With gun deer season coming up, many of you probably want to know what land you can hunt on. The Dept. of Natural Resources says it's easier than ever. But last week the governor's office says work still needs to be done to make it more obvious to hunters where to locate and gain access to those areas.
In Marathon Co. alone, there are more than 15,000 acres of private forest land that's supposed to be open for the public to hunt, fish and cross country ski on. The problem is, those landowners don't have to post anywhere that their property is open, so the public has to go digging for it.
But the DNR is taking steps to help. Under its website's (dnr.wi.gov) Recreation tab, there is a link to the Hunting page, click on that and then click on the link called, Where to Hunt. On the bottom right side of the screen is a link called, Public Access Program. That program gives landowners tax breaks if they agree to open up their farm or backyard to the public. After clicking on that, there is the opportunity to search a specific area by its location or the activity. The site displays maps of the property, coordinates and directions on how to get there.
For those who aren't computer savvy, people can also pick up a county plat book.
"It has the boundaries of different properties, the land owners," said DNR conservation warden Mike Rader. "That's why it's a critical thing, a key resources because it will actually tell people what parcel, who owns, and the boundaries of the property and how big it is."
Those plat books are available at any county courthouse around the state.
There is also information on the DNR's website about public hunting land, like wildlife parks and county forests.