Eighty percent of Iron County is forest land. That's 377,900 acres! Beyond the local and county forests in Hurley, we're also surrounded by the Cheguamegon National Forest, Ottawa National Forest, American Legion State Forest, Porcupine Mountain State Wilderness Area and the Apostle Island National Lake Shore. Hurley is the perfect home base for you to explore the forests and make day trips to the rest, which are within an hour's drive.
If you listen carefully in the deep woods at night, you may hear the howl of a timber wolf. We have abundant populations of deer and beaver within our vast, road less forests. Bald eagles and osprey are among the many predators that make their home here. You may also see the occasional bear, moose or elk.
Game species are found across the greater Hurley area...some even wander right into town! Hunting opportunities abound. Large expanses of public lands (190,000 acres make up the third largest county forest in Wisconsin) give the adventurous room to roam. Hunter walking trails are found throughout the county. The Mecca and Uller cross-country ski trails double as hunter walking trails in the fall.
Deer are the most popular game species here! Others include bear, ruffed grouse, geese, and duck. Predator hunting is allowed for coyote, red fox and bobcats.
Trappers also enjoy our area for dry land and wet trapping of beavers, otter, mink and muskrat. Populations vary widely depending upon the type of wetlands and precipitation each season.
The Potato River Grouse Management Area has been developed through a cooperative effort between the Ruffed Grouse Society, Iron County Forestry Department, and the WDNR. It is located on the west side of state Hwy 122 near Whitecap Mountains. The area consists of 600 acres with 3.6 miles of hunter/walking trails and two parking areas. Parking is located on the east side of the trails system on Hwy 122 and on the west side of the trails system on Upson Lake Rd. Trails are mowed and maintained by the Iron County Forestry Department with partial funding from the Ruffed Grouse Society. Forest management activities are planned and implemented with cooperation from the Ruffed Grouse Society in order to increase the quantity and quality of grouse habitat in the area.
Pence Shooting Range - Archery Only - North side of Hwy 77 in Pence. Practice targets and a field range are provided
Knight Shooting Range - Rifle, Shotgun & Pistol - 2 miles SW of Iron Belt on Snake Trails Rd. Shooting benches and target backstops are provided.