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It is illegal to use nails, wires, screws, bolts, or screw-in steps with tree stands in National Wildlife Refuges and Waterfowl Production Areas. Both of these are managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

On lands owned, leased, or controlled by GFP or in the Fort Meade Recreation Area:

  • Permanent tree stands and climbing devices are prohibited.
  • Portable tree stands and climbing devices that do not use nails, wires, or bolts for attachment are allowed from August 25 to February 15, inclusive.
    • It is illegal to secure tree stands and steps to a tree using bolts, screws, or any other method that could have a negative impact on the tree.
    • You may use one screw-in “T” to stabilize the stand.
    • You may use removable screw-in steps to access the stand.
    • The owner’s name and address or the year and the owner’s current big game tag number must be on the stand and legible from the ground by unaided vision.

South Dakota tree stand tag

South Dakota tree stand tag