South Dakota


July 20, 2005, 12:00 AM
I will be in South Dakota all next week.I've been to just want to see if any of you could add anything? Minnesota still has a few shops and stores that post NO GUNS.Is that much of a problem there?

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July 20, 2005, 01:33 PM
You shouldn't have any trouble. Unless it's on the list of prohibited places, SD signs carry no legal weight. Come to think of it, I've never seen a no guns sign on a non-prohibited place in SD.

July 20, 2005, 01:36 PM
you cannot carry a gun in a bar, or courthouse - places like that.

i have never seen a 'no guns' sign anywhere, except federal buildings.

open carry is legal w/o a permit, and concealed carry is legal w/ a permit - and s.d. honors many other states' permits.

not sure just why in tarnation you'd think you'd find a 'no guns' sign anywhere here???

July 20, 2005, 11:59 PM
not sure just why in tarnation you'd think you'd find a 'no guns' sign anywhere here???
This is my first trip to your area and just thought I'd ask.There are still alot of places here that are posted,thankfully that number seems to be going down as everyone sees how little trouble we cause.

July 21, 2005, 01:05 AM
i think you'll find most folks in s.d. to be generally pro-gun...

realize the sturgis rally is starting to heat up, so depending on where exactly you'll be, it could be a bit crowded.

enjoy your visit.

July 21, 2005, 02:22 AM
One thing I found out by doing a little bit of reading is that South Dakota has the highest per capita population of CCW permit holders in the country. Just a little bit of info I thought I'd pass on.

July 21, 2005, 06:05 AM
In addition to not being able to carry in bars...

Well, if you've visited, you know.

I have never seen a "no guns" sign other than places like the court house, sheriff's office, etc.

Any particular place you're going, or anything in particular you're looking to do?

Enjoy your visit.

July 21, 2005, 06:29 AM
We are doing Rushmore,Custer State Park and whatever else we can find.We are staying in Hill City. Thanks again.

July 21, 2005, 06:38 AM
Custer State Park Wildlife Loop is awesome. I never get tired of that one. If you're going to Mt. Rushmore, I advise driving Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road. They would be great on a sport bike. Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens are cool. I live in SD and I still go to them every time I make it out to the Hills. Spearfish Canyon's nice. Can always stop in Deadwood and have a drink at The Saloon #10 where Wild Bill was shot. Lot of history and really beautiful country out there.

July 21, 2005, 05:06 PM
If you do happen to hit Bear Country USA and/or Reptile Gardens, look for Beretta Road ( between the Keystone turn off on HWY 16 and Reptile Gardens. About a quarter mile north on Beretta Road is a free-for-all range. Unfortunately it will probably look more like a dump, but it is free and no one will bother you as long as you're safe (should you feel the need to relax at some point during your stay :) )

July 21, 2005, 05:22 PM
If you're staying in Hill City, allow me to make a couple recommendations.

Best Western Golden Spike is a great little breakfast spot (they have the cutest waitress in the hills (hands off though, she's taken))

the Alpine Inn on main has some very good steak.

The Cafe over in keystone has cinnamon rolls the size of your head if you have a bit of a sweet tooth.

Botticelli's Ristorante on main st. in Rapid City is probably the best italian place, though it is expensive.

To Do:

Of course, Needles Highway, Iron Mountain road, and custer state park are must does, don't forget to drive the pigtails (awesome on a bike).

Sylvan Lake is a nice spot to picnic or hike if you happen to want to stop on your way through custer state park.

If you are so inclined, Horsethief Lake is on the way from Hill City to rushmore , and it has a pretty good trout poputlation.

Well, I think I'll stop there but it should give you a good idea for some things to look into. Oh, one more thing, if you decide to go for a hike, unless property is marked no trespassing, there is no such thing as trespassing.

July 21, 2005, 05:37 PM
I was out there last summer. Beautiful part of the country. Went to a chuck wagon dinner in Custer State Park through the Blue Belle Resort. Gave real meaning to the song "Home On the Range." In Deadwood, check out the Bullock Hotel. Legend says it's haunted. Stayed there two nights and didn't see any ghosts. If stopping in Sturgis, check out the Knucle Bar. Awesome burgers with a rock-n-roll station broadcasting live inside the bar.

