Public hunting is available year-round in properties designated as 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 property webpage before visiting for a complete list of rules and use requirements.
Hunting is also allowed at several Dane County Parks and Natural Resources Areas in the FALL by Limited Access Archery Hunting permit only. These permits are awarded through the Archery Permit Lottery.
Please note that Dane County System properties are enjoyed by a variety of visitors, including hunters, fisherman, hikers, dog walkers and bird watchers. Hunters should use caution when using firearms and archery equipment. View the Park Use During Hunting Season webpage for more information.
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. Find locations to hunt and learn details about each property through the buttons below.
Wildlife Area Boundaries
Wildlife Areas are boundary-signed with the following Dane County Parks Hunting Area signs:
Rules and Regulations
Hunting on State and Federal Lands
Click on the links below for information on public hunting opportunities on state or federal lands.
Application Registration: 7/10/2023 - 8/07/2023
Lottery Selection: 8/08/2023
Dane County Parks offers an Archery Permit Lottery Program to award a Limited Access Archery Permit to hunt deer and turkey in select county parks. The lottery includes an online application process and computer-generated random lottery drawing to select permit winners. The program began in 2001 and has expanded to include a majority of the county park properties. Archers have an opportunity for a unique quality recreational experience while helping to manage deer and turkey numbers
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