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Columbus Wetland Public Hunting Grounds


Columbus Wetland Public Hunting Grounds is a 248-acre property located in Columbia County. Find it by taking Lewis Street from Columbus, which turns into old Highway 73. The grounds are just north of the Highway 151 bridge on the west side of the road. The property consists of approximately 175 acres of wetland, 60 acres of upland and 20 wooded acres.

This public hunting ground was established to provide the public with additional hunting and recreating opportunities. In the late 1990s, a wetland restoration project was completed, creating habitat for wildlife, especially waterfowl.


Historically, the primary management objective for Columbus Public Hunting Grounds was to provide hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities. As lands were acquired, marginal farm fields were converted back to grassland or wetlands to compliment the existing natural community and provide additional wildlife habitat and hunting opportunities.

Current management objectives focus on protecting the watershed of the Crawfish River and managing for presettlement vegetation types. This includes maintaining existing grasslands, savannas and wetlands and seeking opportunities to increase these cover types. The property is managed on a landscape scale to create smooth transitions between cover types.

The property is monitored for invasive species such as wild parsnip. Prairie and savanna areas are managed and maintained through prescribed burning, mowing and herbicide use to limit brush encroachment and encourage vigorous grasslands. Wetlands are managed through limited disturbance to prevent the spread of reed canary grass. Woodlands are managed in a manner that limits the spread of oak wilt and encourages regeneration of floodplain forest.

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


The Columbus Wetland Public Hunting Grounds offers many recreational opportunities:

  • Birding;
  • Canoeing;
  • Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
  • Fishing;
  • Hiking (no designated trail);
  • Hunting (especially noted for deer, waterfowl, turkey [Zone 3] and furbearers);
  • Trapping;
  • Wild edibles/gathering; and
  • Wildlife viewing.

Download [PDF] a map of this property.

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