Purple flowers
  • Nuisance Deer Control Hunt

    Plum Island Nuisance Deer Control Program Seeks Applicants

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to continue implementation of the Nuisance Deer Control Program on Plum Island. Controlling the deer population for the purpose of sustaining healthy forest habitats is one of the primary biological goals for the refuge. Overabundant deer contribute to overbrowsing. Chronic overbrowsing on forest understory plants alters stand regeneration, species composition, and overall forest communities. This program utilizes public hunters, achieving a secondary goal of providing recreational hunting opportunities on the refuge.

    A maximum of 30 deer are able to be harvested by public hunters to meet the conservation objectives of the nuisance deer program. Applicants must be 18 years old or older to apply, and each individual applicant must complete and sign a Special Use Permit Application to be eligible for the random drawing. Permit holders will be notified by refuge staff prior to their hunt period exactly how many tags remain to be filled. When all 30 of the nuisance tags have been filled, all subsequent groups will be notified, and the nuisance control program will end for the year. Permit holders will be allowed to take up to eight people with them to hunt. Unscheduled refuge management activities may alter available hunting days during a hunt period, although refuge staff do their best to limit these occurrences.

    The application period begins Wednesday, August 25, 2021, and ends Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

    Completed Special Use Permit Applications must be received by mail or e-mail by 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

    Completed applications should be e-mailed to, or mailed to: Attention: Plum Island Hunt Application, Horicon NWR, W4279 Headquarters Road, Mayville, WI 53050.

    Questions should be directed to Dave Bolin at 920-948-4293.

    Plum Island Deer Hunt Application

    Plum Island Deer Hunt Application Instructions

    There are twelve hunt periods that applicants can draw to harvest deer in 2021.

    Period 1: October 8-10 (note--only 3 days)
    Period 2: October 12-17
    Period 3: October 19-24
    Period 4: October 26-31
    Period 5: November 2-7
    Period 6: November 9-14
    Period 7: November 16-21
    Period 8: November 23-28
    Period 9: November 30-Dec 5
    Period 10: December 7-12
    Period 11: December 14-19
    Period 12: December 21-26

    A random drawing will be held on Friday September 10, 2021, at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, W4279 Headquarters Road, Mayville, WI 53050. Successful applicants will be notified if they were drawn for a hunt period by 4:00PM, Tuesday September 14, 2021.

  • Commercial Use Permits

    Refuge Seeks Plum Island Commercial Operators for the 2021 Season

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is announcing the opening of the Commercial Special Use Permit Application period for commercial boat operators to transport and guide the public at the Plum Island Unit of Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge.   

    Commercial Special Use Permit Applications must be received by email by 4:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 31st.  Completed and signed permit applications must be e-mailed to 

    The refuge will consider all applicants who apply and meet the general eligibility requirements.  Operator schedules will be determined after refuge staff evaluate the number of eligible tour operators.

    General eligibility requirements include proof of insurance coverage, U.S. Coast Guard Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV) License, State of WI business license, State of WI boat registration, current CPR/First Aid training, and suitability of mooring in designated dock location.   

    Commercial Special Use Permit Application Form  

    2021 Application Instructions 

    Draft Special Conditions  

    Contact: Dave Bolin, Assistant Refuge Manager.    (920) 948-4293


  • America the Beautiful Federal Recreation Passes

    Annual Pass

    A series of passes (America the Beautiful) covers the entrance and standard amenity fees charged for using federal recreational lands - including some national wildlife refuges (Green Bay NWR does NOT charge an entrance fee). Passes include the Annual, Senior, Access, Military and 4th grade. 

    For more information or to purchase a pass online 

    These passes may also be obtained at federal recreation sites that charge entrance fees.  

    Listing of state parks in Wisconsin that also accept federal recreation passes due to their Federal Ice Age Unit designations:

    Devil's Lake State Park
    Interstate State Park
    Mill Bluff State Park
    Kettle Moraine State Forest (North Unit)