July 21, 2005, 05:40 PM
Good info. thanks again to all :) :)

rust collector
July 21, 2005, 07:58 PM
If you find yourself in the northern hills, Deadwood Thymes and The Club in Spearfish have some good eats. You may want to minimize travel in late evening, as the deer seem to be everywhere.

There's a lot to see, but it will be a bit crowded on the main roads this time of year. The Mickelson Trail, a great rails-to-trails corridor through the center of the hills, comes right through Hill City. Enjoy!

July 21, 2005, 08:16 PM
Too bad you won't be there for the Sturgis Rally!!
I used to live in Rapid City, SD.
There are a lot of caves to visit. You also are not that far from Davil's Tower. (It is in Wyoming. In case you don't know, it is the flat mountain thing in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind.) Also, for the BEST ribs, go to the Firehouse in Rapid City. (They also make their own beer and rootbeer.)
the Custer State park wildlife loop is awesome!! But don't do what dumbass tourusts do every year; get out and try to touch the Buffalo. (I know you are brighter than THAT!)
Also, the Badland is a MUST see in my opinion. Have a GREAT time!!

July 21, 2005, 10:35 PM
This thread is making me homesick. I used to live in Spearfish in the northern hills. Check out Spearfish Canyon. I used to like Bell's in Spearfish for beef tips. The "original" Latchstring Inn in the canyon was my favorite for breakfast. They tore it down and built some milled log monstrosity in its place. They call it progress.

July 21, 2005, 11:15 PM
Might want to squeeze in a side trip to Hot Springs for a dip in the hot spring fed pool there.

Anyplace you go is likely to have buffalo burgers on the menu - don't miss that. Out at Custer State Park you can also get pheasant in the main hotel dining room.

July 22, 2005, 06:34 AM
Speaking of deer, there are TONS of them out in the Hills. They're a lot smarter than East River deer and don't tend to commit suicide by jumping out in front of your car. Couple of years ago the wife and I counted thirty some in a twelve mile stretch. Mulies, I think.

July 25, 2005, 09:25 PM

You are correct, this thread is making me homesick. I've been to the Latchstring Inn. I don't know when it was torn down but my visit (stayed in the hotel across the road from it) was in '98.

Hot Springs was a regular haunt even though I lived in Rapid City. Spearfish Canyon was an every other weekend drive. Custer State Park, Needles Highway, none of it ever got boring for me. I do miss it a lot. ::sigh:: Someday I'll go back.

July 25, 2005, 11:17 PM
Drove through SD a couple times coming and going to the Bridger-Teton wilderness and the Wind River range.
Thought it would never end.

Then: I started to hunt ringnecks around Platte. Spent days walking the corn, windrows, and swails and Missouri river bottom in the bright blue sunny crispness of fall. Looking at the buttes that appeared to be a couple miles away, but were many many miles away. The vast land that made one feel that one was standing in the middle of an upside down saucer. Talking to the friendly folks who manned the little restaurants, watering holes and farms; the same wives of the locals serving breakfast at one spot in the morning, lunch in the afternoon and supper at the tavern at night, shooting pool and laughing with the boys from Michigan. (Grabbing a little noisy youngun' once in awhile and letting him know the ladies were there to serve their guests, make a few dollars to feed their families, not ramp up their alcohol fired libido. We have our good Michigan reputation to protect, after all) Hunting the land that was specially kept to protect the wily, kevlar clad ringnecks for a few bucks a gun that got you a place to sleep, a warm meal or two and young lad to guide you and pacify the neighbor that did not like the interloper crossing his land. (We were always careful to walk unloaded across some land that we had no permission to hunt, and only when we had no other choice) The roads that had no names but were on the 1/4 mile (two tracks) 1/2 mile (semi-improved) and on the mile (sometimes paved, but mostly hard pan) and directions by the mile and Charlie's farm. Sitting on a ditch-side and looking far, far down the road and seeing a black dot that after awhile began to get me to thinking that I was going blind or having a stroke as it kept getting bigger and bigger, filling my vision, heart starting to pound, and then finally realizing it was a bunch of Angus being herded up the road by some farm hands. Nevers saw so far down a road before. (What a relief) Walking through a field, the dominion of a large bull, wondering if I would be fast enough and knowing #4 shot was a joke. Looking at 4 corners of swale surrounded by standing and cut corn. A couple of trees in the swale appeared to have dozens of hornets nest in the branches. Slam the car door and discover the nest were roosting pheasants who were in the trees because there were so many birds on the ground that there was no more room except in the trees. Hunting the same 1/2 mile square cornfield with 4 walkers and 2 blockers from noon till dark. After we got our limits, we kept walking just to see the birds.

