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Wildlife Management

Waterloo 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.

Waterloo Wildlife Area

Waterloo Wildlife Area is a property of approximately 4000 acres with a diverse range of habitat types. These habitat types include open water marsh, sedge meadow, fens (including a state natural area), lowland and upland hardwoods, some native prairie and extensive shrub carr.

The property is located in northwestern Jefferson County and southwestern Dodge County approximately one mile east of the city of Waterloo. Waterloo Wildlife Area is a sprawling set of state owned properties spread across an area about two miles east to west and seven miles north to south.

Though the property is still a good location for seeing ring-necked pheasant, it has also become known for its deer and wild turkey hunting opportunities. Good waterfowl hunting can be found at times on the restored wetlands. Wildlife watching opportunities abound and can be accessed from any of the parking lots on the property. A wide range of both game and non-game species can be seen, especially those associated with wetland habitats. These might include various ducks and wading birds, mink, otter, beaver, blandings turtles and many more. Mourning dove hunting opportunities exist on two managed sunflower fields.


Historically, Waterloo Wildlife Area has been known as pheasant country. The Wisconsin Conservation Department managed the property for ring-necked pheasant hunting and collected considerable hunter/user data throughout the years of ownership. In the 1970s Wisconsin DNR research personnel accomplished a large range of important research projects which included pheasant nest success, habitat manipulation for pheasants and predator/prey relationships which included red fox and various raptors.

In more recent years management emphasis has focused on wetland restoration, reestablishment and maintenance of native prairie and protection and management of remnant native habitats. The Waterloo Prairie State Natural Area lies within the boundaries of Waterloo Wildlife Area. The Waterloo Prairie consists of two units of low, wet grasslands and feature raised calcareous fens and springs which still harbor numerous native species of flora.

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 Waterloo Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Canoeing
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Fishing
  • Hiking (no designated trail)
  • Hunting - especially noted for pheasant, deer, turkey, waterfowl, mourning dove and other small game
  • Snowmobiling trail
  • 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