South Dakota Considers New First-Time Hunting License

Adult-onset hunters may get a leg up in South Dakota. A new hunting license for first-time adult hunters has been proposed that would allow new hunters to bypass the state’s lottery system and hunt during their first year. The idea was proposed by Janet Loux, who teaches the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department’s (SDGFP) Becoming an Outdoors Woman (B.O.W.) workshops.


First Time Hunting License

First-time adult hunters in South Dakota may be able to bypass the state’s deer hunting license lottery and hunt their first year. (Photo courtesy

Loux says women who took the class were excited to get out and hunt only to be deterred by the state’s deer hunting license lottery system where you must apply months in advance for a chance at a license. Hence, her idea to for a different first-time hunter license.

“I think it’s important to tap into their excitement right away,” Loux told The Capital Journal.

Loux’s proposal was initially geared only towards new adult hunters who had completed the HuntSafe course the same year that they applied for their hunting license; however, the state doesn’t require hunters over the age of 16 to complete that course so Loux was asked to modify that language in her proposal to remove that technicality, which she did. Her request also states that new hunters with this new license “would need to be accompanied by a more experienced hunter,” The Capital Journal reports.


The SDGFP Commission voted in favor of Loux’s petition, which now means that it must go through a 30-day public comment period before the new license will be approved by the commission during its May meeting.

SDGFP Wildlife Division Chief Tony Leif says that they will “likely use the opportunity to change the state’s youth deer hunting season into more of an apprentice hunter season that deals less with age and more with experience.” By modifying the language, it would be more inclusive of new adult hunters while also making it not necessary to add a new license type.

The full language of Loux’s proposal can be found HERE.


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