Hunting at Black Hills National Forest can be a rewarding experience. Please review these guidelines to help make your trip safe and enjoyable.

The Forest Service does not sell hunting licenses, but a license is required to hunt in both South Dakota and Wyoming. The State Game Departments and local retailers sell licenses.

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department manage big game on the Black Hills National Forest and annual hunting handbooks are available on their websites.

Hunters hunt the Black Hills for both big and small game species, including: turkey, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, mountain lion, rabbits and game birds.

With 30 developed camping areas and easy access roads, the Forest provides abundant hunting access and is an excellent place for first-time hunts. Dispersed camping is also allowed in most areas. Call a local Forest Service office for more information. 

If arranging for guided hunting services on the Black Hills National Forest, be sure to ask whether your prospective outfitter/guide holds a valid Forest Service permit. The Black Hills National Forest has authorized a variety of outfitter/guides to operate under Special Use Permits. View a list of outfitter/guides authorized to operate under special permit.

Off-highway vehicle (OHV) travel is allowed only on roads and trails designated open to motorized use. Black Hills National Forest offices offer free motor vehicle use maps showing routes open to motorized travel. Hunters are also reminded to follow South Dakota and Wyoming travel regulations.


Some areas may not be safe for visitors to hike in during hunting season. Please review the maps of game management units and/or stop by a local Forest Service office to find out which areas are best to avoid during the season.

The Black Hills National Forest contains dead trees, killed by the mountain pine beetle. Remember – your safety is your responsibility. Locate vehicles and campsites away from dead trees; they can fall without warning and carry an ax or saw in case a tree falls across a road.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities