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15
Pheasant Hunters Should Be Aware of Road Hunting Rules In South Dakota



PIERRE, S.D.—In recent years the Legislature and the S.D. Department of Game, Fish and Parks have worked to ease the tensions that developed between landowners and road hunters.



In trying to interpret what’s allowable and what isn’t, laws and rules have proliferated to the point where road-hunting regulations take up an entire page in GFP’s Hunting and Trapping Handbook.



Yet, the road-hunting tradition embraced by so many South Dakotans has not become overly complicated, according to Emmett Keyser, assistant director of the Wildlife Division. “If a road hunter remembers to pull his vehicle as far over to the right as he can, shut off the engine and close the doors after he gets out, then he’s done most of what he needs to do,” Keyser said.



Hunters shooting from a right-of-way should also keep in mind the 660-foot safety zone required near an occupied dwelling, church, school and livestock. The safety zone, which applies only to road hunting, was an important addition to South Dakota law, according to GFP Law Enforcement Program Administrator Andy Alban. “Hunters who keep that zone in mind are doing their part to ensure the safety of people and livestock and to ensure the future of road hunting.”



Pheasants and waterfowl may be hunted from the right of way. Hunters may not road hunt for doves or big game. The big game restriction also applies to U.S. Forest Service roads in the Black Hills.



“Road hunting has been under a lot of legislative and public scrutiny in recent years,” said Keyser. “Hunters would do well to read page 26 of the Hunting Handbook to brush up on the regulations. However, the rules of road hunting aren’t so complicated that hunters can’t adapt and keep that tradition alive.”

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