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River also make great hunting spots in the state.


Hunting on federal grounds is a great experience in itself. The Fort Pierre National Grasslands that lie south of Ft. Pierre have abundant native prairie, lots of dog towns and prairie dogs too. Prairie dog hunting is free on these places and you can easily find the contact numbers after doing little research. These grasslands come under the purview of the U.S. Forest Service. The Grand River National Grasslands lying in northwestern South Dakota fall under the above category.


Make sure that you carry maps of the places you are going to visit for prairie dog hunting. This will help you to locate dog towns and make hunting easier. When the open season is going on, you can shoot any number of prairie dogs. Keep in mind that you need a predator/ varmint license, a furbearer license or any else South Dakota resident hunting license while hunting. If you do not belong to South Dakota, you will need a nonresident predator/ varmint license for shooting. You can use any caliber rifle or a handgun legally while hunting. No hunting is allowed in the Badlands National Park so check out whether your guns are unloaded and cased while you are there.