Hunting Tradition Continues, with Some Changes

Hunting is one of Wisconsin’s finest traditions. It brings together friends and family, creating lasting memories. It also gives a large boost to our state’s economy, with hunters coming from all over the world to use our land.

Before you put on your bright orange and head for the woods though, make sure you are up to date with all the latest changes that are in affect this year. These changes are the result of recommendations provided in the recent Deer Trustee Report, a comprehensive review of Wisconsin’s deer management program. The recommendations were based on extensive collaboration between the public and DNR, and the goal was to improve deer management in the state.

Here’s a list of the most notable changes. For a complete listing, check out the 2014 Deer Hunting Regulations available online at If you have any questions, please contact my office at 888-534-0005.


• All hunters must register their deer in person at a DNR registration station, unless selected in advance by the department to participate in the electronic registration pilot program.


• Bonus antlerless permits are valid only in the Zone, DMU and property type (public or private) indicated on the carcass tag. Bonus antlerless permits are now public and private land-specific.


• While afield, no person may possess or transport another hunter’s deer, even after it has been registered (unless accompanied by the person for whom the carcass tag was issued). The carcass tag must be attached to the deer. However, anyone may still transport another person’s registered deer on a public road or possess it at a residence, camp or business.


• The baiting and feeding ban has been extended to include two new counties: Waupaca and Shawano.


• All hunters may now hunt deer with a crossbow during the crossbow-only deer hunting season, but must purchase a crossbow license. Laws regulating the use of bows and crossbows for hunting within cities or villages may have changed. Check with local city or village authorities for local ordinance restrictions.


• It is illegal to discharge a firearm, bow or crossbow on, from or across state trails and other areas which are shown as closed to hunting within state parks.


• Albino and all-white deer are now protected statewide, including those found within the CWD Affected Area.


• Antlerless deer must be registered in person at a DNR registration station before a Bonus-buck Authorization sticker is issued and before a hunter may harvest a bonus buck.


Also remember that first time hunters can get licenses for just $5.00. The Department of Natural Resources also offers a Fall Hunting Forecast, and Public Access Lands Atlas to help you track that big buck.

I’m excited for this year’s deer hunt and I hope you are too. Best of luck as you try to bag the big buck and please be safe!