Find Public Land To Hunt This Season
Using DNR Online Mapping Tools
FROM THE WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages the public to hunt on public land this hunting season. With millions of acres of public land available across the state, finding the perfect spot is easy using the DNR’s array of online public land mapping tools.
From the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in the north to the prairies of the wildlife areas in the south and everything in between – Wisconsin hunters have some of the best public land access east of the Mississippi River.
Hunters can find new lands to explore, read up on regulations and season dates, and begin to plan their next hunting adventure from the comfort of home using the DNR’s Public Access Lands webpage.
Once hunters have done their preliminary scouting online, the next step is to get boots on the ground to explore the habitat and game signs in-person before the hunt.
“Public lands hold amazing opportunities but hunting public land can come with obstacles if you don’t scout in advance,” said Jeff Pritzl, DNR Deer Specialist. “The adventure is rewarding for the same reasons that it is difficult.”
The DNR reminds anyone hunting on public lands to be respectful of other recreators and DNR staff who may be actively managing the properties during hunting seasons. Hunters should have backup plans to keep them afield in the event they overlap with another hunter. Hunters should also always be aware of their surroundings and watch for others.
Check out the following DNR online public land mapping tools for your next hunt:
- Hunt Wild mobile app – The Hunt Wild mobile application has everything hunters need to find new public lands to explore, brush up on the regulations or locate a CWD sampling station.
- Fields and Forest Lands Interactive Game Bird Hunting Tool (FFLIGHT) – Hunters can use this tool to locate young aspen and alder habitat, woodcock and ruffed grouse hunting areas, pheasant-stocked public hunting grounds and public-access dove fields.
- Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) interactive map – Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the VPA-HIP map provides landowners with financial incentives to open their properties year-round to public hunting access. Hunters should read the guidelines for accessing VPA properties.
- Map of lands enrolled in Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law – This map is especially useful for scouting locations in the central and northern forests.
- Public Access Lands Atlas – The atlas includes all DNR properties and nearly all federal and county-owned lands. Hunters should contact landowners beforehand to verify hunting is allowed.
For more information on public lands in Wisconsin, visit the DNR’s Public Access Lands webpage.