Hunting on the Chequamegon-Nicolet NF
NEW! The Forest has finalized the Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM)for 2009. Maps for downloading and other information can be seen at the MVUM Page.
Hunter Hiking/Walking Trail information and Maps. Click HERE (Note: Not all districts have established hunter hiking/walking trails)
The Chequamegon-Nicolet offers a wide variety of tree species that are home to abundant wildlife. Maple, oak, cherry, birch and aspen are among a few. Your hunting experience awaits!
Here are some things you need to know for a memorable hunting trip:
Know the Rules - An excellent source of specific rules and regulations is the Order of the Forest Supervisor Occupancy and Use Restrictions for the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. A hard copy of this document is also available at all district offices.
Please do not bring firewood from home to the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
Hunting Licenses - You must have a valid license from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to hunt on Forest land, however, no special license or permit is required from the Forest.
Hunting Regulations - Hunting regulations on National Forest lands are the same as hunting on other public lands, however, the Chequamegon-Nicolet NF does prohibit or allow different uses as listed below. For hunting regulations, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources web site.
Portable stands and ground blinds - All portable stands and ground blinds are allowed on National Forest
lands. If left unattended one week after the close of the applicable hunting season, they are subject to impoundment by the Forest Service. Permanent stands and ground blinds are not allowed. Construct blinds with natural materials (brush, branches, etc.) gathered from the immediate area and leave the area where a blind was constructed looking natural at the end of the hunting season. Although not required, we ask that you "flag" your ground blind visible 360 degrees with blaze orange so it is more visible to other hunters and forest users (waterfowl hunt blinds are exempt).
Where to hunt - Hunting is permitted on National Forest lands unless otherwise posted. Hunting is not allowed within 150 yard of buildings, campgrounds, developed recreation sites or occupied areas such as boat launches, picnic areas, etc., or in a manner or place that could cause injury or damage. Follow the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hunting regulation booklets for hunting within or on National Forest System Roads.
Know where you are hunting - Wisconsin does not require landowners to post their land prohibiting trespassers. Therefore, you could be trespassing on private land and not know it. District offices sell visitor maps at various scales that can help you keep your bearings.
Parking - Please park your vehicles as far along the side of the road as possible so you are not blocking traffic. You can pay a $5.00 daily use fee in our designated and posted fee use areas or purchase a Chequamegon-Nicolet annual parking sticker for $20.00 ($10.00 for a second vehicle for the same family annually).
Off-Road/Off-Trail Vehicle use - is prohibited anywhere on the Chequamegon-Nicolet NF. You cannot take your vehicle off the road or trail to either set up or remove a portable hunting stand, ground blind, or retrieve game. Refer to the appropriate Motor Vehicle Use Map for the area you're hunting to determine where and which type of access is allowed.
Pack it in, pack it out - As with any other forest activity, when you leave your hunting area, take any debris or personal items out with you. Leave the area the same way you found it or better. Keep campfires small. Better yet - use a portable camp stove. If you decided to have a fire (campfires are permitted in the wilderness), gather small dead and down wood a good distance from camp. Before leaving camp, "naturalize" the area by scattering any rocks and wood you used to make a fire ring.
Camping on developed recreational campsites or other National Forest System lands - Some campgrounds remain open, but services such as garbage pickup, snow removal, water, or latreens are not maintained during the off-season. See the List of Developed Campgrounds for more specific information. Camping on other National Forest System land is allowed anywhere on the Chequamegon-Nicolet unless posted otherwise, and can not exceed 21 consecutive days.
The Order of the Forest Supervisor Occupancy and Use Restrictions for the Chequamegon-Nicolet NF contains detailed information on general occupancy, Fire, the use of National Forest System Roads, trails, vehicles; and special area restrictions (such as wilderness). It also contains "supplemental definitions" for all-terrain vehicles, bear baiting, and camping. You can also obtain information on specific campgrounds by contacting one of our District Offices.
Fire - leaving any fire without completely extinguishing it or without removing all flammable materials from around the campfire to prevent its escape is prohibited. Firing any tracer bullet, other incendiary ammunition, or firework device is prohibited. Please contact District Offices for any DNR and Forest Service Emergency Order fire restrictions.
Not hunting but still in the Forest? - If you're not hunting but plan on being in the forest during hunting seasons, we strongly recommend you wear blaze orange clothing for your personal safety.
Hunting in the Wilderness - Some people prefer a quiet hunting experience away from the noise of vehicles and crowds of people. There are 5 Wildernesses on the Chequamegon-Nicolet totaling over 44,000 acres. Visit our Wilderness Page for more details.
Hunter Hiking/Walking Trails - A variety of hunter walking trails on the Forest can be found. Many are existing hiking trails used year-round and others are specifically for hunters. Many of the trails are specifically managed to enhance wildlife habitat such as ruffed grouse. Visit the Hunter Hiking/Walking Trails Page HERE (Note: not all districts have established hunter hiking/walking trails)