Aberdeen Hunting – Feel The Rush Of The Flush

Better Late Than Ever

Late season hunting in Aberdeen holds some distinct advantages for hunters looking to fill their bags.

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From the field to the dinner table

Whatever your traditions are, as the holidays approach, we encourage you to continue the tradition around the dinner table, and feast on some of the spoils of your hunt with our delicious holiday pheasant recipes!

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It’s time to bag some birds!

Join us in Aberdeen this fall as we celebrate 100 years of South Dakota pheasant hunting. All the amenities you need for a successful hunt, and a memorable stay, are available for you and your pheasant hunting friends and family!

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Walk-Ins Welcome

With over 322,000 acres of public and private land to hunt upon, Aberdeen and the Brown County area are the premiere destination for pheasant hunting in South Dakota.

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Terry Larson

Terry Larson, owner of the Hitch'n'Post in Aberdeen SD, discusses the history of the Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition.

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5 Tips to Get Your Dog Ready for Pheasant Season

Don’t just assume that your pup is as ready and able as you are to get out in the fields, be sure of it. Follow these tips for getting your dog ready, and he’ll be flushing the fields like the champion he is!

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Aberdeen Hotels Welcome Pets

Amy Engelhart talks about the pet friendly accommodations in Aberdeen available to pheasant hunters and their pets.

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Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition

Casey Weismantel, Executive Director of the Aberdeen Convention & Visitors Bureau, discusses the formation and mission of the Aberdeen Pheasant Coalition.

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The Tradition Continues

Watch Cameron Wyly a CRP advocate talk about the traditions and experiences that can be made while hunting the fields of Aberdeen, South Dakota.

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Aberdeen Leading The Way In Boosting Pheasant Habitat

Watch Emmett Lenihan, a Farm Bill Biologist with Pheasants Forever discuss CRP Land and Pheasant Nesting cover in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

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Aberdeen Pheasant Hunting

In the Northeast plains of South Dakota, there lies a vast area of land, over 322,000 acres, that is home to the world’s most prestigious hunting grounds for ring-necked pheasants. Hunters from all over the globe convene upon these grasslands every year, from October to January, to take their shot at bagging their limit of Roosters. This area is Brown County, and at the heart of it, is the city of Aberdeen.

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Pheasant Hunting

Aberdeen, South Dakota is THE place to hunt wild pheasants. The Aberdeen area has been named as one of the top producing locations to harvest roosters in South Dakota. With more than 322,000 acres of public and private land, Aberdeen is the place to get the most out of your hunting experience.

Why Hunt in Brown County?

  • This region offers public hunting, fully-guided or self-guided hunts on private land, and preserve hunting
  • Pet friendly hotels – some with bird cleaning facilities available
  • Consistently ranks in the top half of SD counties for birds per hunter
  • Offers one of the state’s best assortments of hunting lodges
  • Residents provide a welcoming atmosphere for hunters from all around the country

View Season Information

Season Dates

Youth Pheasant Information
Resident-Only Pheasant Information
Tentative Future Season Dates

Daily Limit

3 rooster pheasants

Possession Limit

15 rooster pheasants, taken according to the daily limit. The limit accrues at the rate of 3 birds a day, and 15 birds may not be possessed until after the fifth day of hunting.

Open Area

All of South Dakota except the following: Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Brown County is open Dec. 10, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019. Renziehausen Game Production Area and Game Bird Refuge in Brown and Marshall Counties, Gerken Game Bird Refuge in Faulk County and White Lake Game Bird Refuge in Marshall County are open Dec. 1, 2018 - Jan. 6, 2019.

Shooting Hours

Noon Central Time for the first 7 days of the season; 10 a.m. Central Time, to sunset the rest of the season. Central Time is used for opening shooting hours statewide.

License Requirements


Small Game License, any Combination License, Youth Small Game License or 1-Day Small Game License


Nonresident Small Game License or Nonresident Youth Small Game License (each valid for two 5-day hunting periods; start dates must be identified before license issued). Multiple licenses may be purchased to hunt more than the two 5-day periods allowed by one license.

Residents / Non-Resident License Requirements


  • My first time hunting in SD was last year. Wow! For an old country boy from TN who has hunted since I was just a kid, this was one of the most memorable trips of my life. I can’t wait until this coming year.

    -Bill from Tennessee
  • I live in Minnesota and have been hunting pheasants for years in South Dakota. I look forward to introducing my son to hunting and there is no better place in the world to do this than in South Dakota.

    -Austin from Minnesota
  • Love the hunt; working the dogs is great fun for both me and the dogs. Look forward to my few days in South Dakota hunting the allusive pheasants. It’s time to bond with old classmates from the past.

    -Troy from Texas

Where to Hunt

South Dakota has over 5 million acres of hunting opportunity on public land and private land that has been leased for public hunting.

The vast majority of the state is land held in private ownership. Permission is required to hunt private land in South Dakota. Your ability to develop a connection with private landowners will enhance your hunting opportunities. We encourage you to work as individuals and through your local sportsmen’s clubs to create a personal and working relationship with private landowners. Respect their rights and their land.

Public Hunting

Walk-In Areas

General Hunting Access

South Dakota has a rich hunting heritage - one that includes lots of game and lots of places to hunt. For the past 15 years, the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks has been working hard to maintain that rich heritage by providing hunting access on privately owned lands. The department does this by contracting with landowners who have CRP or other valuable wildlife habitat. The landowner opens the land to unlimited, free public hunting, which is open to foot-traffic-only hunting, in exchange for a small payment and immunity from non-negligent liability. It has been a great program and currently has more than 900,000 acres enrolled.

Game Production Area Public Hunting

Game Production Areas are generally managed for the production and maintenance of all wildlife species. Although species emphasis varies from site to site, all wildlife benefits. South Dakota has approximately 719 Game Production Areas, totaling more than 293,000 acres. Signs are yellow and black.

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Open year round to public hunting and fishing access. CREP lands are owned by private individuals who have enrolled them in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and signed a lease agreement with South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to provide public hunting and fishing access.

Hunting Area Rules & Information

Private Hunting

Sportsmen have a variety of private hunting options for both released and wild birds in the Aberdeen region. South Dakota private preserves typically have a longer season and varying limits and fees. Private hunting lodges also typically offer full-service, all-inclusive hunts for outdoor enthusiasts who want a five-star experience.

View Aberdeen Hunting Lodges