Contact(s): Sawyer Briel, DNR communications, 608-261-0751
November 16, 2015
MADISON - It has never been easier to find a place to hunt in Wisconsin, and there are a number of tools and programs available to help you find a new favorite spot before the nine day gun deer season.
Public Access Lands atlas
Whether you are looking for new public hunting grounds or a spot for a fall picnic, the atlas is a great tool for finding new public lands and creating new memories. The atlas includes all DNR properties as well as nearly all federal and county-owned lands. You can download and print these maps free of charge from your home computer.
The University Book Store's digital storefront provides a web-based option for those interested in purchasing a PAL Atlas. The original PAL Atlas, with 441 maps, two indexes and a glossary is available for $89.95. A separate PAL atlas is also available for each of Wisconsin's 72 counties for $24.95. Lastly, a DVD with over 450 pages of public lands access data is available for $5.95.
For orders using a check, a mail order form [PDF] is available on the University Book Store's website. Please do not send cash or credit card information with a mail order form.
To place an order by phone using a credit card, call: 1-800-993-2665 EXT 5929. In order to simplify the purchasing process, be sure to mention the item number (099127660) in your call.
For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "atlas."
Pocket Ranger App
The Pocket Ranger mobile application is a great way to not only find a place to hunt, but also connect with other hunters and have a number of tools at your fingertips in the field.
Pocket Ranger features include:
Since its launch in November 2013, more than 128,000 people have downloaded the Wisconsin Pocket Ranger to their Apple or Android mobile devices.
To learn more and download the free application, search keyword "mobile apps," or search "Wisconsin Pocket Ranger" in the Apple App Store or Android Market from your Apple or Android device.
Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool
Those interested in hunting on DNR managed lands are reminded to check out the department's Fields & Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool. FFLIGHT helps hunters of all types locate young aspen and alder habitat, pheasant-stocked public hunting grounds, and managed dove fields.
Features available within FFLIGHT can help hunters locate DNR public parking areas, overlay township descriptions, and view topographic maps or aerial photos of prospective hunting areas. Users can choose which type of habitat to highlight - FFLIGHT can help you find the best grouse and woodcock cover in the woods near your cabin.
The FFLIGHT mapping application is compatible with all major desktop and mobile web browsers (internet access is required). To learn more and start your search for hunting land, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword "FFLIGHT."
Hunting Wisconsin's State Parks, Trails and Forests
In general, fall gun and archery hunting and trapping are allowed in the open areas of these properties during the open season from Nov. 15 - Dec. 15 in Wisconsin's state parks (where applicable, hunting with legal archery methods is allowed through Jan. 3).
Search keywords "hunting state parks, trails and forests" or check with local department staff to learn more.
Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law programs
Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law are landowner-incentive programs that incorporate sustainable forest practices, such as timber harvesting, wildlife management, water quality and recreation- all while improving public access to these lands.
When landowners enroll in the Managed Forest Law, they may choose whether they want their lands designated as open or closed to public recreation. Open Managed Forest Law lands are open to public recreation available for hunting, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, and sight-seeing.
Forest Crop Law lands are open to public recreation for hunting and fishing only.
A mapping tool shows the approximate location of all MFL-Open and FCL lands in Wisconsin - here, you can find landowner information, acreage and enrollment information. To access the mapping tool, search keywords "MFL open land." Users are encouraged to refer to a plat book or other online data sources to help them decipher the information shown in the mapping tool.
For more general information regarding these programs, contact your local DNR Forester or search keyword "forest landowner."
Voluntary Public Access program
The Voluntary Public Access program provides financial incentives to private landowners who open their property to public hunting, fishing, trapping and wildlife observation.
With additional USDA funding over the next 3 years, the department is hoping to extend the current leases as well as add more properties. New with this grant will be the ability to fund some habitat work on properties as well as lease public access.
To learn more, search keyword "VPA."