Photo Credit: Nancy Lehman

Hiking During the Nine-Day Gun Deer Hunting Season

Some sections of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail are closed to hikers during the nine-day gun deer hunting season, while other areas may be open to both hikers and hunters. A few segments near urban areas are free of hunting-related interactions.

Where Can I Hike?

It is important to know which segments are closed, partially closed, open to both hiking and hunting, or not open to hunting during the nine-day gun deer season.

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A serene autumn view along the Summit Moraine Segment in Langlade County. Photo by Dave Caliebe.

When is the nine-day gun deer season?

Throughout the state of Wisconsin, November 21 – 29 is gun deer-hunting season. Other hunting seasons phase in and out throughout the fall and winter months. However, the gun deer hunting season has the biggest impact on where hikers can hike and with whom they might be sharing the woods.

Learn more about hunting season and the Ice Age Trail here.

Hikes in Hunting-Free Areas

To avoid hiking anywhere you might encounter hunting, consider taking a stroll at one of these locations instead:

Segment Status During Gun Deer Season by County

Click on each county name to view the status of Ice Age Trail segments during the nine-day gun deer season.

Polk County
  • St. Croix Falls Segment
  • Gandy Dancer Segment
  • Trade River Segment (Portion of the segment crossing private land between 150th St. at the SIATA property east of 140th St. is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Straight Lake Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between IATA’s Frog Pond Preserve and CTH-I is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Straight River Segment
  • Pine Lake Segment (Portion of the segment crossing private land between Round Lake Rd. and STH-48 is closed during gun deer season.)
  • McKenzie Creek Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between 60th St. parking area and 50th St. (CTH-O) is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Indian Creek Segment (Portion of the segment crossing private land west of 30th St. is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Sand Creek Segment (The portion of the segment crossing private land between 15th St. (CTH-E) and Polk County Forest boundary is closed during gun deer season.)
Barron & Washburn Counties
  • Timberland Hills Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land (i) from CTH-H to the Timberland Hills Ski Area western boundary and (ii) Timberland Hills Ski Area eastern boundary to Leach Lake Rd. are closed during gun deer season.)
  • Grassy Lake Segment
  • Bear Lake Segment
  • Tuscobia Segment
  • Hemlock Creek Segment
Rusk County
  • Northern Blue Hills Segment
  • Southern Blue Hills Segment (The portion of the segment south of the Rusk County Forest boundary to Old 14 Rd. (Bass Lake Rd.) is closed during gun deer season.)
Chippewa County
  • Chippewa Moraine Segment
  • Harwood Lakes Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between the eastern boundary of the Chippewa County Forest and CTH-E is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Firth Lake Segment
  • Chippewa River Segment
Taylor County
  • Lake Eleven Segment
  • Jerry Lake Segment
  • Mondeaux Esker Segment
  • Pine Line Segment
  • East Lake Segment (Portion of the segment crossing private land east of Beards Ln. is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Rib Lake Segment (Portion of the segment crossing private land between CTH-C and STH-102 is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Wood Lake Segment (A portion of the segment crossing private land east of STH-102 is closed during gun deer season.)
Lincoln County
  • Timberland Wilderness Segment
  • Camp 27 Segment
  • Newwood Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between the eastern boundary of the Lincoln County Forest and CTH-E is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Averill-Kelly Creek Wilderness Segment
  • Turtle Rock Segment (Eastern portion of the segment crossing private land along and near the Wisconsin River is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Grandfather Falls Segment
  • Underdown Segment
  • Alta Junction Segment
  • Harrison Hills Segment
Langlade County
  • Parrish Hills Segment (Portion of segment on private land west of Pine Rd until Langlade County Forest is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Highland Lakes Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land 2.5 mi northwest of Kleever Rd is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Summit Moraine Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between CTH-B and Langlade County Forest (just east of USH-45/STH-47) is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Lumbercamp Segment
  • Kettlebowl Segment
Marathon County
  • Plover River Segment
  • Dells of the Eau Claire Segment (The portion of the segment between Dells of the Eau Claire County Park and CTH-Z is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Thornapple Creek Segment (Portion of the segment crossing private land between Thornapple Creek Rd. and Gold Dust Rd. is closed for hunting Sept. 1 to Dec. 31.)
  • Ringle Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land northeast of Phoenix St. (formerly Meadowlark Ln.) and Mole Brook Rd. is closed during gun deer season. )
Portage & Waupaca Counties
  • New Hope-Iola Ski Hill Segment
  • Skunk and Foster Lakes Segment (Portion of the segment crossing private land between Indian Valley Rd. and Rieben Rd. is closed during gun deer season. Additionally, the portion between Indian Valley and Grenlie Rd is closed for hunting from 9/1 through 1/5.)
  • Waupaca River Segment (Portions of the segment crossing private lands both north and south of the Waupaca River State Fishery Area are closed during gun deer season.)
  • Hartman Creek Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between STH-54 and HCSP is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Emmons Creek Segment
Waushara County
  • Deerfield Segment
  • Bohn Lake Segment
  • Greenwood Segment
  • Mecan River Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between CTH-GG and 9th Ave. is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Wedde Creek Segment
  • Chaffee Creek Segment
Marquette County
  • John Muir Park Segment
Northern Columbia County
  • Portage Canal Segment 
Sauk County
  • Baraboo Segment
  • Sauk Point Segment
  • Devil’s Lake Segment
  • Merrimac Segment (Riverland Conservancy requires all visitors to the Merrimac Preserve to wear blaze orange during the gun deer and muzzleloader seasons.)
Southern Columbia County
  • Gibraltar Rock Segment
  • Fern Glen Segment
  • City of Lodi Segment
  • Eastern Lodi Marsh (Portion of segment crossing private land between STH-113 parking area and Lodi Marsh State Wildlife Area is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Lodi Marsh Segment
Dane County
  • Springfield Hill Segment
  • Indian Lake Segment
  • Table Bluff Segment (Between Table Bluff Rd. and Scheele Rd., the southern two-thirds of the segment crossing private land are closed during gun deer season.)
  • Cross Plains Segment
  • Valley View Segment
  • Madison Segment
  • Verona Segment
  • Montrose Segment
  • Brooklyn Wildlife Segment
Green County
  • Monticello Segment
  • Albany Segment
Rock County
  • Arbor Ridge Segment
  • Devil’s Staircase Segment
  • Janesville Segment
  • Milton to Janesville Segment
  • Milton Segment
  • Storrs Lake Segment (Portion of the segment crossing private land south of Bowers Lake Rd. is closed during gun deer season.)
Walworth & Jefferson Counties
  • Clover Valley Segment
  • Whitewater Lake Segment
  • Blackhawk Segment
  • Blue Spring Lake Segment
Waukesha County
  • Stony Ridge Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between CTH-S and STH-59 is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Eagle Segment
  • Scuppernong Segment
  • Waterville Segment
  • Lapham Peak Segment
  • Delafield Segment
  • Hartland Segment
  • Merton Segment
  • Monches Segment
Washington County
  • Loew Lake Segment
  • Holy Hill Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between Pleasant Hill Rd. and CTH-E is closed during gun deer season.)
  • Pike Lake Segment
  • Slinger Segment
  • Cedar Lakes Segment
  • West Bend Segment
  • Southern Kewaskum Segment
  • Kewauskum Segment 
  • Milwaukee River Segment
Fond du Lac & Sheboygan Counties
  • Milwaukee River Segment
  • Parnell Segment
  • Greenbush Segment
  • LaBudde Creek Segment
Manitowoc County
  • Walla Hi Segment
  • City of Manitowoc Segment
  • Dunes Segment
  • City of Two Rivers Segment
  • Point Beach Segment
  • Mishicot Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between CTH-B and Princl Rd. is closed during gun deer season.)
  • East Twin River Segment
  • Tisch Mills Segment (Portion of segment crossing private land between Mill Ln. and Nuclear Rd. is closed during gun deer season.)
Kewaunee & Door Counties
  • Kewaunee River Segment
  • Forestville Segment
  • Sturgeon Bay Segment
Color Key

