FAQs for antlerless deer hunting 2014 rule changes

by Wisconsin Bureaus of Law Enforcement and Wildlife Management

Question 1: Why do bonus antlerless tags cost more than they have in the past?

Answer: One of the recommendations in the Deer Trustee Report was to sell antlerless permits at a consistent amount. Therefore, charging $12 per tag added value to the resource. The Deer Trustee Report authors thought free tags reduced the value of the experience of harvesting antlerless deer.

Question 2: Will bonus antlerless tags still be purchased at one tag per day per customer?

Answer: Yes, where available antlerless tags can be purchased at a rate of one tag per day per customer until the unit is sold out or the hunting season ends. At purchase, the hunter will specify the unit, zone and land-type (public or private) that they want their tag to be valid. Depending on quota levels, there may be limited or zero bonus antlerless tags available this year in some units.

Question 3: Will additional bonus antlerless tags be weapon specific?

Answer: No.

Question 4: Can bonus tags for the Farmland Zone be purchased in multiples (similar to the old Herd Control tags)?

Answer: No, where available hunters may purchase one additional bonus antlerless tag per day until the unit is sold out or the hunting season ends. Bonus antlerless tags will be sold for $12/ tag (residents) and $20/tag (nonresidents). As in the past, qualified farmers can request one free bonus antlerless tag for each bonus antlerless tag they purchase at the regular fee, for the same Deer Management Unit and land-type as their first tag.

Question 5: When the bonus antlerless deer tags go on sale in August, will the prices differ between Management Zones?

Answer: No. Where available, bonus antlerless tags will be the same price, regardless of zone and unit - $12/tag for residents and $20/tag for non-residents. There will no longer be Herd Control $2 antlerless tags or free CWD Management Zone antlerless tags.

Question 6: Will the antlerless tags included with the purchase of a deer hunting license need to be specified for use on public or private land?

Answer: Not in 2014. The antlerless tag which is issued with a deer hunting license will be valid for both public and private land in any Farmland Zone unit. Starting in 2015, hunters will be required to specify unit, zone and land-type (public or private) for all antlerless tags including those that are issued with the purchase of a deer license.

Question 7: Will bonus antlerless tags require the purchaser to indicate public or private land?

Answer: Yes. In 2014, only bonus antlerless tags will be specific to public or private land. However, starting in 2015, hunters will be required to specify unit, zone and land-type (public or private) for all antlerless tags including those that are issued with the purchase of a deer hunting license.

Question 8: How will the antlerless tags that come with each deer license look different from the bonus antlerless tags which are purchased and designated as public or private?

Answer: It will strictly be through the wording directly on the tag, so the tag will need to be read as always. The title at the top of the tag, as well as a description of where it is valid, will note the difference. The free antlerless deer tags are titled “Farmland Zone Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag”. A bonus tag will say “Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag” at the top and will also include the unit, zone and land-type describing where the tag is valid.

Question 9: What is the penalty for someone who harvests a deer in the correct zone and unit but does not have the correct land-type specified on their tag?

Answer: This has not changed with the new rules. The penalty would be $222.90 plus the cost of a bonus antlerless deer tag they should have purchased for that land-type ($12 or $20).

Question 10: If a person buys a private lands antlerless tag, are they restricted to only shoot a deer that is actually on private land or are they able to shoot a deer that is on public land so long as the shot originates on private land?

Answer: If a hunter has a private lands tag, both the hunter and the deer must be located on private property and vice versa. A hunter with a private lands tag cannot shoot a deer standing on public lands even if they are standing on private land.

Question 11: If a person plans to hunt on private land and public land, are they required to have two antlerless tags, one for private and one for public lands?

Answer: It will depend on what Deer Management Zone they are hunting. In a Forest Zone, the answer is yes, but only if they wish to hunt for antlerless deer on both public and private land. In 2014, in a Farmland Zone unit, a person with an unfilled Farmland Zone antlerless deer tag can hunt for an antlerless deer on both public and private lands. Buck tags are valid statewide, including both public and private lands.

