Welcome to
Crex Meadows Wildlife Area

The Sandhill Cranes are still present as of Friday morning, November 20th.  How long will they stay? Only a few more days. 

Visitors, please be aware that the 9-day gun deer season begins Saturday, November 21.  Blaze orange is recommended to be worn by all who are out in the fields and woods during this time, and is REQUIRED to be worn by hunters.

The visitor center will be open sporadically during Thanksgiving week.  If staff is in the buildling we will open the doors to visitors.  Questions about any DNR-related issues should be directed to the DNR customer service line at 1-888-936-7463, which is open from 7am to 10pm every day. 

Map of Crex Meadows Wildlife Area (pdf file)

View our 9 minute movie about Crex Meadows Wildlife Area

Download our latest newsletter - Fall 2015


A part of Wisconsin's scenic Indianhead Country, the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area is located in beautiful Burnett County, just north of the Village of Grantsburg. At 30,000 acres, Crex is one of the largest state owned wildlife areas in Wisconsin.

This intensively managed property is home to over 270 species of birds, at least 86 butterflies, and 720 species of plants. A wide variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and insects also reside here. Originally part of the Wisconsin Pine Barrens, it is now the state's largest remaining portion of this globally endangered ecosystem. The rare sedge marsh and brush prairie habitats make the area a utopia for wildlife, which in turn, makes Crex a paradise for bird watchers, naturalists, botanists, hunters, and all other hearty explorers who are interested in the great bounty that nature offers.

Here are the winners of the 2015 Crex Meadows Nature Photography Contest

2015 Photo Contest Winners

These are the winners of this year's Crex Meadows Nature Photography Contest. You can view all the entered photos at the visitor center for the next few weeks.

Posted by Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area on Thursday, August 20, 2015

The 2016 calendar is available in the gift shop at the visitor center this fall, featuring 2015 contest entries.  $12.99 each.

Check out eBird's HotSpot list of birds sighted at Crex Meadows!


  Donations are accepted by mail, directly at the visitor center with cash, check or credit card, or using PayPal.  Forms are available on the donations page for the various projects that you can donate to.  

Please be sure to indicate in the message space on your donation on the PayPal site what the designated purpose of your donation is; Endowment Fund, Land Acqusition Fund, Mess Hall Fund, General Fund, in memory/honor of someone, or for membership dues.   You can also send this information in a separate email to information@crexmeadows.org after the donation is made.


Most people are aware that the Wildlife Management Areas in Wisconsin, including Crex Meadows, Fish Lake, Amsterdam Sloughs and Danbury Wildlife Areas are funded primarily by hunting license fees and taxes on hunting ammunition and other equipment, but how can non-hunting wildlife enthusiasts support Crex Meadows and Wildlife Management?  Click here to learn how.

The visitor center is open from 8am - 4:30pm Monday-Friday.  We are open weekends (Sat and Sun) from 10a Stop in for maps of the wildlife areas and to learn about recent wildlife sightings.  Of course, the Wildlife Areas are always open and there are no entry fees. 

We have many partners that share our vision and goal of conserving wildlife and public land, as well as educating the public about wildlife conservation.  Go to our Partners Page for info about these organizations.

Have a question?  Check out our FAQ page for answers about camping, hunting, hiking, horses, snowmobile and ATV use, where to see the cranes, and more!

Wisconsin Hunting and Trapping season dates and regulations can be found HERE. (exit to WI DNR website)

The 2015/2016 Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (
Federal Duck Stamp) is now available for purchase from the US Fish and Wildlife Service... or you can purchase it from the American Birding Association by clicking on the image below.



Friends Of Crex Inc

We send program and event updates and rare bird alerts to those who share their email address with us... if you are interested, please send an email to information@crexmeadows.org and ask that we add you to our list (we do not share our list with other groups, but we may forward announcements from other area wildlife groups, such as our local Audubon group).


Click here for the Wisconsin Outdoor Report, including the Statewide Birding Report


Article from May 6, 2014 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Article from May 2, 2014 from the Milwaukee Journal

Andy Paulios talks about getting started in bird watching with WPR... thanks for the shout out Andy!

A good article about wildland fire and it's benefits to wildlife

A great blog about historical markers in Wisconsin, including, most recently, the marker on North Refuge Road in Crex

Hipsters Who Hunt
An interesting article about a growing trend toward harvesting wild game

Blog by Crane biologist Craig Faanes about his first encounter with Sandhill Cranes at Crex Meadows in 1968

New Research Suggest: Outdoor cats kill more wildlife than previously thought

Blog:  As Hunter Numbers Decline, How Will We Fund Wildlife Conservation?

From the Wisconsin DNR web page about wildlife areas:  Wisconsin can take pride in its vast treasure of natural resources, particularly its wildlife. Since 1876, the Wisconsin has been acquiring land to meet conservation and recreation needs. Public lands managed by the DNR provide many opportunities and public spaces for you and your family to hunt, fish, trap, hike, canoe or watch and photograph wildlife.

All wildlife areas are managed to sustain the wildlife and natural communities found on the properties and to provide a full range of traditional outdoor recreational uses. These include hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking and nature study. 

Legal information Section 23.09 (2) (d) 3., State Stats., provides legislative authority and direction for the acquisition and management of state wildlife areas. The primary purpose of state wildlife areas as stated in this statute is to provide "areas in which any citizen may hunt, trap or fish". Section 23.11 (1), Stats., provides for the general care, protection and supervision of state lands. Section 23.30, Stats., deals with the provisions of the outdoor recreation program.

The management and uses of state wildlife areas are further defined in NR 1.51. WI Admin Code. While hunting and trapping are the primary public uses for wildlife areas; other uses, such as walking, nature study, berry picking, and other low-impact recreational activities are also allowed. Other compatible open-space uses may be allowed under the property's Master Plan when they do not detract from the primary purpose of the property; however, they may be limited in time and location to avoid interference with wildlife production or survival and public hunting and trapping. 

If you have questions about the use of our wildlife areas, you may find your answer on our FAQ page.







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Loaded Oatmeal Cookie recipe from Kim Wheeler

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***This website is brought to you by the Friends of Crex, a non-profit organization

dedicated to SUPPORTING WILDLIFE AND WILDLIFE EDUCATION at the crex meadows complex***

FRIENDS OF CREX, INC.   102 EAST CREX AVENUE, GRANTSBURG WISCONSIN 54840   (715) 463-2739         www.crexmeadows.org

All photos are used by permission and are the sole copyright of the photographer