Thursday, March 04, 2010

More On Road Hunting In South Dakota

Road Hunting in South Dakota

Road hunting has been popular in South Dakota for many years as an alternative form of public hunting. South Dakota law allows road hunting for small game and pheasants. Public roads are considered rights-of-way that are open for hunting. Road hunting is legal in South Dakota, but there are several laws that strictly regulate this type of hunting.

Road hunters tend to report high yields from their efforts. Part of the reason why road hunters get such a high yield is because pheasants often gather along roads to collect pebbles for digestion. Also road ditches with brush are common hiding and gathering grounds for pheasants. Road hunting can require a lot of traveling and many road hunters hop from motel to motel in search of pheasants along the public roads of South Dakota.

Rules and Regulations for Road Hunting in South Dakota 

Road hunting is controversial because many private land owners contest that the grounds around public roads are their property and should not be used by road hunters without their consent. However, any game that is shot from a public road that falls on private property may be retrieved by unarmed hunters by law. But, it is still recommended that road hunters seek the permission of private land owners before going onto their property to retrieve game. This helps to avoid unnecessary conflicts and problems.

The law requires hunters to be at least 660 feet away from occupied buildings, homes, livestock, churches, and schools. These laws are strictly enforced in South Dakota. The restrictions on hunting around these areas are for safety reasons and to prevent conflicts between residents and hunters. Also the roads used for road hunting must be well travelled by a clearly worn vehicle trail, otherwise the road may be considered private and unauthorized for hunting.

Self-Guided Private Hunting as an Alternative 

Since most of South Dakota is privately owned, public hunters will often find themselves restricted in the areas that they can hunt in. Private hunting is a way for public hunters to get access to some of the better hunting areas in South Dakota.

For the traditional public road hunter, the option of private hunting may not be very appealing. Having to pay more money and dealing with group number restrictions might not be preferable. However, recently there has been an increased interest in self-guided private hunting.

Although the price of private hunting is higher than public hunting or road hunting, there is the added benefit of hunting on exclusive grounds that are often teeming with pheasants. Self-guided private hunting fees are also normally a lot less than guided hunts.

Self-Guided Hunting Works for Public Hunters and Land Owners 

Farmers and other land owners in South Dakota might not have an interest in setting up guided hunts, but want to make additional income throughout the year. So offering self-guided hunting works perfectly for those land owners who want to license out their land for a fee but don’t want to have to deal with organizing private guided hunts.

Self-guiding hunting is also perfect for those public hunters would prefer to go it alone rather than hunt with the assistance of a guide. However, less experienced public hunters would likely do better on a guided hunt. Self-guided hunting helps road hunters and public hunters avoid conflicts with residents and private land owners, and it also helps private land owners make additional income that they would otherwise not have made. It is a win-win situation for both public hunters and land owners, and it is becoming a viable solution to road hunting conflicts.


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