Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In South Dakota [No] 

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Pigeons are the most common pest. Abundant food and shelter attract them more to the city. They like to build a nest inside tall buildings with nearby food sources. But is it illegal to kill pigeons in South Dakota?    

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Colorado. You can remove annoying pests from your house at any time. The state does not protect them. But you cannot take down Mourning doves until the Small games. Mourning doves are migratory birds. So, they are under state protection.  

Killing pigeons is the easiest and most recommended method. This article will guide you on the rules and laws on pigeon hunting in South Dakota.    

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In South Dakota? 

It is legal to hunt and eat all pigeon species in South Dakota. There are three pigeons or dove species in the state the Mourning dove, the Eurasian collared dove, and the Rock pigeon. The wildlife authorities allow the hunting of Eurasian collared doves and Rock pigeons all year.  

But, hunters will have to wait for small games to take down Mourning doves. You can identify them with a small head and slender body. They have pointed tails with white tips. The overall color of the Mourning doves is tan or greyish brown.  

Their size instantly increases from 9-13 inches to 15-18 inches as soon as they spread their wings. Mourning doves also have black spots on the wings and a dark spot under the eye.  

They are under state protection. So, you cannot kill or hunt them at any time. Mourning dove hunting season begins on the first of September and ends on the ninth of November. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In South Dakota?

It is not legal to hunt Mourning doves off-season. Mourning doves are migratory birds. The birds that travel long distances for a better climate and food are called migratory birds. According to USA law, you cannot capture, harm, catch, kill, bait, or trap any migratory or protected bird species. 

The USA has a defined list of migratory bird species. The Mourning doves are part of that list. So, they are included in MBTA or Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This Treaty was signed in 1918 by the USA and another foreign country.   

So, in South Dakota, you cannot hunt them unless it is the hunting season. Not only you have limited hunting days, but also a limited harvest count. Hunters have a daily bag count of 15 birds, and the possession limit is three times the daily bag limit. It is legal to eat pigeons. But it is better to avoid the meat of Feral pigeons as they carry many pathogens that can cause disease.  

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In South Dakota State 

South Dakota has defined laws to ensure safe pigeon shooting. These laws can help you in pigeon shooting, even if you are a beginner. A few of these laws are discussed below for your guidance.   

Hunter Safety Course 

Every hunter in South Dakota must complete Hunter Safety Course before purchasing a hunting license. Participants of all ages can take this course. But people 11 or younger will be given their certificate as soon as they turn 12.  

It is a classroom-style course that teaches the student about the use of hunting weapons, laws, ethics, and safety rules. To obtain the certificate, students must take all the classes. Students will be given a test at the end. So, you must pass the test to qualify for the certificate. 

People younger than 16 must complete a field day after completing the online course to receive their certificate. But participants 16 and above will receive theirs after completing the online course. 

Hunting License    

All hunters, residents, or non-residents are required to purchase a hunting license. The license is available online, or you can contact a wildlife agent. There are several types of hunting licenses according to age, residence, background, and other special requirements.   

The state offers lifetime hunting licenses to people above 65. A youth hunting license is for people 11 to 17. But these hunters must be under the supervision of an adult.   

For a resident hunting license, you must have a domicile within South Dakota for at least 90 consecutive days. The person also must not have residency in any other state or foreign country for any purpose. 

Shooting Time

The hunting time begins a half hour before sunrise and ends a half hour after sunset. Hunters can hunt as much as they want to during this time. Using weapons late at night and on Sunday is not safe and is a crime.   

Daily Bag And Possession Limit.   

The daily bag limit means the number of pigeons one can hunt in a day. It is specific for each state. In South Dakota, the daily bag limit of the Mourning dove is 15. But the daily possession limit is 45.  

Private Land   

A landowner can hunt on his/her property without a permit. If you want to shoot pigeons on someone else land, fill out the form online on the wildlife website and get a hunting permit. So, hunters who are without a permit can be charged with trespassing. This rule exempts the landowner’s spouse, children, and tenants.  

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In south Dakota state? 

Pigeon hunting is quite simple when you know all the laws. Below are some necessary pointers which you must know for pigeon shooting and hunting. So, I have summarized all the rules in the points below.   

  • Purchase a hunting license online or through an agent. The license fee is different for residents and non-residents.  
  • Carry a hunting license and permit with you while shooting pigeons. The hunting license can be on an e-device or in print.   
  • For hunting on private land, obtain a permit from the landowner.    
  • You cannot hunt or shoot pigeons within 150 acres of dwellings.  
  • The weapon must be legal, and you must have its license with you at all times. You can only use Shotguns or bows and arrows to take down Mourning doves.  
  • You cannot use decoys, electronic calls, or food to attract Mourning doves. However, you can use these tricks for Feral pigeons.    
  • It is unlawful to shoot more pigeons than the daily bag count and possession limit.   
  • Hunters must have all the safety gear while shooting pigeons, which includes goggles, gloves, and safety vests.   
  • Wear bright clothing on the field, including bright orange or pink vest, cap, and backpack.      
  • Make separate bags for the harvest of each pigeon species.    
  • Submit daily bag count online on the South Dakota website by filling out the forum. 

Summing Up

It is legal to kill, shoot and hunt pigeons in South Dakota. Due to the increase in the pigeon population, the federal authorities do not protect them. So, you can take down Rock pigeons and Eurasian-collared doves all year. But hunters will still need a Hunting license and permits.  

The Mourning doves in South Dakota are protected pigeon species. Mourning doves are migratory birds. It is illegal to kill them off-season. So, hunters can hunt them only once, depending on the season. The dove hunting is only for two months, starting in September. There is a bag and possession limit for them.