Contact(s): Erin Larson, DNR acting wildlife health section chief, 608-516-2783 Sarah Hoye, DNR Communications Director, 608-267-2773
MADISON, Wis. - Before taking part in upcoming hunting seasons or placing feed for wildlife, hunters, landowners and wildlife enthusiasts should verify which counties currently prohibit wildlife baiting and feeding activities by searching the Department of Natural Resources website, dnr.wi.gov, for baiting and feeding.
Since the conclusion of the 2018 deer hunting season, new baiting and feeding bans are now in place in Green Lake, Kenosha, Waushara, Wood, Racine, Burnett, Barron, Polk and Washburn counties. Additional baiting and feeding bans may be added in 2019 if there are new chronic wasting disease or bovine tuberculosis (bTB) detections in captive or free-roaming deer. All current county-level baiting and feeding bans will remain in effect throughout the 2019 deer hunting season.
The effects of baiting and feeding may artificially increase and sustain deer populations beyond carrying capacity and alter deer behavior. The primary intended goals of a baiting and feeding ban are to protect the local wild deer herd and reduce the spread of disease.
Individuals may still feed birds and small mammals, provided feeding devices are within 50 yards of a human dwelling and at a sufficient height or design to prevent access by deer.
The DNR is required by state statute (29.336, Wis. Stats) to enact a ban on the baiting and feeding of deer for a period of three years in any county where CWD or bTB has been detected in a wild or captive deer or elk as well as a two-year ban in any county that is within 10 miles of a CWD or bTB positive detection. Baiting and feeding bans may eventually be lifted if no new CWD or bTB positive detections are found or may be extended if there are additional positive detections.
Hunters, landowners, hunters, and wildlife enthusiasts can also contact a local wildlife biologist to determine if baiting and feeding ban end dates have changed within individual counties. For more information regarding baiting and feeding, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for baiting and feeding. For more information regarding CWD in Wisconsin, search for keyword "CWD."