Crossbow Hunting Regulations in South Dakota

Posted below is a guide only for the crossbow hunting regulations in the state of South Dakota. We have tried our very best to ensure that it is the most current and accurate data available; however, this should never be used in lieu of legal advice. It is essential that you double check these laws with the local state government or the South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Division to ensure their validity. If you have difficulty contact this entity, please ask for our help.

Make sure to check out our list of top 5 recommended crossbows for hunting in the USA if you’re looking to get started.

Crossbow Regulations in South Dakota

Draw-lock/crossbow permits are only available for disabled hunters in the state of South Dakota. The person must be impaired to the degree that he/she is unable to draw a traditional bow which has a minimum draw of 30 pounds. This may be due to a birth defect, disease, injury, or loss of both or one arm. Those who must use a wheelchair for mobility qualify for a disabled draw-lock/crossbow permit as well.

It is illegal for any hunter using a draw-lock/crossbow permit to possess a firearm while in the field or be in the company of any individual carrying a firearm during seasons which are restricted to archery. The only exception to this is if that person has a legal permit to carry a concealed weapon.

  • Mechanical broadheads are legal in the state of South Dakota with the exception of during elk season.
    Broadheads must be designed from metal and feature no less than two cutting edges.
  • The cutting diameter must be no less than 7/8 of an inch and the length must equal the width. The only exception for this is applies to turkey hunts.
  • The arrow and broadhead combined must not weigh less than 275 grains when harvesting big game.
  • Points shall not be equipped with explosives and shall not be treated with chemicals or feature barbs. The use of pneumatic or hydraulic points is forbidden.
  • Crossbows must feature a functioning mechanical safety.
  • Crossbows shall have a minimum draw weight of 125 pounds.

Is anything amiss?

If we have left any vital info out or perhaps missed an update to the above laws, please tell us so we may fix our error. We do appreciate you valuable time and effort.

5 Comments

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  1. Crossbows are now allowed in South Dakota, for big game, during rifle season only. Minimum crossbow requirements still apply. All type of sights allowed during rifle season. Disabled permit still required to use a crossbow during big game archery season.

    Crossbows are allowed for fishing in South Dakota, except the Nebraska\South Dakota boundary waters. Crossbows may be used for junk fish only.

    1. I had to go to my surgeon and have him fill out the form from South Dakota stating I was disabled. The permit is only good for a few years. I believe five years but I’m not sure.

  2. Just checked with the South Dakota Fish and Parks and it is O.K. to use a scope on a crossbow. It was changed a couple of years ago. Don’t ask me why it hasn’t been changed in the regulations.

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