Hunters: stay legal and ask to hunt private lands
Source: WI DNR
Got your eye on a prime hunting spot resting on choice Wisconsin private lands for your fall hunting expedition?
That’s a solid, smart first step to a successful hunt, says the Department of Natural Resources hunter education administrator. Forgetting the next step could cost you.
“‘Where am I going to go hunting?’ is one of the most important questions you need to be asking yourself now,” Conservation Warden and Administrator Tim Lawhern says. “If you want to hunt private land, you need to be seeking permission now if you haven’t already done so.”
The state of Wisconsin owns more than 450,000 acres, and leases about 17,000 more acres, of lands open to public hunting. State and federal forests provide 2 million acres, and county forests another 2 million acres open to hunting and fishing. In addition, property owners who participate in the damage and abatement and the Forest Tax Law programs must allow access to their lands, adding more public access.
Hunters who want to use private lands need to have landowner permission to avoid trespassing, and they need to behave courteously and considerately to be invited back the next year. “It all comes down to hunter etiquette,” Lawhern said.
When hunters contact the landowner to seek permission, Lawhern urges hunters introduce themselves by telling where they’re from, what they wish to hunt, and display your hunter education certificate.
“Regardless of the landowner’s answer, your response should simple be the same – thank you,” Lawhern said.
He also suggests hunters offer to help the landowner on his or her land before the hunting season, whether it’s with daily chores, haying, or some other need. “You might be surprised how far your willingness to shovel manure for a whole day will get you,” he said
After the hunt, Lawhern says, hunters should share their game with the landowner, and remember the landowner outside the hunting season. “Give them a Christmas card, a small gift, a thank you card,” he said. “Landowners always appreciate being remembered outside the hunting season.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Lawhern (608) 266-1317 or Joanne Haas - (608) 267-0798