Hunting Opportunities

Dane County Wildlife Areas - Open to Public Hunting

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. Lands closed to trapping are identified on the wildlife area maps below. The sites are boundary signed with Dane County Parks Hunting Area signs: Entering Hunting Area (green letters, white background) and Leaving Hunting Area or Private Lands (red letters, white background). Other signs you may see are Closed Area, No Shooting Area (near buildings that may be occupied), and Crop Field - Do Not Enter Until Harvested. All Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hunting and Trapping Rules (Natural Resource Chapter 45) apply for the County Wildlife Areas unless otherwise posted. Each site may have specific restrictions for use based on location to residential areas, endangered resources and other issues that have been identified in a planning process.

All Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hunting rules apply. Any additional special hunting rules or regulations will be printed on the Wildlife Area site maps. Wildlife Area site maps and special hunting rules will also be posted at designated public parking areas at each site. If you have any questions regarding a County Wildlife Area, please call our office at 608-224-3730 for more information.

State & Federal Lands within Dane County

Archery Limited Access Permits

Application Registration 7/29/2015 - 8/21/2015
Lottery Selection on 8/25/2015

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 WI DNR 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 has one Limited Access Trapping Permit for ~22 acres at McCarthy County Park that will be made available through an online lottery system. Applicants may register online from October 5th through October 19th, 2015 for the single trapping permit. The permit is valid for the first Monday in November through February 15th. Due to the small size of this property, only one permit will be issued. The permit will be selected through a random lottery drawing on October 20, 2015. The winner will be notified via email. The winner must secure a permit in person at the Parks office, by 4:30 pm on October 30, 2015 or the permit will forfeited and a second drawing will be held. If the permit is still available after the second drawing, it will be available on a first come first served basis at the Parks office.

Dane County Land Acquisitions 2000 - 2010

This is a general summary of land acquired by Dane County between 2000 and 2011 through the Dane County Conservation Fund. The intent of the summary is to illustrate properties that received Stewardship funding during this time period. All lands acquired are open to hiking, cross country skiing, fishing (if applicable) and a myriad of other recreational uses. Many lands are also open for hunting and trapping and are highlighted as such. It does not include Conservation Fund Grant awards, which were given to other units of government or nonprofit organizations.