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Hunting Violations in Wisconsin

Deer hunting has long been a tradition in the State of Wisconsin. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents, as well as tourists, register to participate. Hunting is a highly regulated activity, so if you do not come equipped with the information of the statutes, you may receive a hefty consequence. One of the most common violations of Deer Hunting is poaching.

Photo Credit: Tom Tietz

In Wisconsin, poaching is defined as illegally shooting, trapping, or taking game, fish, or plants. This can include a wide variety of species, but the most common type in Wisconsin is poaching deer. Sometimes, poaching can be an accident, which is why reviewing the guidelines set forth by the DNR is essential prior to hunting season.

It is first necessary to understand what license and authorizations you need to hunt in Wisconsin. Depending on the weapon you plan on using, you may need one of the following:

· Gun deer license, to harvest deer with a firearm; or

· Archer & Crossbow license, to harvest deer with a bow and arrow; and

· A valid, unfilled harvest authorization.

The type of weapon is indicative of the window of time you are allowed to hunt. This last season, deer hunting dates ranged from September 18, 2021, to January 31, 2022. Depending on the type of weapon you are authorized to hunt with, your date would fall somewhere in that period, or you could have multiple dates. If you do not use the correct weapon within the correct season, you can be charged for poaching.

In Wisconsin, poaching can result in a criminal charge with fines up to $2,000, loss of hunting privileges for up to three years, and anything you may have used for the poach, including your weapons and car, may be subject to forfeiture. If you thought those consequences aren’t bad enough, you may also find yourself on the “Wall of Shame.”

The “Wall of Shame” is an exhibit put on by the DNR to highlight the deer confiscated due to illegal activities, such as poaching. Of course, the perpetrator receives credit next to their poached deer. The wall is intended to curb poachers, but it is still common in Wisconsin today. As recently as February of 2022, a man from Shell Lake, Wisconsin, was found guilty of poaching a trophy buck. The buck was shot during the antler-less only season and was therefore illegal. He received three citations, paid over $1,000in fines, and the DNR seized his trophy deer with plans to use it on the “Wall of Shame.” This trophy buck will be showcased as the wall travels around Wisconsin and Minnesota to warn hunters about the repercussions of poaching.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a Deer Hunting Violation, contact us for a consultation at 888-367-8198, or email us at

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