Sand Lake NWR requires no pass or permit to visit the refuge. Certain activities on the refuge, however, do require a special permit.

  • Permits

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issue permits under various wildlife law and treaties at a number of offices throughout the country.  Permits enable the public to engage in legitimate wildlife-related activities that would otherwise be prohibited by law.  Service permit programs ensure that such activities are carried out in a manner that safeguards wildlife.  Additionally, some permits promote conservation efforts by authorizing scientific research, generating data, or allowing wildlife management and rehabilitation activates to go forward. 

    Only hunters with a Sand Lake NWR permit may hunt deer with firearms on the refuge. Firearm deer tags for Sand Lake NWR are issued by the SD Game, Fish & Parks. Archery deer hunters only require a valid statewide or East River Any Deer state archery license, issued by the SD Game, Fish & Parks. Antlerless Only Archery tags are not valid in Sand Lake NWR. For upland game, a current South Dakota small game license is all that is required. For more information on hunting and fishing at Sand Lake refer to the Rules and Regulations Page. 

    For more information about permits for Sand Lake NWR, contact the refuge office.  

    Permits are handled by permitting programs in International Affairs (Management Authority), Endangered SpeciesLaw Enforcement, and Migratory Birds.  

    Visit the National Wildlife Refuge System Web site for Special Use Permits.  

    For more detailed information, go to How to Obtain a PermitFAQs/Facts or Application Forms.