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.
Anyone who is hunting or trapping in the Lakeshore must have a valid Wisconsin license/permit, applicable to the species and location.
A free access permit, from the park, is required to hunt deer, bear ,and turkey, or hunt/trap wolves and furbearers on islands in the Lakeshore (except Long Island). The access permit is not needed to hunt on the mainland unit of the Lakeshore or hunt small game and migratory birds. In addition, wolf harvest is not permitted on the park’s Mainland Unit, Long Island or Sand Island.
Download the access permit, fill out the required portions and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Attn: Resource Management
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
415 Washington Ave.
Bayfield, WI 54814
What you need to know:
Areas Closed to Hunting and Trapping
The Mainland Unit of the park is within the Bayfield County deer management unit. Long Island is within the Bad River deer management unit. Hunting regulations for the Mainland Unit and Long Island 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.
There are special seasons and regulations specific to the islands within the Lakeshore (except Long).
Bear populations can vary greatly from island to island. Most of the islands only have transient bears, however, a few have year-round populations.
Hunting seasons and harvest limits are consistent with State of Wisconsin regulations. Special regulations include:
Hunting and trapping regulations within the National Lakeshore for furbearers are consistent with current State of Wisconsin regulations with the following EXCEPTIONS:
A park provided access permit is required for hunting or trapping wolves or other furbearers on the islands. Make sure to read "What you need to know" for additional regulations specific to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
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.
Last updated: February 19, 2021