GREEN: No Hunting. Some segments, especially those in urban areas, are closed to hunting. If you’re uncomfortable hiking in areas where hunting is taking place, these are your best option.

ORANGE: Trail Open to Both Hiking and Hunting. Most segments crossing public lands remain open to hikers during hunting seasons. Wear blaze orange between September and April. It may be a comfort to know that hunting or trapping is not allowed within 100 yards of the Ice Age Trail on State Ice Age Trail Area properties.

RED: Closed Trail (or portions of the segment are closed; please see the Ice Age Trail Guidebook for details). Many segments crossing private lands are closed at some point during the fall and/or winter for hunting seasons, and especially during the nine-day gun deer-hunting season.

Be Prepared for "Blaze Orange" Season!

For your safety, consider fall, winter, and early spring “Blaze Orange” Season — wear blaze orange from October through April when you and your pet are on the Trail.

Safety Tips

1. Be Informed

Know Wisconsin’s hunting season dates and which segments are closed to hiking. The Ice Age Trail Hunting Closures Map displays the exact locations of Trail closures during the nine-day gun deer season. Additionally, be aware of “Private Land” and “Segment Closed” signs. Ending your hike at these locations will help ensure the continued good relations with private landowners that are so critical to the Ice Age Trail. 

2. Be Visible

Hikers are advised to wear blaze orange of other bright colors from October through April, and especially during the nine-day gun deer season. If you hike the Ice Age Trail with a dog, it should wear a blaze orange vest and be on a leash at all times.

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Hikers are advised to wear blaze orange while hiking between October through April. Photo by Lisa DeLaney.
Ice Age Trail Alliance, Turtle Rock Segment, Lincoln County, Deer, Dusk, RoadIce Age National Scenic Trail,
Deer are especially active at dawn and dusk, so hikers may want to practice extra caution during those times. Photo by Daryn Bahn.

3. Use Extra Caution at Dawn and Dusk

Hunting activity may increase at dawn and dusk when animals are feeding. Please wear reflective vests if you hike during these times of low visibility. Using a headlamp is a good idea, too.

5. Avoid Hunter Interference

It is prohibited by Wisconsin law to interfere with people engaged in lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping (WI Statutes 29.083).

5. Be Heard

Make sure you are heard, by whistling, singing, or talking while you hike in places open to both hiking and hunting.

Thank you for sharing Wisconsin's wild spaces with all outdoor enthusiasts!