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Hampden Wetland Public Hunting Grounds


Hampden Wetland Public Hunting Grounds is a 229-acre property located in Columbia County. Find it by taking Highway 60 for 6 miles west from Columbus to Highway A, then south on A for 4 miles to Arnold Road.

The department began acquiring land for this public hunting ground in 1966. Much of the property is marshy potholes with lowland timber.


The primary recreation management objectives for Hampden Wetland Public Hunting Grounds are to provide hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities. Upland fields were converted to grassland to compliment the existing grassland community and provide additional wildlife habitat and hunting opportunity.

Current management objectives focus on 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 and phragmites. Grasslands 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 oak and hickory.


The Hampden Wetland Public Hunting Grounds offers many recreational opportunities:

  • Birding;
  • Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
  • Hiking (no designated trail);
  • Hunting (especially noted for turkey [Zone 2] and deer);
  • Trapping;
  • Wild edibles/gathering; and
  • Wildlife viewing.
Master Plan

The Columbia County master plan was completed in 2012 and guides the long-term management of this property. Progress toward achieving the goals of the master plan are tracked through annual monitoring reports.

The Natural Resources Board approved the new master plan in December 2012 for this property as well as 19 other state fish and wildlife properties and associated state natural areas. These properties are mostly within Columbia County, but portions lie within Dane, Marquette and Sauk counties.

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


Download [PDF] a map of this property.

Map L Series: Public Hunting Grounds and Remnant Fishery Area [PDF]

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

Useful links


Find out more about how to adopt this wildlife area.