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FAQ: The Bait Cover Device

Published: October 15, 2012 in Outdoor Recreation

By: Bureau of Law Enforcement

Frequently Asked Questions

October 15, 2012

Here are answers to some of the recent most frequently asked law enforcement questions taken by the DNR Call Center.
The Call Center is staffed daily, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m., and offers bilingual service in Spanish and Hmong. The number is 1-888-936-7463.

Question 1: Can the bait cover device be used on DNR Lands to cover a deer bait site?

Answer: Yes and No. NR 45 does not prohibit the use of such a device during the day. However, NR 45.04(3)(m)2., requires removal of personal property such as a bait cover device from DNR-owned/managed lands by 11 p.m. each day. The rule is different for trail cameras for which the NRB granted specific authorization recently to not require trail cameras be removed daily by 11 p.m. If a bait cover device is placed and removed daily by 11 p.m., there is no legal requirement to have the owner’s name and address attached as is required for blinds and tree stands left unattended during legal hunting hours.

Question 2: Can a manufactured bait cover device be used anywhere to cover a bear or wolf bait sites?

Answer: No. A bait cover device made of metal, plastic, glass, wood or any other manmade or process materials cannot be used to cover a bear or wolf bait site Under ss. NR 10.07(2m)(d)3. and (em)1.c., the bait may only be capped by logs or other naturally occurring material. Even if first covered with logs or rocks, the addition of a manmade cover over the natural material covered bait, is not permissible.

Question 3: Can a bait cover device be placed and left out on other types of public or private lands that are open to public hunting, such as county, federal, MFL, VPA or leased public hunting lands?

Answer: Only if allowed by the owner of these lands. Individuals considering using a bait cover device on lands not owned or managed by the DNR, even if open for public hunting, will need to contact the owner of such private lands and receive permission to use and leave the device on those lands, or check with the manager of county or federal lands open to hunting to determine if that agency has any rules prohibiting the use or placement of the device on their lands.

In summary, this new device on the market can only legally be used in Wisconsin in the counties where deer baiting and feeding is legal, when used to cover bait or feed lawfully placed for deer (2-gallon limit, etc.). If placed on DNR-owned or managed lands, it must be removed daily by 11 p.m. If placed on any private lands open to public hunting, the person first would need the permission of the landowner to leave the device unattended.

Last Revised: Monday, October 15, 2012

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