Facility Rules and Policies

Necedah National Wildlife Refuge is an area set aside and managed for wildlife. To avoid or reduce disturbance during critical times of the year public recreation is focused in certain areas. Wildlife viewing is encouraged year round at the visitor center and on the hiking trails or township roads. All other refuge areas have specific dates for listed recreational opportunities that are open to foot travel.

Know the unique rules of each refuge before you visit. Different locations have sensitive flora, fauna and various wildlife needs that can change by season. Be aware and follow these rules to ensure continuous public enjoyment of the refuge.

General Rules
  • The refuge is open year round from sunrise to sunset
  • Visitor center hours: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed federal holidays, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Please call ahead to verify as hours are subject to change at 608-565-2551.
  • Vehicles, ATVs, snowmobiles and bicycles are permitted on township roads, but are not permitted on refuge lands, trails or roads
  • Speed Limit: 25 miles per hour
  • Pets must be leashed at all times other than migratory bird hunting
  • Berry picking is for personal use only and in limited quantity, from July 1 through August 15
  • Birding and hiking are allowed refuge-wide from July 1 through August 15, after ground nesting birds have hatched
  • Ungroomed cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, birding and hiking are allowed refuge-wide, from December 15 through March 31, after migration has ended and as it begins
  • Brochures are available for additional information / regulations on wildlife viewing, birding, hunting and fishing, as well as berry picking. Consult the appropriate brochures before participating in these activities.
  • Commercial enterprise is not allowed without a special permit
  • Vehicles, ATVs, snowmobiles and bicycles are permitted on township roads, but are not permitted on refuge lands, trails or roads
  • Trail cameras and drones are not allowed to be used on refuge property
  • Harassment of wildlife or damage to vegetation is prohibited
  • Hunting areas are marked with signs throughout the refuge with numbers 1, 2, and 3. Safety Zone 1 is a No Hunting Zone that includes refuge infrastructure and open hiking trails
  • Litter, shell casings, fishing line and other disposable items or gear must be retrieved and disposed of properly
  • Anything not listed is not allowed
Prohibited Activities

Activities not expressly permitted are prohibited. If you have any questions, please check with refuge staff at the visitor center.

  • Collection of mushrooms, nuts and plants
  • The collection of dead animal parts - feathers, antlers, bones, etc
  • The collection of live animals
  • Destructing, defacing, disturbing, searching for or unauthorized removal of any natural object, artifact, cultural resource or government property
  • The sale of any items obtained from the refuge
  • Shining/Spotlighting
  • Baiting
  • Open fires, grills, open heat sources
  • Littering, disposing of animal carcasses, trash, refuse, rocks, wood or other debris.
  • Wolf, coyote, bobcat and bear hunting
  • Hunting at night
  • Target and practice shooting
  • Overnight parking and camping
  • Permanent blinds, stands and ladders
  • Damaging, cutting, removing vegetation
  • Possession or use of alcoholic beverages
  • Use or possession of any illegal drug or drug paraphernalia is prohibited
  • Tacks, paint, and reflective tape
  • Lead and non-federally approved toxic shot
  • Loaded firearms or nocked arrows on a bow, within 50 feet of the centerline of all public roads - shown on the map as a solid line
  • During gun deer season, firearms must be unloaded within 50 feet of the center line of service roads - shown as dotted lines on the map
  • Discharging from, across, down or along service roads is prohibited
  • Motorized vehicles are restricted to public roads
  • Vehicles parked in front of gates or blocking roads are subject to being fined and / or towed at the owner’s expense
  • The use of nails, wire, screws, or bolts to attach any hunting equipment is prohibited
  • Dog training
  • Lead tackle
  • Fishing after dark or before daylight
  • Leaving boats on the refuge overnight
  • Unless specifically listed, boats are not allowed on refuge waters
Trapping

Restricted species trapping allowed by special use permit only.

