Ozaukee Washington Land Trust

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OWLT Hunting Policy - Updated 11-9-2018

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

Important Tips

  • 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

Preference Points

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).

Application Process

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.

  • Hunters interested in gaining permission to Managed Access sites must submit an application each year.
  • 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.***

For more information, contact our Stewardship Director at

Deer Hunting

***Be sure to read OWLT’s Hunting Policy page for a fundamental understanding of our hunting program.***

Deer hunting is the most popular part of our hunting program. Our goal is to provide a safe and high quality experience for as many hunters as possible. To contribute, hunters should follow all rules and regulations, be respectful of OWLT neighbors and other hunters, and provide feedback about any violations to OWLT as soon as possible.

Due to the developed nature of many of our preserves, bow hunting is often the only allowable option. Hunters are required to follow all applicable DNR, local, and OWLT rules and regulations. We are not responsible for informing hunters about these rules and regulations.

OWLT deer hunters will respect the following rules:

  • Hunters are asked to harvest at least one doe prior to harvesting a buck.
  • Upon harvesting a deer, hunters have two days to fill out a Harvest Report and submit to OWLT.
  • Hunters are responsible for knowing where OWLT property boundaries are located and for staying within these boundaries – as to not trespass onto adjacent, private properties.
  • If hunters need to follow a wounded deer onto private lands, permission must be obtained from the landowner before proceeding onto private lands.
  • Motorized vehicles of any kind are not allowed on OWLT preserves.
  • Hunters must park at designated parking areas.
  • Hunters must pack out any garbage or other items when leaving OWLT preserves.
  • Hunters are encouraged to join OWLT and volunteer on OWLT preserves. 
  • Hunters are responsible for obtaining weapons discharge permits from local agencies where needed.

Hunters must follow DNR regulations, local municipality ordinances, and OWLT’s Hunting Policy. – whichever is most restrictive.

***Violation of any of the rules above, local ordinances, and/or DNR’s regulations will result in the violator no longer being eligible for Managed Access sites for perpetuity***

Please contact our Stewardship Director at for more information.

Upland Bird and Turkey Hunting

Upland game bird hunting is an increasingly popular part of our hunting program. Hunters are required to follow all applicable state or local rules and regulations. We are not responsible for informing hunters about these rules and regulations.

Fall turkey season - Be sure to have your OWLT application in before September 1st.

Spring turkey seasons - Be sure to have your OWLT application in before September 1st.

Other game birds - Be sure to have your OWLT application in before September 1st.

To apply just follow the “Hunting Application” link.

Due to the urban nature of many of our preserves, bow hunting is often the only allowable option. We understand that most turkey hunters aren’t interested in bow hunting, but the option is still available. OWLT grants permission to hunt our Open Access preserves, but hunters are still required to follow all applicable state or local rules and regulations. We are not responsible for informing our hunters about these rules and regulations.

Hunters must follow DNR regulations, local municipality ordinances, and OWLT’s Hunting Policy. – whichever is most restrictive.

***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.***

Please contact our Stewardship Director at for more information.

Waterfowl Hunting

Due to the urban nature of many of our preserves, waterfowl hunting is often incompatible because of our restrictions on gun usage. We only provide for waterfowl hunting on a limited number of preserves.

It’s important to note that our restrictions on waterfowl hunting are only based on upland hunting. Rivers, lakes, ponds and streams are considered "waters of the state." If you are hunting from a boat or in the water, you are subject to state hunting laws. In either case, we do not allow motorized vehicles on our preserves. If you wish to bring a boat to the water you must carry it or use a self-propelled device.

We accept hunting applications at any time during the year – to be considered for one of our Managed Access Sites be sure to have your application in by September 1st. OWLT grants permission to hunt our Open Access preserves, but hunters are still required to follow all applicable state or local rules and regulations. We are not responsible for informing hunters about these rules and regulations.

To apply just follow the “Hunting Application” link on the right side of this page.

Hunters must follow DNR regulations, local municipality ordinances, and OWLT’s Hunting Policy. – whichever is most restrictive.

***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.***

Please contact our Stewardship Director at for more information.

Small Game & Trapping

Due to the urban nature of many of our preserves bow hunting is often the only hunting type allowed. This makes for few realistic small game opportunities on OWLT preserves.

We accept hunting and trapping applications at any time during the year – to be considered for one of our Managed Access Sites be sure to have your application in by September 1st. OWLT grants permission to hunt or trap our Open Access preserves, but hunters are still required to follow all applicable state or local rules and regulations. We are not responsible for informing hunters about these rules and regulations.

To apply just follow the “Hunting Application” link on the right side of this page

Hunters must follow DNR regulations, local municipality ordinances, and OWLT’s Hunting Policy. – whichever is most restrictive.

***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.***

Please contact our Stewardship Director for more information.