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Wildlife Management

Brillion Wildlife Area

Brillion Wildlife Area

Brillion Wildlife Area is 4,800-acre property consisting of bottomland hardwoods, prairie, marsh, wetlands, some upland hardwoods and agricultural fields.

Find Brillion Wildlife Area as State Highway 10 enters the City of Brillion on the north. Go approximately one mile south of Brillion on Highway PP, then one mile west on Deerview Rd to the end past the waste collection facility. Brillion WA is surrounded by the communities of Brillion, Hilbert and Potter in the townships of Brillion and Rantoul.

Management

History of management

In 1947, the Department leased portions of the site as a public hunting ground for ducks, deer and other wildlife. The area was known for its abundant wealth of ducks during the hunting season and deer during the winter. By 1962, a formal proposal was made to acquire lands within the current boundary structure. The Calumet County board, the Natural Resources Board and others approved of the project by the end of 1962. In 1963, formal acquisition began leading up to the acquisition of the current nature center site and all total about 5,000 acres of land lying within the Brillion Wildlife Area project boundary.

In 1975 an Environmental Impact Statement was prepared for the project and a formal Master Plan drafted for review. By early 1977 both plans were adopted by the Natural Resources Board. Goals were to develop and manage the area for waterfowl production and broad spectrum of hunting recreation; and to provide opportunities for educational and compatible non-hunting recreational activities. Objectives are 1). Produce 2,000 ducklings annually, 2). Provide 8,600 participant days of use through hunting and other recreational use and 3). provide adequate food and cover to maintain a wintering herd of 200-300 deer.

Benefits of the project were to 1). Provide upland and lowland habitat for a wide variety of non-game species, 2). Provide wetland habitat for 15 to 20 muskrats per acre with an annual harvest of 3,000 to 6,000 muskrats, 3). Manage upland timber stands for sound silvicultural practices and 4). Provide for 1,000 participant days of non-consumptive use such as wildlife observation, photography and hiking.

The great drought of 1976-77 brought on further changes for Brillion Wildlife Area. Fires swept throughout the entire project in the fall of 1976, including private land covering over 6,000 acres, burning deep holes into the peat structure of the marsh on the southeast and east sides. Intensive burning on 500 acres left scars still found today within the wetland and created pockets of aspen throughout the site.

Management objective

Change is inevitable. Today, the Brillion Wildlife Area encompasses over 5,000 acres of habitat devoted to a broad spectrum of uses meeting the intent of the Master Plan. Created are eleven wetland restorations, 17 parking lots, 1500 acres of restored grassland prairie and a large 50-acre flowage funded greatly by local partners for waterfowl production.

Brillion Wildlife Area Master Plan (1979) [PDF]

Recreation

The Brillion Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Cross country skiing (on Brillion Nature Center Trails but not groomed)
  • Canoeing - Manitowoc River
  • Dog training and trialing site
  • Hiking (no designated trail)
  • Hunting - especially noted for deer, waterfowl, mourning doves (in natural habitat and harvested winter wheat fields), pheasant and turkey. Note special closed area (40 acres) at Nature Center except during deer-gun season
  • Model airplane field adjoining public lands - Calumet Flyers
  • Snowmobiling trail
  • Trapping
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Wildlife viewing
Maps

Download [PDF] a map of this property.

If you are interested in exploring this property further, you can access an interactive map.

Useful links
Last revised: Monday February 20 2017