South Dakota Duck and Goose Seasons Set
PIERRE, S.D. – Finalization of South Dakota’s 2005 fall waterfowl seasons will keep the High Plains area dates at Sept. 24 - Nov. 1 for canvasbacks and pintails and Sept. 24 - Dec. 6 and Dec. 10 - Jan. 1 for all other ducks, coots and mergansers. The proposal had the High Plains seasons opening one week later. Most other areas will also open Sept. 24.
"Changes in the environment seem to be leading to a decrease in the scaup population," said Game, Fish and Parks Waterfowl Biologist Spencer Vaa of Brookings. "In fact, scaup breeding populations sampled during the May Breeding Pair and Habitat Survey fell to 3.4 million, the lowest number recorded in the 50-year history of the survey, which explains the only change from last year’s duck season - lowering the scaup limit from three birds to two."
Overall, the daily duck limit is six ducks, which includes no more than:
Five mallards, of which two may be hens.
Two wood ducks
Hunters may also take five mergansers, one of which can be hooded, and 15 coots.
Possession limits are twice the daily limit.
Duck season dates include:
High Plains: Sept. 24 through Nov. 1 for canvasbacks and pintails, and Sept. 24 through Dec. 6 and Dec. 10 through Jan. 1, 2006, for all other ducks, coots and mergansers.
Low Plains North and Middle Zones: Sept. 24 through Nov. 1 for canvasbacks and pintails, and Sept. 24 through Dec. 6 for all other ducks, coots and mergansers.
Low Plains South Zone: Oct. 8 through Nov. 15 for canvasbacks and pintails, and Oct. 8 through Dec. 20 for all other ducks, coots and mergansers.
For South Dakota’s fall goose season, the area of Fall River and Custer counties that was in a special Canada goose hunting area in 2004 has been moved into fall Canada goose Unit 2. Other changes from last year include:
Increase the Unit 1 Canada goose season from 91 to 93 days.
Increase the Unit 3 Canada goose season from 79 to 86 days.
Reduce the daily bag limit on white-fronted geese from two to one.
"White-front geese populations have been decreasing over the past several years, so the daily limit for these birds was reduced to one," Vaa noted. "The remainder of the goose populations are doing very well, and there should be a lot of geese coming through."
Season dates for Canada geese and brant are:
Unit 1: Sept. 24 through Dec. 25.
Unit 2: Oct. 22 through Jan. 24, 2006.
Unit 3: Sept. 24 through Dec. 18.
Unit 4 (Bennett County): Jan. 14 – 22, 2006.
Statewide seasons for light geese and white-fronted geese would be Sept. 24 through Dec. 18.
Daily limits include:
Three Canada geese, statewide, except in portions of Roberts and Grant counties where the limit is two Canada geese daily from Dec. 1-18.
20 light geese
One white-fronted goose.
Possession limits are twice the daily limit, except for light geese, which are unlimited.