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Wildlife Management

Tom Lawin Wildlife Area

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Tom Lawin Wildlife Area is a 3,156-acre property (2,388 acres of state owned lands, 769 acres of public hunting leases) located two miles southeast of Jim Falls and its boundaries lie within the Town of Anson and Town of Arthur. There are access points on highways K and S. The property is surrounded by private lands so it is important that users know and respect the property boundaries.

The area consists of marsh, farmland, uplands and forest. The property lies in the transition zone between two ecological landscapes: the Forest Transition and the North Central Forest. Ground flora show characteristics of both northern and southern Wisconsin as this ecological landscape lies along the tension zone.


History of property

Originally called the Jim Falls Wildlife Area, the DNR leased hunting rights on 5,000 acres of private lands beginning in the 1950's. In 1991 the DNR began purchasing property here and the Tom Lawin Wildlife Area was established. Since then 2,388 acres have been purchased and the department still leases 769 acres of private lands. In the recent past, 271 acres of wetlands on the state owned land have been restored and agricultural fields have also been slowly removed from a sharecropping program and converted into warm season grasses and forbs. A total of 212 acres of grasslands have been restored so far. The overall objective is to establish a 4,520 acre wildlife area (acquisition boundary).

Management objective

Tom Lawin is a designated hen-rooster hunting area. Special leg tags are no longer required for hen-rooster hunting areas; hunters will still need a small game license and current Pheasant Stamp (required statewide). Hen and rooster pheasants are stocked weekly beginning the week before opening weekend through November.

DNR staff periodically mow and use controlled burning to maintain grassland habitat at Tom Lawin Wildlife Area for waterfowl nesting cover and a number of other upland birds.

Interim Forest Management Plan (2014) [PDF]


The Tom Lawin Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities.

  • Birding
  • Cross country skiing (no designated trail)
  • Hiking (no designated trail)
  • Horse back riding trail (on designated trail)
  • Hunting (especially noted for deer, waterfowl, turkey, pheasant (hen and rooster area) 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: Tuesday March 24 2020