SD, God's country inhabited by America's best. I salute ya'll.

July 26, 2005, 07:59 AM
grampster- nice... romantic... now knock it off! ;) we already have plenty of people here, especially from october thru january - know what i mean??? but, you are right in that to appreciate s.d. you need to get boots on the ground and a rifle in your hands - though a shotgun is better than nothing. next time you're out chasing pheasants around, try to watch the fine details a little more - you'll start noting other critters worthy of your attention, like coyotes.

for you guys waxing about spearfish canyon... it ain't the same place as it was. people found out it was a beautiful area, so they thought they should live there - and lots of other people thought the same thing, so the developers came in...

my in-laws live in sturgis, so i spend a fair amount of time there. they (my in-laws) are building a new bar in town, and its gonna be a big 'un. about a city block, 2 stories plus another bar in the basement (effectively, 3 stories). trying to get it ready for the rally, but they aren't gonna make it. so, they'll just have some of the bar accessible for this year's rally.

July 26, 2005, 10:23 AM
"We are doing Rushmore,Custer State Park and whatever else we can find.We are staying in Hill City. Thanks again."

Hey, I did that a couple of months ago (even stayed in a cabin in Hill City). Great buffalo burgers around there. Lots to see and do. Be sure you ride the 1880 Train!

July 26, 2005, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the travel tips, guys but...

How 'bout we get back to the question about carrying?

Rushmore is a Nat'l Park/Monument. Off limits? Probably.

Custer is a State Park. OK? I dunno.

The entire Black Hills area is a Nat'l Forest, which should be OK. If you have a permit that's good in SD, just keep your hardware covered and nobody will know or care.

Indian reservations are a whole 'nuther country, so be aware of your location at all times. They get to make their own rules, regardless of the fact that you're within the state of SD.

I plan to be there in late September. I like SD. In June, I was there to kill some prairie rats. One sign was especially humorous - in Gettysburg, I think:

"Pheasant and fur country. Activists unwelcome!"

The folks there are pretty decent.


July 27, 2005, 06:11 AM
Last I knew, the Highway Patrol was guarding Mount Rushmore and I believe that it was off-limits for carry. I've never gone there while carrying so I can't say for sure.

I've carried in Custer State Park before without any problems. I believe the SD laws on firearms in state parks are that they have to be in a case (sounds like it applies to long guns in regards to shooting four legged critters.) I've never run into anything more than a college student employee in CSP.

Frankly, there aren't too many peace officers in SD. I can't suggest you break the law, but your chances of getting caught aren't that good. Concealed is concealed, after all.

JonnyB was talking about signs? There's a billboard on I-29 southbound, north of Sioux Falls that reads something to the effect: We South Dakotans reject animal activists. Hunting, fishing, and fur are our life.

Gotta love it.

July 27, 2005, 08:42 AM
that same billboard is on i-90 westbound near the spencer off ramp.

carrying in mt rushmore is a no-no. i was carrying my 1911 in there, and they asked me to take the mag out of the gun, put the gun in the glove box and put the mag under the seat.

carrying at custer... dunno. was never asked, so i never told. you cannot shoot in the park, however (so leave the prairie dogs alone). outside the park (in the black hills), you can carry all you like, and shoot as much as makes ya happy. kind of a hassle to shoot in the hills, though, because there are so many people out riding horses, or dirt bikes, or camping, or fishing, or whatever... to me, its just easier to go somewhere else to shoot...

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