Question 12: If a hunter purchases a public lands tag, can they switch it to a private lands tag after the purchase?

Answer: No, they will need to purchase a private lands tag. All sales are final once the archery deer season opens.

Question 13: If a hunter possesses a private lands bonus antlerless tag, can that customer hunt any private lands within the unit?

Answer: No. Trespassing laws exist and hunters still need landowner permission prior to hunting on private land. There are lands enrolled under open Managed Forest Law, Forest Crop Law and Voluntary Public Access programs that allow public hunting access; but these lands are considered public lands for purposes of where antlerless deer tags are valid. Hunters must possess a public lands antlerless tag to harvest antlerless deer on these open lands.

Question 14: Will there likely be more antlerless tags available for private land than public land?

Answer: This will vary throughout the state and will be based on antlerless harvest needs.

Question 15: If a hunter with a valid private lands tag shoots a deer on private land and the deer runs onto public land but does not die, may the hunter shoot that deer when found and if so, what type of tag is required, public or private lands?

Answer: It is not legal to hunt and/or shoot a deer in a unit or on a land-type for which one does not have a valid tag, even if they first wounded that same deer in the unit or on the land type their antlerless tag was valid. Doing so could be considered hunting deer without the appropriate approval. To allow this would be to allow anyone to hunt in the wrong area and simply claim that they wounded the deer earlier in the area their tag was actually valid. If the deer is still alive when they find it, and if gun deer hunting and no other member of the hunting party has a tag for the unit and land-type the deer is now located in, the hunter should contact the local warden for advice on what to do. If the deer is already dead when the hunter finds it in an adjacent unit or property type, it would be legal and the hunter must immediately validate and tag the deer with the tag that was valid for the areas where the deer was shot. This is no different than what could have happened in the past when someone was hunting near the boundary between two Deer Management Units.

Question 16: If hunting on private land that is open to public hunting because of an agricultural damage deer shooting permit, which tag is needed, public or private?

Answer: Lands for which deer damage permits have been issued are still treated as private lands, unless they are also enrolled as open to public hunting under the Managed Forest Law, Forest Crop Law or Voluntary Public Access Programs. A damage permit might require the land be open for public deer hunting, but it is neither a lease agreement like lands enrolled in Voluntary Public Access nor a contract like those for open Managed Forest Law and Forest Crop Law lands. For hunters using the bonus antlerless carcass tags, the hunter would need the appropriate public or private lands antlerless tag for the property type they are hunting.

Question 17: For people enrolled in open Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law programs, will they need a public or private lands antlerless tag to hunt on their own land?

Answer: It will depend on whether or not all of their land is enrolled in one of these programs or not. Open Managed Forest Law, Forest Crop Law and Voluntary

Public Access lands open to public hunting are considered public lands for hunting purposes. These landowners must have a tag valid for antlerless deer on public lands to hunt for antlerless deer on portions of their property enrolled in open Managed Forest Law or Forest Crop Law programs. If they also own Managed Forest Law/Forest Crop Law lands closed to public hunting, or part of their land is not enrolled in one of these programs, such as agricultural lands, they will need to have a tag valid for hunting on private lands to hunt for an antlerless deer on those portions of their property.

Question 18: Can hunters “group hunt” using a public lands antlerless tag? For example, if someone in a group of three has a public land antlerless tag for the correct area, will everyone else be able to participate under group hunting rules?

Answer: Yes. The Deer Trustee rule did not change group hunting regulations. If the antlerless tag is valid for the area the group is hunting (correct unit, zone and land-type) and if all group members comply with all group deer hunting requirements, anyone in the group may participate in group hunting and fill open antlerless tag. All members of the group must be using firearms and each must hold a regular gun deer license in addition to contact and tagging requirements. A person hunting with a bow or crossbow cannot shoot a deer for someone


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