Hunting and Trapping
It may come as a surprise to some visitors to learn that regulated hunting and trapping is permitted in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Unlike the congressional acts that established national park areas like Yellowstone or Yosemite, the legislation that created Apostle Islands National Lakeshore provided for regulated hunting and trapping within lakeshore boundaries. Wildlife in the lakeshore are managed in cooperation with Federal, State and Tribal partners to preserve ecologically sound native biological communities which include both plants and animals; to provide for state regulated and treaty related harvest opportunities; and to safely integrate hunting and trapping with other visitor experiences.
There are a number of harvest opportunities available within the lakeshore. Hunting and trapping on the Mainland Unit of the lakeshore offers a similar experience to that found on other federal lands on the mainland in Wisconsin. Hunting on the islands offers a very primitive experience and requires boat transportation and careful planning.
In general, hunting and trapping within the lakeshore follows state regulations, however, in some instances, there are differences and specific restrictions.
What you need to know:
For more detail, see the lakeshore's Wildlife Management Plan for Harvestable Species.(743 kb pfd)
Hunters are advised that Sand Island will be closed to hunting and all public use December 1 through May 15, 2013 to accommodate a National Park Service deer reduction effort. All other areas within the Lakeshore remain open to regulated hunting and trapping consistent with State seasons with the exception of wolves.
The Mainland Unit of the park is within deer management unit (DMU) 3 and Long island is within DMU 7 - Hunting regulations within DMU's 3 and 7 are generally consistent with State of Wisconsin regulations. However, make sure to read "What you need to know" for regulations specific to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
DMU 79 (DMU 79, 140kb.pdf) includes all of the islands in the lakeshore except for Long Island. There are special seasons and regulations specific to DMU 79.
Bear HuntingBear populations can vary greatly from island and island. Most of the islands only have transient bears, however, a few have year-round populations. The lakeshore is within bear management unit D. A State of Wisconsin Class A bear hunting license and valid tag are required. Hunting seasons and harvest limits within the lakeshore are consistent with State of Wisconsin regulations.
However, make sure to read "What you need to know" (LINK to UPPER SECTION) for regulations specific to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Keep in mind that an access permit is required for bear hunting within DMU 79, no baiting is allowed, and there are special restrictions regarding hunting with dogs.
Wolf hunting and trapping is closed within the park during the 2012-13 season to enable the park to evaluate potential impacts and conduct appropriate compliance. Hunting and trapping regulations within the lakeshore for other furbearers are consistent with State of Wisconsin regulations. However, make sure to read "What you need to know" (LINK to UPPER SECTION) for regulations specific to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. An access permit is required for hunting or trapping furbearers within DMU 79 .
Small Game and Waterfowl
Hunting regulations within the lakeshore are consistent with State of Wisconsin regulations. However, make sure to read "What you need to know" ( UPPER SECTION) for regulations specific to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. An access permit is not required for small game and waterfowl, however, we would appreciate knowing what you harvest.
Ojibwe Treaty Rights within the 1842 Ceded Territory
Part of the lakeshore's mainland unit is within the reservation of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the remaining land areas of the lakeshore are within territory that was ceded as part of the 1842 Treaty with the Ojibwe. Within this ceded territory, the Ojibwe reserved their rights to hunt, trap and gather. These rights are recognized and respected by the National Park Service.
Firearms In the Lakeshore
Did You Know?
Black bear populations on the islands have their ups and downs. Between 2002 and 2010 the bear population on Stockton Island fell from 26 to 13. More bears were found on Oak Island (18) than on Stockton, and the numbers on Sand Island almost doubled from 6 to 10 individuals during that time.