Going Public

Wisconsin has hundreds of thousands of acres of public land you can hunt and/or fish on

That’s right. We have approximately one crap-ton of land (both public and private) you can legally hunt on, and the DNR has the resources listing all of it. That’s 308 wildlife areas, 52 state parks, 653 natural areas, and a total of 1,482 state-owned properties. See maps and lists of said lands, and pay attention to the restrictions on each. But also know that this doesn’t mean you can just head out to a trail and start shooting. You, of course, need a permit first and foremost. But you also need to pay attention to any local regulations that may be in effect (proximity to buildings and such), need to know if it only allows bow hunting (versus gun), and need to get permission from landowners close by in case you shoot an animal on their land. And if you’re planning to visit these places for biking, hiking, or what-have-you, you probably should wear orange just in case. Below is a list of local examples of these lands. Visit DNR.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/hunt/lands.htm for all of them across the state.

DNR lands in the tri-county area

Chippewa County Bob Lake, Brunet Island State Park, Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area, Chippewa River State Trail, Cornell Station, Drywood Wildlife Area, Duncan Creek, Elk Creek, Flambeau Ridge Tower, Hay Creek, Ice Age Trail, Lake Wissota State Park, McCann Creek, Old Abe State Trail, Ruby Tower, Sand Creek, Stang Tower, Stream Bank Easement, Tom Lawin Wildlife Area. 

Dunn County Big Beaver Creek Wildlife Area, Bolen Creek, Chippewa River State Trail, Dunnville Wildlife Area, Eau Galle River Wildlife Area, Elk Creek, Gilbert Creek, Hay Creek, Hay River, Hoffman Hills, Lake Menomin, Lambs Creek, Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area, Muddy Creek, Nine Mile Island, Otter Creek, Red Cedar River, Red Cedar Trail, Rock Falls Wildlife Area, Sand Creek, Tainter Lake, Torgerson Creek, Wilson Creek. 

Eau Claire County Augusta Ranger Station, Augusta Wildlife Area, Buffalo River State Trail, Chippewa River State Trail, Clear Creek, Elk Creek, Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area, Seymour Tower, Wilson Tower.

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