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Wildlife Management

Deansville Wildlife Area

COVID-19 Update

On Friday, May 1 and at the direction of Gov. Evers, the department reopened state parks, forests and sites within the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway with special conditions. Four State Natural Areas remain closed: Parfrey's Glen, Pewits Nest, Gibraltar Rock and Dells of the Wisconsin River. All Wildlife Areas and Fisheries Areas are open. For more information, please visit the DNR's COVID-19 information webpage for the full list of conditions, including hours of operation, admission fees and more.

Deansville Wildlife Area

Deansville Wildlife Area is a 1,970-acre (1690 DNR owned, 280 leased) property consisting of approximately 215 acres of upland grassland/agricultural land, 90 acres of mixed hardwood upland forest, 840 acres of open marshland and sedge meadow and 500 acres of shrub carr and brushy areas.

Deansville Wildlife Area is located approximately 4 miles northeast of Sun Prairie. From Sun Prairie, head east on state highway 19 about 6 miles to CTH TT. Head north on TT for about 2 miles and turn left onto Deansville Rd. Head north on Deansville Road 2 miles to Sun Prairie Road Turn left and head west on Sun Prairie Road 1.5 miles to the wildlife area.


The Deansville Marsh was originally leased for hunting in the early 1930s by the Dane County Conservation League. In 1938, the leases were turned over to the state, making the Deansville property Wisconsin's first leased Public Hunting Ground. Acquisition of property by the state began in 1946 with a 40-acre purchase from Mr. Fred Berlin. Federal approval for the establishment of Deansville Wildlife Area was received in February 1, 1962. The Deansville Fen State Natural Area is located on the western edge of Deansville Wildlife Area.

Today, prescribed burning and chemical and mechanical brush control are used on the property to maintain open grasslands and wetlands. Occasional timber harvests are conducted to maintain and enhance the oak/hickory woodlands. For a complete list of resource management, development and protection objectives, as well as public use management and development objectives.

The Glacial Heritage Area master plan was completed in 2011 and guides the long term management of this property. Progress toward achieving the goals of the master plan are tracked through annual monitoring reports.


The Deansville Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Canoeing
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Hunting - especially noted for pheasants, deer (DMU 76), waterfowl, turkey (zone 26) and small game
  • Trapping
  • Wild edibles/gathering
  • Wildlife viewing

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: Wednesday May 06 2020