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Road hunting pheasants- 660 feet, 50 yards guide road hunters in SD

PIERRE, S.D.—In recent years rules have proliferated governing road hunting. However, if pheasant hunters keep two distances in mind, they will help ensure a safe hunt.

Road hunters should always remember that no hunting is allowed on road rights-of-way within 660 feet of any school, church, occupied dwelling or livestock. Hunting regulations state that neither the person doing the shooting nor the small game animal being shot at may be within the 660-foot safety zone.

“Some safety zones are marked, but others are not,” said Andy Alban, law enforcement staff specialist for the S.D. Department of Game, Fish and Parks. “It is the responsibility of the hunter, not the landowner, to recognize and maintain a safe distance.”

Hunters should also remember the distance of 50 yards when leaving a vehicle by the side of the road while hunting along a right-of-way. If the person discharging a gun is more than 50 yards from the vehicle, the doors on the side of the vehicle nearest the road must be closed, but the engine can be running. If the person discharging firearms is closer than 50 yards, all the doors on the vehicle must be closed and the engine must be off.

Small game, except mourning dove, may be hunted from the road right-of-way. An additional law prohibits shooting big game from the road right-of-way, including U.S. Forest Service roads in the Black Hills. Alban suggests that hunters who plan on hunting on public rights-of-way during the pheasant season that starts on Oct. 21 should familiarize themselves with all the rules governing road hunting. Those rules can be found on page 26 of the 2006 Hunting and Trapping Handbook.

Copies of the handbook are available from GFP offices and from most licensing agents. The handbook can also be downloaded from the GFP Web site at

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