Hunting is an important part of our land management program, a valuable outdoor recreation opportunity, and a great way to enjoy nature. OWLT and our hunting friends have a great partnership that you can be a part of too!
OWLT Hunting disclaimer
To ensure a quality hunting opportunity and to reward good hunting ethics OWLT expects hunters to respect and follow all rules and regulations. During all seasons, hunters are responsible for understanding and must follow Wisconsin DNR, local municipality, and OWLT’s policy, rules, and regulations – whichever is most restrictive. Violators of any rule or regulation are automatically disqualified from Managed Access permissions in the future.
Hunters are responsible for knowing where OWLT property boundaries are located and for staying within these boundaries. Violators are automatically disqualified from Managed Access permissions in the future and could be charged with trespassing.
OWLT Hunting Categories
OWLT has three hunting categories for its preserves - Closed, Open Access, and Managed Access. Categories apply to all allowable seasons for each specific site. Hunting categories are determined by how properties were acquired (donation or purchase), what funding sources were used (Knowles Nelson Stewardship, federal, or private funds), and when they were acquired. Additionally, OWLT follows local municipality ordinances and DNR regulations on all of our preserves. These regulations may restrict hunting opportunities due to proximity to residences or highly populated areas. OWLT’s hunting goal remains - provide as many quality hunting opportunities as possible while following state and local laws, rules, and regulations.
- Closed Sites – These preserves are not available for hunting. Hunting is restricted due to location (proximity to housing or local ordinance), request by donor, size, or safety reasons.
***If a site is not listed in the categories below, it is closed for hunting.***
- Open Access Sites – These preserves are open to the public for all legal hunters, no permission letter needed. OWLT’s Open Access Sites:
- Lynn Preserve
- Mayhew Preserve
- South Oak Preserve
- Schoofs Preserve
- Spirit Lake Preserve
- Newark Lore Preserve
- Center Lane Preserve
- County Line Preserve
- Managed Access Sites – These preserves are available to hunters with permission letters only. Permission is determined with a lottery/raffle system – applications are due September 1st. OWLT’s Managed Access Sites:
- Cedarburg Environmental Study Area
- Decorah Woods
- Fellenz Woods
- Forest Beach Migratory Preserve
- Huiras Lake State Natural Area
- Kratzsch Conservancy
- Lake 12
- MacLaurin Woods
- Riverbend Conservancy
- Wendt Preserve
- Hunting applications are due September 1st. Applications must be filled out completely to be considered for managed access permissions.
- OWLT’s preserves vary in what species and methods are allowable at each site. See the Site Specific Hunting Policies page for details.
- It is the hunter’s responsibility to understand what is allowed on each site they plan on hunting – this includes following DNR, municipality, and OWLT rules and regulations.
- Gain preference points by volunteering to boost your chances of permission – see below.
- Hunters are encouraged to join OWLT and volunteer on OWLT preserves.
A great way to learn more about our hunting program is to volunteer!! Plan to join us outside sometime soon and we will be sure to answer all of your questions. Keep an eye on our online calendar to learn more about volunteer opportunities. www.owlt.org/calendar
Started in 2017, volunteering can increase your chances of gaining a permission letter to our Managed Access sites. Every 10 hours volunteered count as one preference point. If you volunteered 30 + hours over the season, you would have a total of 4 points (one default point just for applying, and three additional points for 30 hours volunteered) to put toward your 1st choice preserve. **Preference points will be placed in the lottery for your number one choice preserve only (indicated on your application).
OWLT’s hunting application provides a way to track hunting interest and activity on our preserves, and allows hunters to apply for our lottery at our Managed Access sites.
- All Hunters must fill out an application each year they plan on hunting any of OWLT’s properties that allow hunting – both Open and Managed Access Sites.
- Applications are Due September 1st
- Winners of drawings will be granted permission by 09/10 via email.
- Applications must be filled out in their entirety to be eligible for the lottery.
- Hunters will be introduced (via email) to the other hunters who will be hunting the same Managed Access preserve.
OWLT HUNTING REGULATIONS
***Violations of any hunting regulation (DNR, local municipality, or OWLT’s list below) can be cause for automatic disqualification from Managed Access permissions in the future, for perpetuity. Legal charges can be filed and equipment used within the violation area can be ceased by OWLT.***
- OWLT does not allow baiting on any of its preserves. OWLT reserves the right to press trespassing charges on hunters found to be using bait.
- OWLT does not allow unoccupied treestands or ground blinds on Open Access sites – they must be removed during the day when not in use, and at the end of each day.
- OWLT requires treestands and ground blinds be labeled with personal information following DNR regulations and must be visible from the ground.
- OWLT does not allow building blinds with lumber or woody debris found on site.
- OWLT does not allow cutting of branches, trees, or other vegetation for any reason on any preserve – including creating a view for trail cameras.
- OWLT does not allow “screw-in” tree steps or any other tree-damaging equipment to be used on any of its preserves – including attaching trail cameras.
- OWLT does not allow motorized vehicles of any kind on any preserve outside of the access road (if open to the public) and parking area.
- Hunters are responsible for obtaining weapons discharge permits from local agencies where needed.
- OWLT expects hunters to be cordial and cooperative with each other.
***Equipment found in association with a violation will be removed from the property and held by OWLT. OWLT reserves the right to assume ownership of any piece of equipment in violation.***