With the upcoming deer hunting season, hunters and rural landowners should be aware of Wisconsin’s trespass law. Wisconsin’s trespass law states that you must have written or verbal permission to hunt on someone’s land.
“Good communication between hunters and rural landowners will ensure a safe and enjoyable hunting season,” Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations Paul Zimmerman said. “If landowners are having issues with trespassers, they are to call their county sheriff’s office. DNR wardens do not have the authority to investigate trespassing complaints.”
Hunters are required to make a reasonable effort to retrieve game they have killed or injured, but hunters may not trespass to retrieve such game.
There are two exceptions to when permission is needed to enter private land:
- Land enrolled as ‘open’ in the Managed Forest Law program; however, land enrolled in the ‘closed’ Managed Forest Law program does require permission.
- Land considered ‘inholdings’, which is private land that is surrounded by public land. Landowners must post a sign to prevent hunting by the public on such land. This is primarily found in northern Wisconsin.
“Hunters play an important role in managing our state’s deer herd, which is important to farmers,” Zimmerman added. “Adherence to the trespass law and open lines of communication will result in a successful hunt for everyone.”
I’ve been having issues with hunters trespassing on my property for a couple of years. The hunter states they have permission by the land owner how ever the land owner adamantly denies it. The sheriff has been called several times. There are hunters foot prints all over my property and I have photos of the vehicle and plates along with their foot trails through out the property. I have multiple no trespassing signs around the perimeter of the land and along the property lines through the woods. The police state that they know this person and he has relatives who work at the County Health Building, Regardless of how much proof I provide to the sheriff of the multiple times he’s been trespassing they won’t arrest him! He’s been verbally warned not to trespass, there is posted signs through out. The police won’t do anything to stop him, what the heck can I do? It’s just insane that the Police (Sheriff) Sawyer Co. won’t have him cease from what has become a terrorist act! They say its a Civil matter but once the trespasser has been verbally warned and they continue to trespass it is a Criminal matter now and still nothing done. Any thoughts?
Annette McFarlane says
I have a question. There is a farmer who will let anyone and everyone hunt his property. We have our property posted and there is a road separating the two properties. Every year, people hunting this farmers property cross the road onto ours and trespass. We have spoken with the farmer who says he doesn’t know who they are and is unwilling to do anything to remedy the situation because he would like ALL the deer in the area to die. It ruins our hunting EVERY year. Is he now responsible for who he lets hunt his property? I’ve contacted the Sheriff’s dept but I’m still waiting for someone to come out.
Sarah Marketon says
Please work with your county sheriff’s office on this issue.
Adam Imig says
I have a hunter that put up a stand 22feet from my stand. on my property line. he may be on my property or his. it is unclear. he keeps putting his trail camera on my property. I have taken it down twice and hung it on his stand. the third time I took it down I brought it home and left a third message. If you want your camera you will need to talk to me. He left his name and number at my uncles house but won’t talk to me. should I contact the sheriff and give him the camera and info? I left two messages that I did not want it on my property. I will be putting up no trespassing signs, this weekend.
Call the police. Chasing a wounded deer onto private property is one thing, but people can’t hunt on your private property without permission, and if they are discharging a weapon on your property without your permission you need to call your local sheriff.
Mari Clark says
Last year a Trumpeter Swan was shot by “someone” across the road from our property. Because of the bullet hole in its wing, it was unable to fly and predators killed it in a massive battle, leaving a feather trail for 50 feet into our yard. I checked over the bird’s distinctions and made sure, by photos on the WI DNR Website, it was a Trumpeter Swan, which are illegal to kill in WI. The year before last there were waterfowl hunters in our pond. They did not ask to hunt there, nor did they ask to retrieve their waterfowl from our property. Is there anything we can do in the future to prohibit hunting on our land? We only have 7 acres which includes a pond. We will post our land if necessary.