View Full Version : A place to hunt prairie dogs in SD?

March 8, 2007, 12:25 PM
Hello Folks,

I was searching the Internet for places to hunt prairie dogs in South Dakota and stumbled across this wealth of information on not only hunting, but all types of shooting sports. What a great place to meet.

I currently manage Trijicon's Military and Federal Law Enforcement Division. Our office, comprised of retired and former Marines, are very interested in hunting prairie dogs this summer after a Harley ride through the Bad Lands and the Black Hills. I'm in the research phase of the trip, but it appears that Wall, SD is a good start. Does anyone have experience ,favorite places, or data that could help me out here?

Ideally, we'd find a land owner that has a lot of prairie dogs and would allow us to hunt on the property. We're all very experienced shooters with utmost integrity. We'd like to indoctrinate our sons (2) to the world of hunting and the great American tradition of shooting sports.

I look forward to following the forums when I can. E-mail is always "on"
Thank you.

March 9, 2007, 12:29 AM
Sorry I don't have any information to help you, but I can say Welcome to the forum.


May 29, 2007, 02:21 PM
One thing you might want to consider, if you've not planned things already, is that prairie dogs seem to be considered the rough equivalent of paper targets out here. :P They're not only everywhere, but they're hunted a lot. Farmers and ranchers want to get rid of them, but there are also a lot of people who want to shoot them.

I've never gone 'dogging before myself, but know a couple people who do it religiously instead of target shooting - usually shooting them with .243 at 300+ yards with consistent accuracy. This is on the east side of the state over by Vermillion. A lot of people use all manner of techniques (rubber hose snake decoys to excite the colonies, etc.) and rifles (ARs, expensive race guns, milsurps, - whatever).

I suspect that, given the time of the year when you plan to be out here, you'll want to make sure you've got an arrangement with someone who has private land who has a large colony or series of colonies. Two or three people can make work of a moderately sized colony in an afternoon, whether through attrition and complete annihilation (don't worry, they'll move back in the next year or even later in the season from elsewhere), or because the colony has gotten sufficiently spooked by the hunters' aggressive technique. There are also companies/families who own land who will charter a hunt for out-of-state residents: game hunters are a big revenue for this economically depressed state.

Keep in mind that you're planning to go out prairie dog hunting after the season prime for prairie dogs (which is March - June or so, during breeding IIRC), which means the hunting won't be as good. During this period of time, prairie dog hunting is also illegal on public lands.

Good luck!

May 29, 2007, 06:00 PM
If you're not hell bent on SD, I can point you to a humungous dog town in MT, about 90 miles NW of Sturgis. It's on public land too with several private ranches nearby that are also infested with them.

May 30, 2007, 02:48 PM
What kind of wildlife can you hunt in SD?

June 5, 2007, 05:17 AM
Well, SD is one of only two states (IIRC) that allows the unfettered hunting of feral cats. :D I've never done it, and don't know how infested the state is, but there are a lot of cats on the farms I know of. Literally everywhere under foot.

As for game species? Quite the list, particularly if you include the ones like moose, elk, and cougar which have fairly to very limited lotteries.

Tree Squirrels
Prairie Dogs
Cottontail Rabbits
Mt. Goat
Bighorn Sheep
Mt. Lion

Lots of stuff, though obviously with varied seasons. I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Coyotes are the only thing you don't need tags for and that have no restrictions (though, you do need a small game permit, I believe).

Here's a good place to start looking for more info: http://www.sdgfp.info/Wildlife/hunting/INDEX.HTM