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Wildlife Management

Brooklyn 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.

Brooklyn Wildlife Area

Brooklyn Wildlife Area is located between the villages of Oregon, Brooklyn and Belleville, straddling the Dane/Green County line, about 15 miles south of Madison. Access to the property is from Dane County Highway D, 2 miles east from Belleville and off State Highway 92.

The property currently consists of 2,608 acres of state-owned, 337 acres of easement and 151 acres of leased lands. Dominant cover types include sedge meadow marsh, riparian hardwoods, oak ridges, restored prairie and farmed cropland.

Story Creek, a Class 2 trout stream, runs north to south through the property. About 435 acres are eased as part of the Story Creek Stream Bank Protection project to protect the stream and buffer the wildlife area.

In total, 3,531 acres are available for public hunting, fishing and other recreation.


Acquisition for Brooklyn Wildlife Area began in 1945. Since 2004, the department has been making a concerted effort to convert annual public hunting ground leases of private lands to easements in cooperation with the USDA NRCS Farm and Ranch Protection Program. These easements allow public hunting and fishing in perpetuity, while allowing the landowner to continue agricultural use of their land. This program depends on good hunter conduct for its success--please be on your best behavior while using leased and eased private land and be careful not to damage soybeans or other crops before harvest.

The inception of the Story Creek Stream Bank Protection project provided state funds to match the NRCS Farm and Ranch Protection program, protecting 435 acres adjacent to the creek with easements allowing public hunting and fishing. Story Creek has also received a great deal of habitat improvement work by department fisheries staff using Trout Stamp funding. The work includes re-meandering stretches that had been previously channelized and installing lunker structures to provide bank cover for trout, greatly improving fishing.

Sugar River Planning Group Master Plan and Environmental Assessment And Footville Public Hunting Grounds Feasibility Study [PDF]
DNR PUB-LF-083 2016


The Brooklyn Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Auto travel - on public roads through and adjacent to property
  • Biking - on public roads through and adjacent to property
  • Birding - Known for yellow-breasted chat, Bell's vireo, Cerulean warbler and Henslow's sparrow
  • Canoeing - Story Creek, but limited to small canoes during high water due to brush and logs.
  • Cross country skiing (along Ice Age Trail)
  • Fishing - Story Creek, a quality trout stream runs through property
  • Hiking - Ice Age Trail [exit DNR] runs through property
  • Hunting - especially noted for stocked and wild pheasant (2 p.m. closure), deer, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, some waterfowl, quail, gray partridge and mourning doves.
  • 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.

Friends groups

The Friends of Brooklyn Wildlife Area supports the property. To find out more, call 608-835-5144. The Dane County Chapter of the Ice Age Trail [exit DNR] has also done work on this property for many years.

Useful links
Last revised: Wednesday May 06 2020