The woods and waters that make up the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway host a rich variety of wildlife. Hunting is a long-standing tradition along the riverway. Unlike many other national park units, the enabling legislation that designated the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers as part of the Wild & Scenic Rivers System allows for hunting within the Riverway.Hunting opportunities are diverse and abundant along the Riverway. Many waterfowlers enjoy luring ducks and geese toward decoy spreads at the various cattail and wild rice flowages of the Namekagon or backwaters of the St. Croix River, while others choose to drift the river for jump shooting opportunities. Deer and bear are pursued throughout the Riverway with archery equipment, black powder rifles, and modern firearms. Upland bird hunters find plenty of action in grouse and woodcock coverts. Most recently, wild turkey populations have soared throughout much of the Riverway, prompting both spring and fall hunts in certain zones.
Do you know the rules?
Hunters are responsible for:
- obtaining a license from the appropriate state (Minnesota, Wisconsin),
- understanding and following the regulations of the state in which they are hunting and hold a license,
- knowing in which state they are hunting, including knowing where they are in regard to the state line on land and in water, and
- understanding and following the restrictions and prohibited activities on National Park Service land.
Hunters are reminded to put safety first, and to respect the rights of private landowners as well as the rights of other hunters and non-hunters using public lands.
Hunting on National Park Service Land:
Hunting is allowed on most National Park Service land. National Park Service (NPS) Rangers patrol Riverway land during hunting season, as do state conservation officers, to enforce regulations and detect violations. To clarify questions of park boundary locations or other issues, hunters can contact the park at SACN_Info.gov or 715-483-2274.
Activities Prohibited on National Park Service land:
In some instances, National Park Service regulations may be more stringent than state laws. Regardless of whether you hunt in Wisconsin or Minnesota, the following activities are prohibited on NPS lands:
Hunting is prohibited within 500' of any Riverway building, administrative compound, or public use facility and 100' of any designated campsite, or 50' of any road.
Shooting across or toward any public hiking trail is also not allowed.
The construction of permanent tree stands is not allowed. Stands must be portable, of a design that does not damage the tree, and must be removed at the end of each day's hunt. Screw-in ladder steps are prohibited, as is brushing out shooting lanes.
Motorized vehicles and All-Terrain Vehicles of all types are prohibited on NPS lands.
Transporting unregistered game animals into a neighboring state by boat or other conveyance is a violation of state and federal law.
Areas where hunting is restricted on National Park Service land:
Some National Park Service land has been restricted or closed to hunting for safety reasons. Exact regulations can be found in the Superintendent's Compendium
. National Park Service land areas with hunting restrictions are posted.
Arcola Bluffs Day Use Area north of Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota is open to archery and firearms deer hunting only.
The Fairy Falls area in Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota is currently closed to all access, including hunting.
Boom Site land north of Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota is closed to hunting.
Land adjacent to Camp Sunrise in Chisago County, Minnesota is closed to hunting.
Land adjacent to Wild River State Park in Chicago County, Minnesota is closed to hunting.
Land adjacent to Wild Mountain Recreation Area in Chisago County is closed to hunting.
Land east of Mosbaek Road and north of Mosbaek Landing Road, Sawyer County, Wisconsin is closed to hunting.
Minnesota or Wisconsin:
No matter what the quarry or season, all hunting must be in accordance with state regulations from which a license is issued. Contact the Minnesota or Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for details on seasons, bag limits, licensing requirements, and general hunting regulations.
Private property exists within the Riverway and can only be hunted with permission of the landowner.