Outdoor Report By Wisconsin DNR
The first opportunity to pursue deer this fall is with the opening of the archery and crossbow deer season which began on Saturday, Sept. 17. The archery and crossbow season runs through Jan. 8, 2023.
Hunters are encouraged to do a Rule Refresh before they head out to the tree line to ensure their hunt is enjoyable and safe.
Speaking of safety, the DNR urges hunters to remember TAB-K throughout the season:
- Treat every bow/crossbow as if it were loaded.
- Always point the bow/crossbow in a safe direction.
- Be certain of your target as well as what is before and beyond it.
- Keep your finger outside the crossbow trigger guard or archery release until ready to shoot.
Find Public Land To Hunt With DNR Mapping Tools
From the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in the north to the prairies of the wildlife areas in the south and everything in between – Wisconsin hunters have some of the best public land access east of the Mississippi River.
Hunters can find new lands to explore and begin to plan their next hunting adventure from the comfort of home using the DNR’s Public Access Lands webpage.
Once hunters have done their preliminary scouting online, the next step is to get boots on the ground to explore the habitat and game signs in-person before the hunt.
“Public lands hold amazing opportunities but hunting public land can come with obstacles if you don’t scout in advance,” said Jeff Pritzl, DNR Deer Specialist. “The adventure is rewarding for the same reasons that it is difficult.”
Check out the following DNR online public land mapping tools for your next hunt:
- Hunt Wild mobile app – The Hunt Wild mobile application has everything hunters need to find new public lands to explore, brush up on the regulations or locate a CWD sampling station.
- Fields and Forest Lands Interactive Game Bird Hunting Tool (FFLIGHT) – Hunters can use this tool to locate young aspen and alder habitat, woodcock and ruffed grouse hunting areas, pheasant-stocked public hunting grounds and public-access dove fields.
- Voluntary Public Access-Habitat Incentive Program (VPA-HIP) interactive map – Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the VPA-HIP map provides landowners with financial incentives to open their properties year-round to public hunting access. Hunters should read the guidelines for accessing VPA properties.
- Map of lands enrolled in Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law – This map is especially useful for scouting locations in the central and northern forests.
- Public Access Lands Atlas – The atlas includes all DNR properties and nearly all federal and county-owned lands. Hunters should contact landowners beforehand to verify hunting is allowed.
For more information on public lands in Wisconsin, visit the DNR’s Public Access Lands webpage.