If you are a hunter, a trapper or an outdoor enthusiast of any kind, you need to know hunting and trapping will be allowed in most Wisconsin State Parks during certain periods next year. However, there are some smaller and urban parks that will remain closed to hunting and trapping. The Natural Resources Board met yesterday and made these decisions to carry out the new state law, known as the Sporting Heritage Act. Some people also call the new law by its legislative number – which is Act 168. These board actions taken yesterday will take effect with the new year.

The law allows the DNR to prohibit hunting and trapping within 100 yards of a designated use area such as a campground, picnic area, or beach, or where there are public safety concerns, or to protect unique habitat

Here are the main points of the board action regarding most of the state parks.

  • Hunting and trapping will be allowed from November 15 through December 15, and again from April 1 through the third spring turkey period, which ends April 30.
  • Also, deer hunting with a bow will be open from November 15 until the end of the archery season in early January. Archery hunting will continue at Buckhorn State Park near Necedah on its historical schedule of mid-September through the end of the archery season.
  • The board decision also allows archery hunting only at some parks with heavy year-round use. These parks include Peninsula State Park in Door County and High Cliff State Park on Lake Winnebago.
  • This board action opens more than 62,000 acres – or about two-thirds of the state park properties to some form of hunting and to trapping. But the plan also keeps some of the state’s smaller parks and ones in urban areas closed to hunting and to trapping. These parks include: Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee, Heritage Hill State Park in Green Bay and Governor Nelson State Park north of Madison.
  • In terms of traps and dogs, the board also limited the types of traps used at state parks to those that would prevent catching dogs.

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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