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Rules and Regulations

Trail Sign

General Refuge Regulations 

  • The refuge is open during daylight hours only 
  • Dogs are welcome but must be leashed 
  • Access for wildlife observation/photography/hiking is limited to public use areas during most of the year - majority of the refuge is closed to public access to protect migratory birds. From Dec 1 through Mar 15 the entire Refuge is open to hiking/snowshoeing/cross country skiing)
  • Visitors should stay on established trails and roadways of approved public use areas except during the winter open access period
  • NOT PERMITTED on the refuge: boats, canoes, kayaks, or other floatable devices; ATVs and snowmobiles; horses; collecting plants, berries, seeds, mushrooms, antlers or other artifacts; fireworks; camping; campfires; overnight parking; geocaches  

Public Use Areas and Special Regulations 

Horicon "TernPike" Auto Tour and Hiking Trails - located on State Highway 49, just east of the city of Waupun. Open daily year-round, conditions permitting. Paved driving route (3 miles) and three hiking trails along with a floating boardwalk and bicycling and hiking access to the Wild Goose State Trail. Closed to hunting except during the deer gun seasons - auto tour route is closed to vehicles during this time and hikers are required to wear blaze orange. 

Highway 49 Wildlife Viewing Area - located on State Highway 49 just west of County Road Z. Open daily year-round. Hiking trail (1/4 mile) with observation area. Closed to all hunting

Old Marsh Road - Accessed from Point Rd or auto tour. Only open seasonally (June through August and special Earth Day opening in April) for hiking and bicycling to minimize disturbance to migratory birds. Adjacent dikes are closed. Photo blind located on east end of the road and may be reserved year-round - contact the refuge office for reservation information.  

Bud Cook Hiking Area - located off Point Rd. Two hiking trails and observation area. Open daily year-round. Closed to all hunting. 

Rockvale Road Viewing Point - Rockvale Rd. Observation platform with spotting scope. 

Main Dike Road - Open daily year-round conditions permitting. Entire road is open for hiking and bicycling year-round. Access is limited to the road only - adjacent dikes are closed. Vehicles can drive eastern portion (two-level gravel). Please use pull-offs for wildlife viewing/photography on the eastern portion of Main Dike Road. Parking located near fishing platform on the eastern portion of the road as well as near the Wild Goose State Trail on the western portion of the road (Access from Hwy 26 and use designated parking area). 

Peachy Road, Ledge Road, and Main Dike Road - Designated locations for bank fishing/piers.   

Fishing Regulations  

Fishing on the refuge is open year-round in accordance with state fishing regulations. For more information on state fishing regulations visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.    

  •  Non-lead tackle is required (lures, sinkers etc.)
  • Fishing is limited to designated bank fishing areas (Dec 1 through Mar 15 the entire refuge is open to ice fishing - no motorized vehicles allowed for access
  • Peachy Rd, Ledge Rd, and Main Dike Rd are designated locations for bank fishing (piers)
Hunting Regulations 
 

The 33,000 acre Horicon Marsh is divided into the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area, managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The two areas have different regulations and different season dates for hunting. For more information on state hunting regulations visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The Horicon National Wildlife Refuge is only open for hunting of squirrel, pheasant, partridge, rabbit and deer in accordance with all current statewide seasons and regulations. No waterfowl hunting is allowed except for an annual Learn to Hunt Waterfowl Session.
 
 
 
 

 Hunts for Hunters with Disabilities  

The refuge offers three shotgun deer hunts and one archery hunt in a designated part of the refuge for hunters with disabilities. Hunters must have a Class A, B, C or D permit for the hunts. All of these permits can be obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Ten hunting blinds are available for use during the shotgun hunts.

Learn to Hunt Waterfowl  

No waterfowl hunting is allowed on the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge except for selected youth participants of the Learn to Waterfowl program. The Learn to Hunt programs introduce novice hunters - both youth and adults - to a variety of hunting experiences with the aid of an experienced hunting mentor. 

Horicon Marsh Learn to Hunt Waterfowl 2013 

For more information or to download an application visit http://www.wisducks.org/learn-to-hunt.html  

Trapping Regulations     

Both marsh and upland trapping are offered annually based on management needs of the refuge. Interested trappers must obtain a permit at the refuge office. An annual trapping auction is held jointly with the Horicon Marsh State Wildlife Area each year.  Season dates for the marsh and senior/youth/disabled units will be December 2, 2013 through March 16, 2014 or 5 days after the ice is out, whichever comes first. Trappers will be able to trap any dikes within the units from October 26, 2013 to March 31, 2014 or 5 days after ice is out, whichever comes first. Upland trapping is offered at no charge and will run from October 19, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

Refuge General Trapping Conditions 2013-14 

Refuge Trapping Unit Maps 2013-14 

 

 

Last Updated: Sep 03, 2014
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