Understanding Wisconsin’s trespass law for hunting season

(photo courtesy of MGN, Pixnio).
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- A safe hunting season begins with hunters and rural landowners knowing Wisconsin’s trespass law, according to the state’s Farm Bureau Federation.

According to the law, people who want to hunt on land owned by someone else must obtain permission.

“Good communication between rural landowners and hunters is one of the biggest ways you can ensure a safe and enjoyable hunting season,” said Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Executive Director of Governmental Relations Karen Gefvert. “If landowners are having issues with trespassers, they should call their county sheriff’s office as DNR wardens do not have the authority to investigate trespassing complaints.”

Hunters are required to make an effort to retrieve game they have killed or injured, but they cannot trespass to retrieve their game. They also need permission to do so.

There are two exceptions to when permission is not needed:


  • 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.