The DNR is reminding State Park users that starting today they may encounter hunters or trappers.
Last year, the state legislature approved the Sporting Heritage Bill. The law is intended to expand outdoor recreation opportunities and make it easier for people to participate in hunting, trapping and fishing. That included opening the state parks, which goes into effect today and runs through Dec. 15.
Hunting is only allowed in areas designated as open. Closed areas include within 100 yards of designated use areas, such as parking lots, campgrounds and picnic areas, as well as within 100 yards of certain trails.
Scott Loomans, hunting regulations specialist for the Department of Natural Resources says, “It is each hunter’s responsibility to know what areas within a park are open to hunting and which areas are closed.” Maps indicating closed and open areas are available on the DNR website, at park offices, and they will be posted at parking areas and other locations within parks.
Dan Schuller, Wisconsin State Parks director says hunters on state park properties should expect to encounter non-hunting park users, and all park visitors should be respectful of other people using the park, according to.
He added, “We have gone through a significant effort to safely accommodate all recreational users of the parks during the open hunting seasons. Each park has significant areas closed to hunting, generally around the most heavily used areas and trails.”
In addition, hunters need to be aware that park properties that were previously open for deer hunting by park-specific access permits remain open only to those deer hunters who applied for and received permits to hunt in those properties. This includes Rib Mountain and Council Grounds.