Dane County Wildlife Areas
Dane County Wildlife Areas are sites designated by the Dane County Park Commission as open to public hunting (all types), and other activities such as fishing, hiking and cross country skiing. Trapping is only allowed on sites that are required to be open for hunting and trapping by the WDNR Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program. Please visit see our Wildlife Area webpages for information and maps.
The sites are boundary-signed with Dane County Parks Hunting Area signs:
- Entering Hunting Area (green letters, white background)
- Leaving Hunting Area or Private Lands (red letters, white background)
- Closed Area, No Shooting Area (near buildings that may be occupied)
- Crop Field - Do Not Enter Until Harvested
Rules and regulations:
- All Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) hunting rules apply.
- Each site may have special hunting regulations based on location to residential areas, endangered resources and other issues that have been identified in a planning process.
- Trapping is only allowed on sites that are required to be open for hunting and trapping by the WDNR Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program. Lands closed to trapping are identified on the property maps.
- Cropped agricultural fields are closed for use until harvested.
- Daily removal of tree stands and blinds is required.
- All dogs must be leashed and have a valid dog permit, UNLESS engaged in a hunting activity.
Please see the websites below for information on public hunting opportunities on state or federal lands.
- State Lands - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)
- Federal Lands - US Fish & Wildlife Service
Archery Limited Access Permits
Application Registration: 7/30/2018 - 8/21/2018; Lottery Selection on 8/23/2018
Dane County Parks has offered limited access archery hunting for Deer and Turkey in select county parks since 2001. Over the years the Park Commission has expanded the program to include a majority of the county park properties. Archers have the opportunity for a unique quality recreational experience while helping to manage the deer and turkey numbers within the county. Dane County Parks is planning to work in partnership with the WDNR through participation in the Deer Management Assistance Program. Our goal is to maintain the balance of having healthy deer and healthy habitat on our properties.
There are specific rules that apply to this program. Please read through these rules before applying for a permit.
Trapping Limited Access Program
Dane County Parks currently has one Limited Access Trapping Permit for ~22 acres at McCarthy County Park that is available on a first-come first-served basis at the Dane County Parks Office.