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Contact: Quinn Brownell, DNR Natural Resources Educator or 715-884-6335

DNR To Offer Unique Gun Deer Hunting Opportunity As Part Of Study

Applications Due By Oct. 13

A young woman wearing blaze orange stands in a dried cornfield while she holds a rifle by her side. The DNR is offering a unique hunting experience this fall at the Sandhill Wildlife Area as part of a study on deer density. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is offering a unique gun deer hunting opportunity this fall at Sandhill Wildlife Area in Babcock as part of a study on deer density

The Sandhill Wildlife Area’s 2023 Gun Deer Hunt will be held on Dec. 9 and 10 and will be the final 2023 deer harvest opportunity at Sandhill Wildlife Area. Space is limited, and those wishing to participate in this hunt must apply for a special permit. Applications are due by Oct. 13, and all licensed gun hunters are eligible to apply.

The study will evaluate various methods for estimating deer density on small scales, like within the Sandhill Wildlife Area. The study will utilize multiple data sources, including trail camera photos and GPS-collared deer.

“By participating in this special hunting opportunity, deer hunters will help the DNR reduce the deer population density on this property while simultaneously allowing researchers to evaluate the efficacy of various tools and methodologies for estimating deer populations in a real-world scenario,” said Glenn Stauffer, DNR Natural Resources Research Scientist and a lead scientist for the study. 

Hunters can assist with this study and apply for the 2023 Sandhill Wildlife Area Gun Deer Hunt via email at or by mailing their completed application to:

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources – Firearm Deer Hunt
Sandhill Wildlife Area
PO Box 156
Babcock, WI 54413

All applications must be submitted before Oct. 13, 2023. Successful applicants will be notified one week after the deadline. 

Before beginning their hunt, participating hunters must review the special hunting rules and regulations for the Sandhill Wildlife Area. Each participant will be issued two harvest authorizations, one either-sex permit and one antlerless-only harvest authorization. These harvest authorizations are only valid at Sandhill Wildlife Area and during the special two-day hunt. 

For more information about the study, application materials and more, visit Sandhill Wildlife Area’s Outdoor Skills webpage.