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DNR Makes It Easier to Find Hunting Spots on Public Land This Season

Wisconsin is more than a source of good cheese. With trout streams, lush forests, and wild rivers, thousands of people hunt, fish, hike, boat, ski, camp, and study nature in the Badger State yearly.

The Department of Natural Resources protects public lands where anyone can get outside and enjoy the natural beauty Wisconsin offers. To help hunters this season, the DNR has released new tools and software to map hunting locations and get updated regulations.

Let’s learn more about the updates the Wisconsin DNR has made!

What Is the DNR?

Each state has its Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The role of this governmental agency is to preserve the state’s natural resources by managing forests, parks, fisheries, and other areas under protection. The DNR also practices and encourages sustainable living and conservation. 

A father and son hunting in the fall.

How Is the DNR Making It Easier on Hunters?

The Wisconsin DNR has created a new mapping software to help hunters locate public lands where they can hunt during the hunting season. Hunters can also read up on regulations and plan their next hunting adventure using the updated website and tools.

Hunters can also download the Hunt Wild Wisconsin mobile app. Mobile mapping and up-to-the-minute shooting hours are vital features. Users can build a uniquely personal experience depending on the game they want to hunt. Topographic maps and public land boundaries make planning for a successful hunt straightforward. Hunters can also register their harvests on the app.

The Fields and Forest Lands Interactive Gamebird Hunting Tool (FFLIGHT) is an excellent tool for upland gamebird hunters to make their time more productive and enjoyable.

The mapping application allows hunters to quickly locate cover for ruffed grouse and woodcock fields, mourning doves, and properties the DNR has stocked with pheasants.

Can You Legally Hunt on Public Lands?

Wisconsin has millions of acres of public land where hunters can legally hunt game during different seasons. The Managed Forest Law (MFL) and Forest Crop Law (FCL) programs permit public recreational activity on private forest lands. This web mapping tool helps hunters find which grounds are available.

The Public Access Lands (PAL) Atlas also shows public lands available for recreational purposes. Hunters, anglers, hikers, dog walkers, and bird watchers can all use this atlas to locate areas where they permit certain activities.

Tips for Hunting on Public Land

When hunting on public land, following particular guidelines is critical since everyone shares these areas. There are also a few tips to make your hunting trip successful and enjoyable.

Respect the Land and Other Hunters

Remember, public land is for the public. This land isn’t only for you. Have a backup plan if another hunter is already in the area. Pay attention to DNR staff and other hunters in the location. Follow posted signs and regulations to respect the land and ensure its use for future generations.

Be Aware of Boundaries

This is where the new mapping tools and the Hunt Wild Wisconsin app will come in handy. Before you go on a hunt, map out the area to locate boundaries. Know where you can and cannot hunt. This is a crucial part of respecting the land.

Use Aerial and Hybrid Maps for Planning

To find your following hunting location, use the aerial and hybrid maps to scout the public lands. Examine the topography. Search for specific areas with the game you’re hunting. By using these tools, your hunt will be more productive, and you’ll stock your freezer with game meat for the winter.

Set Your Alarm Clock

Get out and hit the public lands early. You’ll have a better chance of getting to your desired location before another hunter and won’t have to resort to your backup plan. But before you head out for a day of hunting, get out early and scout the area. Know what you’re getting into, and prepare for your excursion.

Know and Follow the Rules and Regulations

It’s crucial to know the hunting and trapping seasons. You can hunt deer, turkey, bear, elk, game birds, migratory birds, small game, and furbearers on public lands throughout the year.

But you must follow the rules and hunt game in its specific season with the correct weapon. For example, they permit archery and crossbow hunting for deer from September 17 to January 8. However, muzzleloader season is from November 28 to December 7. Use the Hunt Wild Wisconsin app to brush up on local regulations.

Fill Your Freezer and Feed Your Family This Hunting Season

Hunting isn’t only for sport. Many families live off game meat. Hunting is still a food source for many people in Wisconsin and throughout the country. The Wisconsin DNR hopes to make this hunting season more productive and enjoyable for hunters and their families by releasing new tools and mapping software.

So if you live in Wisconsin or are heading there for a winter hunting trip, download the app and use the tools to prepare. You’ll be glad you did!

Which hunting season are you looking forward to the most?

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