Hunters, Farmers– Know Trespassing Laws

Buck fever is hitting many in our state and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Governmental Relations Innovation and Engagement Strategist Karen Gefvert reminds farmers and hunters to know the rules about trespassing.

While the thrill of the hunt excites many, Karen Gefvert reminds hunters that they need to have permission, verbal or written, before stepping foot on any farm property. She says hunters should contact farmers ahead of time, especially during their busy season, if they want to ask for permission to hunt. It’s also important to ask for the farm manager or owner to make sure they are talking to the person in charge.

If you come across someone who is trespassing on your land, Karen says to keep a clear head, even when emotions can run high. While it may seem logical to call the local DNR warden they do not have the authority or resources to handle trespass calls. Instead call your local sheriff if you have a trespassing complaint.

Karen encourages farmers to post no trespassing signs on their property borders, but reminds us that even if private property does not have no trespassing signs posted, it is still illegal to enter the property without having permission. So what should a hunter do if they shoot a deer that then travels to property that they do not have permission to be on? Karen says that the hunter has the obligation to follow the game they have shot, but they do still need to obtain permission to enter or cross any property owned by others.

As a last reminder, always be sure of your target. Especially for those in the Northern areas of the state where there are now elk herds. While there is some grey area when it comes to antlerless females, you want to make sure you’re hunting whitetail deer and not elk. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has more information on how you can be sure you’re staying on the right side of your deer tag.