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Hunting at Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area

The 32,000-acre Horicon Marsh is divided into the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area (managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) and the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge [exit DNR] (managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). The two areas have different hunting regulations and different season dates. You are responsible for knowing and abiding by these regulations.

All federal and state hunting regulations are in effect. You must comply with Wisconsin hunting regulations. Printed regulation pamphlets are available at the DNR Horicon service center and the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge office/visitor center.

Hunting The State Wildlife Area

All current statewide hunting regulations apply to this wildlife area. Horicon Marsh is in Dodge County in the southern farmland deer zone and in turkey management Zone 2. The 12 p.m. closure rule applies for hunting ring-necked pheasant. Development and management of this property are principally funded by hunting and trapping license fees.

Migratory bird hunting

Frequently asked questions about hunting waterfowl at Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area. Information on season dates, bag limits and required permits is available at waterfowl hunting.

State Property Restricted Areas

State Property Trapping

Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area is a designated Fur Farm under Wisconsin Statute 29.571 and NR 11.09. Hunting and trapping of fur-bearing animals are allowed by permit only. Free permits are available for upland trapping and for youth, seniors, and persons with disabilities in designated areas.

State Property Prohibited Activities

In addition to the prohibited activities listed in the Wisconsin hunting regulations, the following activities are also prohibited in the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area:

  • Overnight camping and parking
  • Campfires and open burning
  • Horseback riding

Please avoid parking vehicles near gates that could obstruct access for staff and other authorized individuals.

Hunting The National Wildlife Refuge

Only the animals listed below may be hunted. Note: The refuge season dates [exit DNR] may vary from the state seasons.

  • Ring-necked pheasant (12 p.m. closure rules apply);
  • Deer (archery and gun);
  • Gray partridge;
  • Cottontail rabbit; and
  • Squirrel.

The refuge is not open to mourning dove hunting.

Refuge Areas Closed To All Hunting

Three areas within the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge are closed to all hunting.

  • Observation area — Located near the intersection of State Highway 49 and County Trunk Z.
  • Refuge office/visitor center area — Located off County Trunk Z.
  • Bud Cook Hiking Area — Located on the east side of Point Road.

Refuge Restricted Areas

Three posted areas within the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge [exit DNR] have restricted hunting (see labeled areas on map [PDF]):

  • Highway 49 hiking trails area (Map area D [PDF]) — Closed to all hunting except during gun deer season.
  • The area between Point Road and Lehner Ditch Road (Map Area E [PDF]) — Closed to all hunting, except for special permit hunts during archery and gun deer seasons.
  • The area on the west side (Map area F [PDF]) — Closed to all hunting, except for a special youth hunt during pheasant season.

Refuge Prohibited Activities

Besides the prohibited activities listed in the Wisconsin hunting regulations pamphlets, there are additional activities prohibited on the Federal Refuge:

  • No waterfowl hunting;
  • No boating;
  • No construction or use of permanent blinds, platforms or scaffolds (all items including portable stands must be removed each night);
  • No scouting;
  • No blocking access to refuge gates with vehicles;
  • No overnight camping, parking or fires in any form;
  • No damaging trees;
  • No shining to locate or take wildlife;
  • No ATVs, other motorized vehicles or horses;
  • You must vacate the refuge and parking lot no later than one hour after legal hunting hours;
  • No toxic shot when hunting small game; and
  • No baiting.

Hunters may use dogs for hunting small game. Hunters may use bicycles during archery and gun deer seasons.

Report all injuries and accidents to the refuge office.

For further information, contact the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge [exit DNR], W4279 Headquarters Road, Mayville, WI 53050, 920-387-2658. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday in the fall, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Deaf/hard of hearing individuals may reach Horicon refuge through Wisconsin Relay Service at 800-947-3529 (v/tty).