Big Game Hunters Reminded of Transportation Rules

November 10, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. – Big game seasons are upon us and the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) would like to remind hunters of game transportation rules.

“As a reminder to veteran and new big game hunters, our department wants to make sure everyone who is out hunting this fall is reminded of our transportation rules. If anyone should have questions on any of these regulations, I would encourage them to reach out to their local conservation officer,” said GFP Law Enforcement Section Chief, Sam Schelhaas.

Schelhaas provided some reminders for big game hunters:

The big game license is the white strip on the top and the big game tag is the red/blue/green/yellow/pink portion on the bottom which is affixed to the animal;
Hunters transporting big game must have the tagged leg/antler with the meat, along with the head or attached sex organs, unless the head is dropped off at a CWD check station and has the corresponding tag;
Hunters who have tags for any deer/elk/antelope do not need to take that animals head or attached sex organs for transport. Antlerless tag holders must make sure they have either the head or the attached sex organs;
It is illegal to transport any part of a big game animal from the field without the animal properly tagged or without a transportation permit;
If a person other than the licensee transports big game animal parts (including boned out meat) the tagged leg or a transportation permit must accompany the items transported; and
Some common transportation violations Conservation Officers encounter are transporting the head/antlers without a tag, transporting boned out meat without a tag and not having the head or appropriate sex organs for transportation.
“Most of the violations we come across are from good hunters. They just have forgotten or misunderstand the rules,” said Schelhaas. “Sometimes they make a mistake after a long day of hunting or because of the excitement of a great hunt. It’s understandable, but it’s important to always know the big game regulations.”

For more information on these big game rules, hunters are encouraged to pick up a copy of the Hunting Handbook or view it online at