Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Parks


Deer in WinterPublic 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

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. 

Park System Maps    Find Wildlife Area


Wildlife Area boundaries
Wildlife Areas are boundary-signed with the following 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 county land that is required to be open for hunting and trapping by the WDNR Knowles Nelson Stewardship Program.  Lands closed to trapping area identified on the property maps.  This only applies to dry land.  Trapping within the water is allowed on all sites in accordance with state law under Wisconsin’s Public Trust Doctrine.
  • 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.

Archery Limited Access Permits

Application Registration:  7/19/2021 - 8/16/2021
Lottery Selection on 8/17/2021

All permits will be mailed out once lottery winners are chosen and applicants purchase their permit online. There is no office pickup.

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.

Information & Rules     Overview Map

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

Permit Application Information

  • The cost of the Access Permit is $14.00 to the successful applicant. 
  • The application process registers you for an opportunity to be selected for the “trapping access only” permit for (1) permit for 22-acres at McCarthy County Park. All valid Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WI DNR) licenses apply. 
  • The county has specific rules for this trapping permit. The rules are more restrictive than the WI DNR rules (see Permit Rules).

Information and Rules     Permit Location