Group of 4 turkeys in a field looks at another lone turkey
Turkeys: The Nature Conservancy uses hunting as a management tool to keep plant communities healthy and diverse. © iStock.com/merma1d

Stories in Wisconsin

Hunting opportunities at Wisconsin preserves

Wisconsin has a long tradition of hunting, passed on from generation to generation. It’s an important part of our history, culture and economy. Hunters were some of the early conservationists in our state, and they continue to support habitat protection through hunting license fees and taxes on guns and ammunition.

The Nature Conservancy has provided hunting opportunities on its lands in Wisconsin since 1985. Up to 97 percent of the land that the Conservancy owns in Wisconsin is open for hunting deer, turkey, pheasant and other game species. Thousands of acres of land that the Conservancy has helped protect and transferred to public and private entities are also open to the public for hunting and other recreation opportunities.

Hunting is an important tool for the Conservancy in protecting and managing the lands we own. At some of our preserves, for example, white-tail deer populations have grown well beyond the ability of the plant communities to withstand their browsing. We employ hunting as a tool to control deer populations and reduce the damage they are causing, allowing plant communities to recover their full vigor and diversity.

With the increase in human population and fragmentation of land due to urban and suburban development, the lands available for hunting in Wisconsin are decreasing. The Conservancy’s work to protect lands and waters in Wisconsin since 1960 safeguards the habitat that wildlife need to survive and provides places where young and old alike can enjoy hunting and other recreational activities.

Public funding programs like Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and tax incentive programs like the Managed Forest Law have been important partners in helping the Conservancy protect thousands of acres and enhance hunting opportunities in Wisconsin by opening these lands to the public.

While most Conservancy properties do offer hunting opportunities, some properties are closed to hunting due to access issues and other situations. Please only hunt on those properties identified on our hunting maps. Conservancy properties that do not show up on the maps are not open to the public for hunting.

Click here to go to the DNR's hunting season date website.

Wisconsin Nature Conservancy Hunting Program

You can find more information about our hunting program in Wisconsin at this link, including information on:

  • Hunting Guidelines
    • General Guidelines for All Game Species
    • Additional Hunting Guidelines for Waterfowl
    • Additional Hunting Guidelines for Trapping, Small Game and Bear Hunting
    • Additional Hunting Guidelines for Bear
    • General Guidelines for Use of Dogs on Conservancy Preserves
  • Hunting Opportunities at Specific Preserves and Project Areas:
    • Baraboo Hills (Sauk County)
    • Central Sands Region (Marquette County)
    • Chiwaukee Prairie (Kenosha County)
    • Door Peninsula (Door County)
    • Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area - TNC Addition (Buffalo County)
    • Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area (Dane/Iowa Counties)
    • Mukwonago River Watershed (Walworth/Waukesha Counties)
    • Northern Wisconsin – Bass Lake, Border Lakes and Caroline Lake (Ashland/Iron/Vilas Counties)
    • Spring Green Preserve (Sauk County)
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Wisconsin Hunting Opportunity Maps

Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest & Wetlands (Door County)

Barneveld Prairie (Iowa County)

Bass Lake (Iron County)

Baxter’s Hollow (Sauk County)

Caroline Lake (Ashland County)

Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area (Vilas County)

Chiwaukee Prairie (Kenosha County)

Freedom Woods (Sauk County)

Greenfield Moraines (Sauk County)

Guido Rahr, Sr. Tenderfoot Forest Reserve (Vilas County)

Hemlock Draw (Sauk County)

Honey Creek (Sauk County)

Kangaroo Lake (Door County)

Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area - TNC Addition (Buffalo County)

Mink River Estuary (Door County)

Mukwonago River Watershed (Walworth/Waukesha Counties)

North Bay (Door County)

Page Creek Marsh (Marquette County)

Pan Hollow (Sauk County)

Pine Hollow (Sauk County)

Shivering Sands (Door County)

Spring Green Preserve (Sauk County)

Summerton Bog (Marquette County)

Thomson Memorial Prairie (Dane/Iowa Counties)