Public hunting is available in designated Wildlife Areas in the Dane County Park System. Requirements are very similar to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources public hunting areas. Some Wildlife Areas have additional rules which are posted on the parks website and on an informational kiosk at the public access point for each property. Hunters should check the parks website before visiting for a complete list of rules and use requirements.
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.
Wildlife Area boundaries
Wildlife Areas are boundary-signed with the following Dane County Parks Hunting Area signs:
Rules and regulations
Please see the websites below for information on public hunting opportunities on state or federal lands.
Application Registration: 7/20/2020 - 8/18/2020
Lottery Selection on 8/19/2020
COVID-19 Alert: New for 2020, all permits will be mailed out once lottery winners are chosen and applicants purchase their permit online. There is no office pickup as the office is closed to walk-in traffic.
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.
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.
Permit Application Information