South Dakota Proposed Change to Duck Hunting Start Dates

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) Commission proposed to change the start date of the Low Plains Middle and Low Plains North duck hunting zones at their December meeting.

The proposed change would modify the start date of these two zones from the last Saturday of September to the Saturday closest to September 24.

The change would provide hunters an earlier start to the season in some years to take advantage of local breeding ducks.

The commission also proposed to decrease the daily limit of scaup from 3 to 1. This proposed change came from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The proposal would have the following season dates and daily limits:

Season Dates and Open Areas:

High Plains Zone: Oct. 10, 2020 – Jan. 14, 2021

Low Plains North & Low Plains Middle Zone: Sept. 26 – Dec. 8, 2020

Low Plains South Zone: Oct. 24, 2020 – Jan. 5, 2021

Daily Limits:

Ducks: 6

The duck limit may be comprised of no more that 5 mallards (which may include no more than 2 hens), 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 canvasbacks, 1 pintail and 1 scaup.

2 Bonus blue-winged teal (first 16 days of the season only)

Low Plains North & Low Plains Middle Zones: Sept. 26 – Oct. 11, 2020

Low Plains South Zone: Oct. 24 – Nov. 8, 2020

High Plains Zone: Oct. 10 – 25, 2020

Coots: 15

Mergansers: 5 (may include no more than 2 hooded mergansers)

The commission proposed no changes to the early fall goose season.

Possession Limits: Three times the daily bag limits

To comment in person, the public hearing will be held Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. CST at the Red Rossa Convention Center in Pierre. Individuals can comment online at or mail comments to 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, SD 57501. To be included in the public record and to be considered by the commission, comments must include a full name and city of residence and meet the submission deadline of 72 hours before the public hearing (not including the day of the public hearing).