Hunting

Necedah Hunting Rules and Policies Brochure

Migratory Game Bird Hunting

We allow hunting of ducks, geese, coot, merganser, dove, moorhen / gallinule, rail, snipe and woodcock in Hunt Area 2 only and in accordance with state regulations and subject to the following conditions:

  • Consult refuge specific brochures and maps for hunting areas open by time of year and the following rules.

  • Entering the refuge hunt areas one hour before legal shooting hours and departing one hour after, during the hunting season
  • Portable blinds, hunting gear and personal property may be used during waterfowl season, but must be removed at the end of each days hunt. Please refer to 50 CFR.27.93.
  • Dogs may be off leash while hunting, during migratory bird hunting season
  • Nontoxic, lead free shotgun shells are required
  • Bird Bands: If you obtain a bird band, please visit www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBL/bblretrv to report the date and location of recovery and receive information on your banded bird

Big Game Hunting

We allow hunting of white-tailed deer in designated areas in accordance with state regulations and subject to the following conditions:

  • Consult refuge specific brochures and maps for hunting areas open by time of year and the following rules.
  • Entering the refuge hunt areas one hour before legal shooting hours and departing one hour after, during the hunting season
  • Non-motorized boats are allowed in Sprague and Goose Pools from June 1 to September 15, December 15 to March 15 and beginning the Saturday prior to the opening of the state regular gun deer season until frozen
  • Unarmed deer hunters may enter Hunt Area 3 for scouting beginning the Saturday prior to the gun deer season
  • Portable elevated devices may be used, but may not be erected prior to the opening day of deer hunting season and must be lowered to ground level at the end of each day’s hunt
  • Tree stands and ground blinds must have the Wisconsin customer identification number attached in a manner that is visible and legible to a person on the ground or near the entrance of the ground blind. Ground blinds, elevated devices, platforms and ladders may be used only if there is no damage, cutting or removing of any vegetation. If natural, dead vegetation is used as a ground blind, it must be disassembled at the close of the season.
  • Ground blinds during any open deer season or special deer hunt with firearms must have a minimum of 144 square-inches of solid blaze orange or fluorescent pink material is visible from all directions
  • Flagging used during hunting season needs to be removed by the close of archery deer season

Upland Game Hunting

We allow hunting of wild turkey, ruffed grouse, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare and raccoon in designated areas in accordance with state regulations and subject to the following conditions:

  • Consult refuge specific brochures and maps for hunting areas open by time of year and the following rules.
  • During the spring turkey season, unarmed hunters with an unexpired spring turkey permit in possession, may scout beginning the Saturday immediately prior to the opening date listed on their state turkey hunting permit
  • Ground blinds must have the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources customer identification number attached in a manner that is visible and legible to a person on the ground or near the entrance of the ground blind. If natural dead vegetation is used as a ground blind, it must be disassembled at the close of the season.
  • The use of dogs while hunting upland game, except raccoon, is permitted, provided the dog is under the immediate control of the hunter at all times
  • You may only hunt snowshoe hare during the season for cottontail rabbit
Sport Fishing

We allow hook and line fishing for warm water fish including catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, bluegill, pumpkinseed, yellow perch, white and black crappie, rock bass, white and yellow bass, bullheads, rough fish and walleye, sauger and hybrid saugeye in designated areas in accordance with state regulations and subject to the following conditions:

  • Nonlead fishing tackle including weights and lures are recommended
  • Angler is in alignment with all other hook and line state regulations and bag limits
  • Fishing areas are open 30 minutes prior to sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset during refuge-specific seasons
  • Goose and Sprague Pools are open June 1 to September 15 and December 15 to March 15 and includes the use of non-motorized boats
  • Suk-Cerney Flowage is open in alignment with state seasons, except during waterfowl hunting season and is open to motorized boats
  • Harvey’s Pond is open all year and in alignment with state fishing seasons
  • Fishing from public roads at culverts and bridges, including ditches up to 100 feet from the road, are open in alignment with state seasons
  • We prohibit the taking of any mussel or clam, crayfish, frog, leech or turtle species by any method on the refuge. Please refer to 50 CFR.27.21 for more information.