Kickapoo River Wildlife Area - Wauzeka Unit
Kickapoo River Wildlife Area-Wauzeka Unit is a 5,697-acre property (1,927 acres state-owned and 3,770 acres of private lands under easement for hunting and fishing only) located within the Lower Kickapoo and Kickapoo Conservation Opportunity Area in Wisconsin's Wildlife Action plan [PDF]. The habitat on the property is of continental significance for its driftless area features. The property is also an Important Bird Area [exit DNR] because the forests in the southern portion of this site are among the largest and most intact in the whole driftless area and contain significant populations of forest interior birds such as red-shouldered hawk, Acadian flycatcher, wood thrush, cerulean warbler and Kentucky warbler. Prairie and savanna habitats host Bell's vireo, brown thrasher, blue-winged warbler, field sparrow, bobolink and eastern meadowlark. Thousands of migrants use the area, particularly in spring. The Kickapoo Wild Woods State Natural Area is found within the Wauzeka Unit.
The property began as a perpetual hunting and fishing easement unit of the lower Wisconsin River Wildlife area in 1968. In 1975, the Kickapoo River Wildlife Area was separated from the lower Wisconsin River project and conversion of easements to fee ownership was begun.
Find it 1/2 mile north of state Highway 60 on state Highway 131.
The Wauzeka Unit is managed to provide opportunities for public hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreation while protecting the qualities of the unique native communities and associated species found on the property. The upland forests are primarily southern dry-mesic forest types with management focusing on maintaining oak as a viable forest component, incorporating oak savanna habitat adjacent to bluff prairie sites and minimizing conversion to northern hardwood types. Bottomland hardwoods are managed passively. Cropland is slowly being converted to prairie, with prescribed fire, mowing and brushing used to maintain the open grassland. Populations of invasive species are controlled or eliminated by cutting, pulling, burning, herbicide treatment and/or bio-control.
Notable feature: The Wauzeka Unit is a site of an active University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forestry oak management study.
For more information on master planning for this and other wildlife areas around the state, visit the property planning page.
The Kickapoo River Wildlife Area-Wauzeka Unit offers many recreational opportunities:
- Birding (birds commonly seen include woodland songbirds, great white egrets and bald eagles);
- Cross-country skiing (no designated trail);
- Hiking (no designated trail);
- Hunting (especially noted for waterfowl, squirrels, deer, wild turkeys and furbearers);
- Wild edibles/gathering; and
- Wildlife viewing.
Private lands under easement are for hunting and fishing only.
Download [PDF] a map of this property.
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.