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Ducks fly over rough water on the Bay of Green Bay.


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Deer hunting is allowed on 4 of our 5 natural areas with written permission of the Center director. But there are specific rules regarding hunting activities at each area. Hunters must follow all current DNR regulations for bow or gun hunting as well as any additional rules as specified by the City of Green Bay, Brown or Door Counties, and the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity for each property. Hunters are not allowed to damage or cut any vegetation or set up any permanent blinds or create any feeding stations. Hunters must not disturb any research activities and be aware that hikers also use trails at Toft Point and the Arboretum. Hunters are reminded to pick up any litter including discarded shells and cigarette butts.

Duck hunting is only allowed from boats offshore at Point au Sable and Toft Point. No hunters are allowed to hunt from the property including the lagoon at Point au Sable. Hunters are NOT allowed to access the water by going overland through the natural areas and may not drag or carry boats or canoes to the water. Hunters must instead use public boat launches or other properties.

No other hunting or trapping is allowed on any of the natural areas. No hunting of any kind is allowed at Kingfisher Farm. Permitted hunters are reminded that these areas are used for research and hiking and are open to everyone during hunting season.

Toft Point and Peninsula Center

Gun hunting for deer is allowed at Toft Point and Peninsula Center during the regular gun season. Hunters must receive written approval from the Director before hunting at either location. Hunters are required to request permission to hunt and must carry written permission at all times. A list is kept and preference is given to hunters from previous years. There are no openings currently available for new hunters at Toft Point. Hunters should contact The Center at 920-465-5032 or for more information. Archery hunting is not allowed at either site.

Point au Sable

Archery hunting is allowed with permission at Point au Sable. Due to the number of requests to hunt at this site a lottery system has been established. Hunters should check the website for instructions about how to enter the lottery in late August. No gun hunting is allowed.

Hunters are required to request permission to hunt and must carry written permission at all times. Hunting parties are selected by a lottery in September. Each chosen party is assigned a week based on preference. If all preferred weeks are full a week will be assigned at random from remaining dates. If parties are small, two or three parties may be assigned the same date. Hunters must register for the lottery by the deadline in order to participate. Duplicate parties will not be included in the lottery (same group of hunters with different leaders).

Cofrin Memorial Arboretum

The high numbers of deer on the UW-Green Bay campus are resulting in increasing damage to forest understory plants in the Arboretum. In order to better manage deer populations a depredation archery hunt has been established. Bow-hunting is allowed by special arrangement through the city of Green Bay in February, March, and April through special permit only. Hunters must follow special rules and register through the city. Hunters are required to attend a class and pass an accuracy test at a registered archery range. There are currently no openings for hunters at this time. Please contact Josh Martinez if you have any questions about the campus hunt.

Trail Use

Trails on all of our natural areas are open to the public. We invite the public to use these trails to enjoy their natural beauty but request that visitors remember that these are research areas as well as recreational areas and request that hikers and bikers remain on the trails and obey all posted signs. Bikes are not allowed on any bark covered or dirt trails. Motorized vehicles, including segueways, are not allowed on any of our properties. Dogs are not allowed in any of our natural areas.

Cofrin Memorial Arboretum: Trails through the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum are open to pedestrians every day during daylight hours. Only paved or gravel trails are open to bicycles during daylight hours. The trails are not plowed in the winter, although some trails are occasionally groomed for cross-country skiing. See hunting restrictions above.

Toft Point and Peninsula Center: The trails at Toft Point and Peninsula Center are open to the public. The Friends of Toft Point help to manage that area and docents are often available to answer questions. Trail users are asked to be especially careful at Toft Point and only use the designated trails so they do not disturb this fragile habitat. See hunting restrictions above.

Kingfisher Farm: The trails at Kingfisher Farm are open to the public. Park in the designated area. Hikers are reminded that the house is occupied and to respect the tenants' privacy. Hunting is not allowed at Kingfisher Farm. See hunting restrictions above.

Point au Sable: Point au Sable is not open to the public because there is no public access to the property. Access is available from the beach by boat or by written permission from the Center Director only. See hunting restrictions above.

No Dogs, No Collecting, No Kidding!

Visitors to natural areas are sometimes surprised to learn that dogs and collecting plants are prohibited. Why are we so strict about these seemingly harmless activities?  Here are a few reasons:

1. It’s the law. According to Wisconsin Administrative Code UWW 18.06
(2) PROHIBITED ACTS. No person may remove any shrubs, vegetation, wood, timber, rocks, stone, earth, signs, fences, or other materials from university lands. (5) ANIMALS. The presence of dogs, cats, and other pets is prohibited in all university buildings and in arboretums at all times. Violation of this code may result in a fine of up to $500.

2. These natural areas are unique areas.  Very few places exist today where the interests of nature are given highest priority.  A recent study by Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science and the Wildlife Conservation Society (CNN News, October 23, 2002) determined that humans today use 83% of the earth’s land surface, and the percentage is growing.  In particular, there are few urban places where plants and wildlife are protected.  In short, the Arboretum is one of very few places in Wisconsin where people can enjoy nature close to home.

3. Dogs can transmit diseases to wildlife.  Even healthy dogs can transmit diseases such as canine parvovirus, muscle cysts (Sarcocystis spp.), leptospirosis, and parasites like ticks, tapeworms, and fleas. Because they don’t have to hunt for food and shelter, domestic dogs can survive some of these pathogens, but wild animals might be significantly more vulnerable.

4. Dogs leave excrement and urine near trails.  Dog excrement and urine leave odor that disturbs wildlife. The resulting nutrients (e.g. nitrogen) also encourage the growth of weeds along trails that often spread into the natural area.

5. Dogs can carry seeds of exotic plant species.  Most dogs brought to natural areas have previously run through fields, lawns, or other open spaces where they become unknowing carriers of seeds.  These seeds sometimes lead to an invasive take over of the native plants threatening their existence in the natural area.

6. Dogs can disturb wildlife.  Although direct encounters between domestic dogs and wildlife are uncommon, their presence in our natural areas would inevitably lead to effects on native animals, especially small mammals, ground-nesting birds, and medium-sized mammals such as fisher and foxes.  Even well-behaved dogs may disrupt the habits of other animals.

7. Dogs can affect visits by non-dog owners.  Visitors to natural areas expect a quiet, peaceful experience.  Presence of dogs, even on leashes, can undermine this experience significantly. 

8. Removal of species destroys the plants’ ability to reproduce.  The removal or destruction of any part of a plant may make it impossible for that plant to set seed. If enough plants are disturbed the species will disappear from the natural area. Ongoing scientific research in our natural areas is also disrupted by the removal of plants.