Prairie Chicken & Grouse Hunting

Located primarily in the western two-thirds and central portion of South Dakota, sharp-tailed grouse overlap with prairie chickens, which are located along the Missouri River near the central portion of the state. Many hunters frequent the overlapping area to hunt for both species at once. Both grouse and prairie chickens inhabit areas of mature prairie grasslands, especially those in close proximity to rivers and farmlands. In cool or wet conditions, the birds seek shelter atop high ridge tops; in hot summer climates, they can be found seeking shady respite beneath trees and bushes. Grouse and prairie chicken hunting season varies according to which portion of the state you’re hunting in.

Residing in western South Dakota in the heavily wooded Black Hills region, ruffed grouse prefer to stay near forest clearings, burned areas, or alongside mountain meadows. They also have shown a proclivity for aspen trees. Ruffed grouse hunting season runs from mid-September to mid-December.

Season and Location

The hunting season for prairie chicken and grouse runs from the middle of September to the beginning of January.

Sharp-tail grouse and prairie chickens are mainly located throughout the central part of the state along the Missouri, but they can be found all throughout the state. Ruff Grouse are found in the heavily wooded Black Hills area.

Applying for a License

Like all small game hunting in the state you must apply for a license. To learn more about the hunting dates and licensing information please check our South Dakota Hunting License page.

Tags: Hunting

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