Prairie dog hunting, South Dakota


May 22, 2013, 06:46 PM
Going to be in the Custer, SD area at the end of July on vacation. Looking to do some prairie dog shooting, can anyone recommend some public land in the area to go?

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May 22, 2013, 06:53 PM
Unless things have change any rancher will welcome you with open arms. Just ask around. Feed stores & hardware are are a good start. I got several (Custer) from car rental company in Rapid City. Bring LOADS OF AMMO!!!

May 23, 2013, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the info.

May 23, 2013, 04:29 PM
I was told to check in with the US Forest District Office and they have maps of the areas of dog towns to hunt. So I guess I'll try that when I get there.

May 23, 2013, 07:32 PM
There is a small town southwest of Custer but it doesn't have a lot of dogs. I'd go for Buffalo Gap grasslands which is run by the USDA\Forest Service for maps. It is both south and east of the hills. Too bad you can't shoot them in Custer Park. There are a lot of dogs but they are a tourist attraction more than anything.

May 23, 2013, 08:32 PM
Buffalo Gap grasslands is where I was told to check out.

May 23, 2013, 08:51 PM
Here's the link for South Dakota maps. Keep in mind that there is a lot of land so you'll want to talk to people to find the dog towns. Have fun.

May 23, 2013, 09:13 PM
Prairie dogs are not an open season varmit. I'm not sure of the dates but there is a closed season sometime during the summer months

May 24, 2013, 05:13 AM
No, there is NO closed season on state or private land. The tribes each set up their own regulations, but I dont hunt on tribal ground, so I don't keep up with them. A few areas are closed to hunting year round due to black footed ferret populations. However, as a lifelong SD resident though, I can ASSURE you there is no "season" or "limits" on prairie rats!

Prairie Dog

Season: Year-round, Prairie dog shooting is prohibited year-round in the Conata Basin and several other areas within the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. Please contact the US Forest Service for additional information regarding specific closure locations at (605)279-2125.
Limit: Unrestricted
Shooting Hours: Unrestricted

May 28, 2013, 03:01 PM
Dave, I too am a resident and I'll stand corrected on the what I said about a closed period. That was lilfted two years ago per the ranger at the Wall station. However, he went on to say that if a person is not familiar with the off limits areas of the Nat'l Grasslands they should check at any of the offices.

May 28, 2013, 04:51 PM
There has never been a closed season on state or private ground in SD. AS I said, federal and Indian reservations are another story, and the ranger was most likely referring to ederal lands, as that is in their jurisdiction. State conservation officers are whom you should reference questions regarding state and private lands to. The rangers on the National Grasslands have no jurisdiction over private lands, and likely aren't familiar with state laws regarding such things. The info he gave you may well have been accurate regarding federal lands. I have no reason to hunt federal land, as my family owns a ranch with a small resident prairie dog population (and smaller each year, as we poison the things to save pastureland and prevent their spread) and I can get my fill of shooting them there. Being a licensed "pesticide applicator" my father is well versed in the laws regarding prairie dogs.

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