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Buckhorn Wildlife Area

Buckhorn Wildlife Area is a 1,643-acre property contiguous to Buckhorn State Park and Yellow River Wildlife Area. It is located on Castle Rock Lake in east-central Juneau County off of Highway G. Buckhorn Wildlife Area is located to the south of the state park boundary between the park and Castle Rock Lake.

The property lies within the transition zone of northern conifer-hardwood forests and southern hardwood forests. Prior to logging in 1900, the original vegetation was pine and oak savanna. Currently, the area consists of large expanse of sand barrens and sand blows, flooded wetlands with shrub-carr and northern sedge meadow and a second-growth forest. The barrens contains dense patches of jack pine and oak with scattered openings of characteristic prairie grasses and forbs. Species include little bluestem, flowering spurge, puccoon and lead-plant.

Management Objectives

Buckhorn Wildlife Area is managed to provide quality public hunting, wildlife viewing and other compatible recreational opportunities for a variety of upland, wetland and aquatic habitat types. The area is managed to protect, restore and maintain rare or unique habitats and ecosystems, particularly aquatic habitats, bottomland hardwoods and barrens. The management of this wildlife area is integrated with the adjacent state park and state natural areas to provide high ecological and public use benefits.

Buckhorn Wildlife Area is located entirely within the boundary of the Buckhorn Barrens State Natural Area. The vegetative management objective for the property is to restore and maintain approximately 930 acres of ecologically functioning oak-pine barrens native community with a moderately open structure and scattered older jack pine.

Management activities for the grassland, barrens and sand barrens management may include fire, tree and shrub cutting or shearing, mowing, chemical treatment, mechanical site preparation and planting, as deemed appropriate by the property manager. Cutting, girdling, application of herbicide or other methods may also be used to control invasive plant species.

For more information on master planning for this and other wildlife areas around the state, visit the property planning page.


The Buckhorn Wildlife Area offers many recreational opportunities:

  • Birding;
  • Cross-country skiing;
  • Fishing;
  • Hiking;
  • Hunting (bow hunting early and late season for white-tailed deer and spring turkey);
  • Spring turkey hunting open for two-day Youth Hunt and during the first three time periods of the regular season;
  • Trapping;
  • Wild edibles/gathering; and
  • Wildlife viewing.


Download [PDF] a map of this property.

If you are interested in exploring this property further, you can access an interactive map.

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