Woman dressed warmly in camouflage and standing in marsh reeds aims a shotgun into the air

Plum Island

  • Hunting of white-tailed deer is allowed by permit only. Annually, the Service works with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to implement a nuisance deer control program on Plum Island. Controlling the deer on Plum Island will have a positive impact on forest regeneration.
  • Hunting access is one hour before daylight to one hour after daylight on refuge lands

Detroit Island - Green Bay Refuge Parcel

  • The Detroit Island parcel (148 acres) is open to the public for deer hunting in accordance with all Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources rules and regulations
  • Hunting access is one hour before daylight to one hour after daylight on refuge lands

Plum Island Nuisance Deer Control Program Information

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partners with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to implement 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, and 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 for 2022 is closed.

Questions about the hunt can be emailed to GreenBayRefuge@fws.gov, or mailed to: Green Bay NWR, Attention: Plum Island Hunt, 2661 Scott Tower Drive, New Franken, WI 54229.

The public should be aware that there are eleven 5-day hunt periods that applicants can draw to harvest deer in 2022. Access to the island is permitted for hunters and their parties only, and for the dates of their draw. Plum Island is closed to the public Labor Day to Memorial Day annually. For more information about regulations, visit https://www.fws.gov/refuge/green-bay/visit-us/rules-policies

Related Documents
Green Bay NWR Public Use Regulations

Public use regulations for Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge