The last full survey from 2015 showed the prairie dog population was down about 73% since 2008 due to an outbreak of sylvatic plague. Since 2008 the Forest Service and interagency partners have been implementing a labor intensive flea control program to kill the fleas that carry the plague bacteria, on up to 10,000 acres within both the Buffalo Gap National Grassland and Badlands National Park. Anyone recreating on or working in or around prairie dogs should take precautions to learn about the symptoms of the plague and to know how to prevent becoming infected. An information flyer explaining more about the plague is enclosed. You may also contact the SD Department of Health or go online for more information.
The State of South Dakota does not have a specific hunting/shooting season for prairie dogs. Please contact the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks for licensing information and regulations. Their address is: 20641 SD Hwy 1806, Ft. Pierre, SD 57532 or call them at 605-223-7700. However, there are areas closed to prairie dog shooting, please see enclosed map. These areas are strictly enforced due to personnel working in these areas, as well as the reintroduction of the Black Footed Ferret (endangered species,) in these areas. Separate Tribal licenses are required when shooting on Indian Reservations.