View Full Version : SD Public Land

02-23-2011, 10:03 AM
I've hunted SD for mulies for several years, lets see how others have faired in this great prairie state.

02-23-2011, 11:19 AM
I am planning my first hunt there this year. Looking forward to it. I think we will be going in December.

02-23-2011, 01:34 PM
I've been curious about SD myself, granted it is a ways away from Washington. I read a few articles saying some good things about the "walk-in only" areas which would be perfect for getting away from the roads. Is it draw for non-residents or OTC for most areas?

Doe Nob
02-23-2011, 02:03 PM
There are no deer in South Dakota.

Rifle draw, archery is OTC.

02-23-2011, 03:07 PM
Did you guys see Nate Simmons SD hunt on Video Trailer? Can't wait to see that hunt!

02-23-2011, 03:34 PM
South Dakota has some big mulies if your gonna work for it. Def look at the Walk-in Areas. We have a large spread of private land we hunt in SW South Dakota. Right next to our private land one of the ranchers put all his land in the Walk-in Area program. Lots and Lots of land.

02-23-2011, 06:51 PM
I've been thinking about going back to SD to hunt. I was a resident for 13 yrs but spent all my time hunting whitetails East River. Now I'm kicking myself for not spending more time West River!!!

02-23-2011, 08:06 PM
Rob, where you living now?

02-24-2011, 04:45 AM
Iowa......I'm heading in the wrong direction!

02-24-2011, 10:33 PM
Work for it is correct. We've still encountered people 4 miles back into some land that just looks plain useless. But its that small area of 80 acres that holds them...that you got to get to. We know of 150 plus mulies in a spot that gets hunted hard...people are just too lazy or are trigger happy. Biggest tip i can give is that the mulies usually rut about 2 weeks after the whitetails where we go...at least the majority of the whitetails. There are a ton of road hunters which can really blow.

And as far as no deer in sd, i've walked draws and pushed out 100+ deer.

02-24-2011, 10:33 PM
Did you guys see Nate Simmons SD hunt on Video Trailer? Can't wait to see that hunt!

Yeah, how crazy was that?!

02-25-2011, 12:07 PM
Here are some SD muleys, nothing to incredible but I couldn't pass them up! As you can tell there is still some room for improvement on the photo skills!




02-25-2011, 12:08 PM
Unfortunately the first two weren't public land muleys... Here is one my brother got a piece of public ground... sorry the pics are kinda blury it was getting dark and we had a long haul to get out of there before midnight...



I would say a person's best shot a big boy on public land is with a bow, by the time the rifle season comes around there usually has been enough pressure to push them onto private refuges...

02-27-2011, 08:18 PM
How did you upload your images?

02-27-2011, 09:54 PM
I upload them on my photobucket account. Then I just copy and paste the IMG code. There are several free image hosting websites.

02-28-2011, 12:24 PM
Im building points for the blackhills any tips for a diy hunter coming from NY.

02-28-2011, 01:12 PM
Im building points for the blackhills any tips for a diy hunter coming from NY.

I have never hunted the black hills but I read somewhere that there are a lot of bucks in the black hills but not very many big ones. Not sure how true it is...maybe someone here could comment on that??

02-28-2011, 02:20 PM
Put in for the the whitetail tag. Black hills deer are the smallest deer we hunt, it is more of a fun hunt than trophy hunt. It isn't unusual to see several bucks in a day, but a 130 deer is a nice one. If I wanted a big mule deer I would either try the West River deer season or Wyoming, Colorado, or Montana. They have the Mule Deer tags at about 10% of total tags given out, so If they get the cougers under control hopefully our Mule deer will improve.

02-28-2011, 02:48 PM
Here are some representative Whitetails from the Hills. There are bigger ones out there, but they are the exception rather than the rule. If I was looking for a fun hunt in reasonable terrain, it is a great place. Kind of like an easy to draw antelope hunt in Wyoming. If you want to find a wall hanger on public land I think there are better oppotunities out there...When you draw shoot me a PM



03-01-2011, 09:27 AM
Thanks for the info on what deer to put in for. A fun hunt is all im looking for as I see the hunt as the fun part and taging a buck a bonus. So when I apply I should put in for nr whitetail, are there different units in the hills? Plan on packing in and hunting out of a small tent if that make a differance as to where i should go.

03-01-2011, 02:22 PM
The Black Hills buck unit covers the entire hills, they only break it up for antlerless tags. There are some wilderness (roadless) areas, but they aren't very big. Most places you can go for a hike and cross a dozen forestry roads on any given hunt. The Black Hills are well developed so you can stay in a cabin with a hot tub and have a buck standing 20 ft out your window. This is a hunt you can bring your family on if you want to, there are lots of touristy things for women and children to do during the day.

04-22-2011, 09:56 PM
Being from SD, I have some mixed feelings about the hunting opportunities. Each year, I find out what new walk-in acres have been opened up and always scout pre-season. If you're looking to kill a big buck on public land in SD, your best best is to hunt the archery season early. Walk-in gets absolutely hammered during rifle season. There also isn't much walk-in to begin with. the best hunting is on private land and most of the landowners have signs posted that say, "Don't even ask." You're also not going to be limited with the walk-in you do get (besides the black hills). A lot of it is only a mile square or so. I would say that 99% of big deer you see being taken out of SD are off private land that the hunter paid some money for.

04-27-2011, 10:59 PM
just in the last 3 years there has been thousands of acres of private land put into walk in areas in the hills, mostly in the southwest part. It is true that the antler size is smaller in the hills, but there are thousands of deer. Whitetail are more plentiful than the mulies, but its not uncommon to drive by a field and see 70 deer at one time, after SD made the deer tags a draw in the hills about 14 years ago the deer population has boomed, both hunts are a draw in SD but the archery is almost guaranteed and is a VERY long season, Approx sept 27th through dec 31st and is also an any deer(mule or whitetail) and you can get a statewide tag.

08-16-2012, 05:42 PM
Anybody hunt the nW corner? Custer NF? Slim Buttes.....Cave Hills.....Short Pines area. Unit is 35-L now. I know tags are limited. I posted this on another thread, but thought I would ask you guys too. Looking at Rifle next fall 2013. We are not road hunters......we strap on the old boot straps on and get out on foot. any advice or info??