View Full Version : Looking for info on South Dakota whitetails

12-07-2011, 07:55 AM
Does anyone know anything about the hunting aroung Shadehill Res. in South Dakota? We are looking for a place that I can bowhunt whitetails since I can't go very often here in Colorado (once every 4-5 years on the draw). If anybody knows anything about the hunting in NW SD or if you know of any other public land that we could check out in SD/Nebraska/WY/North Dakota I would appreciate the information!

I got the itch pretty bad this year when I had my whitetail tag and now I am looking to go more! Would love to find something that has some sleeper bucks in it if possible (don't we all want to find that though) :) I'm not looking for 200" bucks but some around the 140/150+ mark would be awesome!


12-07-2011, 02:09 PM
There is a lot of public land in the Little Missouri National Grasslands of North Dakota but is more muley country than whitetail. There are definitely whitetails there but I'm sure it would take some scouting to find them. You can find big whitetails on other public lands in ND too but you really would need the knowledge from one of the locals who would be reluctant to give up their honeyhole. Including me, sorry. Haha. My 2 biggest whitetails(150-155") from ND have come from small pieces of public land.
Have you looked at the private lands open to hunting that SD has? There are some very large chunks of land open to hunting in the northwest part of the state. Not sure how good of hunting it is but I've looked at it on their website.

12-07-2011, 02:12 PM
You could also look at the Black Hills. Lots and lots of public land and I think that you can buy a bow tag OTC. Not 100% sure on that though. From what I've gathered though, 120-130" is about as big as they get there.

12-07-2011, 06:22 PM
Would love to find something that has some sleeper bucks in it if possible (don't we all want to find that though) :) I'm not looking for 200" bucks but some around the 140/150+ mark would be awesome!


Only a 140-150? You're not asking for much are you? Look at Nebraska, there's not as much public land there as there is in the Dakotas, but you're more likely to find a trophy.

Bitterroot Bulls
12-07-2011, 06:37 PM
Have you thought about Montana? There are tons of whitetails in this state, including some real gaggers. I have heard the whitetail densities in the Seely Lake area are some of the highest anywhere. The Libby area also has hug numbers, and has produced some monsters. In Eastern Montana, all of the river bottoms are crawling with them. You can hunt them every year you get a general deer license, but nonresident licenses in MT are expensive.

12-08-2011, 07:53 AM
Thanks for all the info! This is what I am looking for, just starting to look around for something to go to in a few years.

And you're right CrimsonArrow, only a 140-150 ... lol ... I'm not looking for every buck to be this big, but maybe there will be one hanging around that would sneak under my tree. :) I am actually from Nebraska and a couple of those big bucks shot last year were within 30 minutes of where I grew up, but those are few and the hunting isn't like it use to be 10 years ago where anyone would let you hunt their farm land. We have also done some hunting up in the NW corner, but that is starting to get lots of hunters there too.

NDHunter - we have a friend in SD that hunts the black hills and my husband has looked into it too. He says the same thing you do. Lots of bucks but not many that are real big. Something to look into though. Thanks :) I think you should give me a few hints on where those pieces of public lands are so I can go looking! :) But I know what its like keeping your honey hole a secret. We'll look into ND a little more too! Are the tags for archery OTC there?

Bitterroot - I have thought about Montana but like you say those tags are spendy! Might be something to look into though if we can find something good. Thanks for your reply!

I am also thinking about Missouri .... other than lots of hunters I don't know what the public lands are like or how tough it would be to find some big ones.

12-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Bowhuntress- Whitetail only non resident archery tags are OTC, $200. If you want a mule deer archery tag you have to apply for those although it is roughly a 90% draw. Even with my honeyholes aside, I still think your best bet would be the Little Missouri National Grasslands. I'd be able to help you out at least a little bit there. We've had 3 terrible winters in a row here though so deer numbers are way down.

12-11-2011, 08:17 PM
Here is a link to the SD GFP hunting atlas. There is quit a lot of public land in the area of shadehill. WIAs, National Grasslands and State Rec areas. For west river rifle, the season opens the 2nd saturday in november, prior to that, archery hunting should be very good with the deer moving into the rut. We have hunted to the east of shadehill, in Corson County, and had some fun hunts. Numbers of both whitetail and mulies are decent, and if you spend some time, you should be able to find a nice buck.
Dont forget the shotgun for pheasants and the fishing rods for some walleyes!!


12-12-2011, 06:46 AM
Thanks for the info ffd061! I appreciate it. We'll definitely bring the shotgun and fishing rod! :)

07-30-2012, 07:35 PM
before you go check to see how the deer numbers are. I live east river but my inlaws live over in that part of the state and last year we had blue tounge go through the state and kill alot of deer. Some parts of the state loosing 80 to 90% of the deer. Some places it didnt seem to hit while it hit others really hard. i live in the north central part of the state and there isnt a deer over 3 years old left. We lost at least 80% of our deer. Just because the game and fish are issueing alot of tags doesnt mean there is a lot of deer. check with local businesses about the deers numbers. There arent many businesses that in that part of the country that dont hunt or knows someone who does.

08-16-2012, 03:33 PM
herds were hit hard in SD too? Heard about Montana getting hit, but not SD. I know this is a whitetail thread.........but how did the mulies fare?

Looking at hunting the Custer NF area of NW SD next fall. is this a wise decision? I have NF maps of the Little missouri National Grassland. We are mostly mule deer hunting and trophies are not our goal, just a fun deer hunt and hoping to see some mulies. AS trophy would be a bonus. We have PP's for West River deer.

Any info will be appreciated. We are pretty sure we are going to hunt Slim Buttes unless we get word of a better area or get owrd of deer die off.

10-05-2012, 02:58 PM
blue tounge is hitting again in South Dakota. This time it is a new strain. It is killing both muleys and whitetails. A friend told me that in the White River area there is hardly any deer left. What did make it is less than 2 years old. In some areas of the state the GFP isn't doing 2nd or 3rd drawings. There are areas that didnt get hit that are still producing some good deer. not the case where I live in North centeral SD. Try calling and talking to Al at Black Hills Archery (605)394-9663. I am sure he will have the info you need.

03-06-2013, 05:55 PM
I know this thread has been dead a while, but I agree with sdcowboy. SD has been hit pretty hard from EHD the past few years with 2012 being horrible. Most of the deer along the Missouri river were infected and died on the entire southern half of the state as well as the Black Hills. I did not hear of the northern part of the state having as much of a problem, but there was some kill off up there as well. I was out hunting this past year near Pierre and we had some great success. My profile has some pictures from this past year. You can find mulies west of the river and WTs all over the state. If you are looking for big deer, concentrate on places with lots of cover and some crops. Thats where we have found most of our success; however, you have to get away from the road. We put on 10-12 miles of hiking a day when we are hunting, so that is part of the reason we have started to have success. If you are looking for big white tail, check out the southern half of the state along the Missouri river. I would concentrate on the Platte area following the river south and east to Yankton and Sioux City. This is where your white-tail will be, but you run into more private ground and more hunters, but if you hunt from a tree stand that's not usually too big of a deal. If you are looking for Mulies, try right along the river from Platte all the way to the ND line and west. Some of the rolling hills and grasslands can hold some monsters, but you really have to hunt for them. I haven't been to the extreme NW part of the state to hunt, but I'm planning on it this year depending on how much rain we get to get the grass going again. SD is a great state to hunt in with OTC tags, but you will definitely have to work for your deer, but that makes it all more fun!

Check out the SDGFP website and look at the WILMA program