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Contact information
For information about Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area, contact:
Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area
N7725 Hwy 28
Horicon, WI 53032
920-387-7860

Hunting at Horicon Marsh

The 32,000 acre Horicon Marsh is divided into the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area (managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) and the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge [exit DNR] (managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). The two areas have different hunting regulations and different season dates. You are responsible for knowing and abiding by these regulations.

All federal and state hunting regulations are in effect. You must comply with the Wisconsin hunting regulations. Printed regulation pamphlets are available at DNR Horicon service center and the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge office/visitor center.

Hunting the state wildlife area

All current statewide hunting regulations apply to this wildlife area. Horicon Marsh is in Dodge County in the southern farmland deer zone and in turkey management zone 2. Development and management of this property are principally funded by hunting and trapping license fees.

Migratory bird hunting

Frequently asked questions about hunting waterfowl at Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. Information on season dates, bag limits and required permits is available at waterfowl hunting.

State property closed areas

Two areas within the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area are closed to all hunting (See hunting map [PDF]):

  • Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Refuge - the area surrounding the Horicon Field Station and Quick's Point, located on Palmatory Street.
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Service Center and Bachhuber Flowage - located off State Highway 28 between Mayville and Horicon.

Within these areas, firearms must be unloaded and encased. Bows must be encased or unstrung.

State property restricted areas

Four posted areas within the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area have restricted hunting (see labeled areas on map [PDF]):

  • Burnett Impoundment (Map area A [PDF]) - closed to all hunting during the waterfowl season, except deer during the gun deer season. Legally killed or crippled game may be retrieved by dog or hand.
  • Four Mile Island, Cotton Island and Buffer Zone (Map area B [PDF]) - no entry into wildlife refuge from April 1 - September 15, open thereafter.
  • Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area Closed Area (Map area C [PDF]) - an expanded area around the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Refuge is closed to migratory bird hunting. Legally killed or crippled game may be retrieved by dog or hand. Portions of this area may be open during the Early September Goose Season. Boundaries are as posted.
  • Waterfowl Retrieval Zone (see map key [PDF]) - no hunting except deer during the gun deer season is allowed in this zone which buffers the boundary line between the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge and the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. Legally killed or crippled game may be retrieved by dog or hand.

State property prohibited activities

In addition to the prohibited activities listed in the Wisconsin hunting regulations pamphlets, the following are also prohibited on the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area:

  • No overnight camping or parking, and open fires
  • No unleashed dogs from April 15 - July 31
  • No blocking access to gates with vehicles
  • No horses

Reserve the Jack Nugent memorial disabled waterfowl blind

Jack Nugent hunting blind
Call 920-387-7860 to reserve the blind. Reservations accepted one week in advance.

Hunters with disabilities are now able to reserve an accessible hunting blind on the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area. Ducks Unlimited, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association and the Wisconsin DNR teamed together in honor of the late Jack Nugent (a local waterfowl hunter and conservationist) to provide a hunting blind on the Burnett impoundment [PDF] on the west side of the marsh.

Reservations will be accepted one week in advance. Once your reservation is made, you will be provided a combination for a lock that will unlock a gate that will allow you to drive on the Burnett Impoundment dike (off of Burnett Ditch Road). Hunting is limited to a disabled hunter and one assistant.

View available dates [PDF].

The access to the blind is mowed so hunters can drive right to the blind, their vehicle can then be parked by the brown shed (pump house) for concealment. The blind is on the edge of fairly deep water. Those assisting the disabled hunter will either want to bring along a skiff to retrieve decoys, or keep decoys within reach of shore. A dog is recommended for bird retrieval.

The blind can be reserved by calling Horicon Marsh at 920-387-7860.

Hunting the national wildlife refuge

Only the animals listed below may be hunted. Note the Refuge season dates [exit DNR] may vary from the state seasons.

  • Ring-necked pheasant (2 p.m. closure rules apply)
  • Deer (archery and gun)
  • Gray partridge
  • Cottontail rabbit
  • Squirrel

The refuge is not open to mourning dove hunting.

Refuge areas closed to all hunting

Three areas within the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge are closed to all hunting:

  • Observation area - located near the intersection of State Highway 49 and County Trunk Z.
  • Refuge office/visitor center area - located off County Trunk Z.
  • Bud Cook Hiking Area - located on the east side of Point Road.

Refuge restricted areas

Three posted areas within the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge [exit DNR] have restricted hunting (see labeled areas on map [PDF]):

  • Hwy. 49 hiking trails area (Map area D [PDF])- closed to all hunting except during gun deer season.
  • Area between Point Road and Lehner Ditch Road (Map Area E [PDF])- closed to all hunting, except for special permit hunts during archery and gun deer seasons.
  • Area on West Side (Map area F [PDF])- closed to all hunting, except for special youth hunt during pheasant season.

Refuge prohibited activities

Besides the prohibited activities listed in the Wisconsin hunting regulations pamphlets, the following activities are also prohibited on the Federal Refuge:

  • No waterfowl hunting
  • No boating
  • No construction or use of permanent blinds, platforms or scaffolds (all items including portable stands must be removed each night)
  • No scouting
  • No blocking access to refuge gates with vehicles
  • No overnight camping, parking or fires in any form
  • No damaging trees
  • No shining to locate or take wildlife
  • No ATVs, other motorized vehicles or horses
  • You must vacate refuge and parking lot no later than 1 hour after legal hunting hours
  • No toxic shot when hunting small game
  • No baiting

Hunters may use dogs for hunting small game. Hunters may use bicycles during archery and gun deer seasons.

Report all injuries and accidents to the refuge office.

For further information, contact the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge [exit DNR], W4279 Headquarters Road, Mayville, WI 53050, 920-387-2658. Office hours are Monday - Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday in the fall 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Deaf/hard of hearing individuals may reach Horicon Refuge through Wisconsin Relay Service at 800-947-3529 (v/tty).

Last revised: Monday October 27 2014