Baiting, Feeding Regulations Remain Important in Wisconsin

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State wildlife officials and conservation wardens are reminding hunters that baiting and feeding of deer is banned in 28 Wisconsin counties and that current law places restrictions on the timing and amount of bait that can be used for hunting purposes in all remaining counties. Additional information on baiting and feeding regulations can be found in the 2011 Deer Hunting regulations (pdf).

Baiting and Chronic Wasting Disease

Wildlife health officials say chronic wasting disease is transmitted through deer to deer contact, so baiting is banned in the CWD zone. Concentrations of deer at bait and feeding sites are likely to promote the transmission of infectious agents. CWD is also transmitted through exposure to a contaminated environment. Scientific studies have concluded that CWD, the always fatal disease in deer, can be spread through saliva passed between deer at baiting and feeding locations.

Practices impact deer behavior

“Deer hunters know that baiting and feeding decrease deer movement which reduces deer sightings and hunting opportunities away from the baiting site,” said acting DNR big game biologist, Dan Hirchert. “These practices can also draw deer into residential areas where hunting may be prohibited or restricted”

Officials: “We’re making progress”

Illegal baiting and feeding are among the most frequent violations cited by conservation law enforcement officers and one of the most frequent sources of citizen complaints according to law enforcement officials. However, awareness of baiting and feeding restrictions and impacts is growing through outreach and education.

In 2010, the top violation encountered by conservation wardens during the gun deer season was illegal baiting of deer. But there is promising news. The number of arrests for illegal baiting at 216 represented a 35 percent decline from 2009

The 2010 deer season report said complaints to the DNR Hotline regarding illegal baiting and feeding also were down 50 percent. The volume of material found in bait piles also dropped.

Read more about baiting and feeding regulations on the DNR website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan Hirchert - (608) 264-6023


Retired2hunt's picture

  Nice to see a 50%


Nice to see a 50% reduction of complaints last year on top of a 35% drop in arrests from the same year.  Hopefully 2011 season brings more reductions of compliants and arrests as well.  It is important that the no bait regulation is followed.  It may bring deer to you this year should a person decide to disregard the law but in the end it only hurts the area and herd with the transfer of CWD.  Responsible and ethical hunters need to do their part in ensuring the no bait regulations are held firm.  Any failure to report known baiting is as bad as doing it yourself here.  Deer hunters can harvest nice deer on a regular basis without baiting. 



numbnutz's picture

I also think baiting should

I also think baiting should be illegal everywhere. There are several people accross the counrty who hunt and are sucessfull that dont bait or cant bait. For the people who have a gripe about it should try hunting without it sometime. Since its not legal for the purpose of stopping the spread of CWD you'd think peopel would stop so there not killing off the deer herd back there. If they wanted to protect the herds and ensure hunting for years to come they would do anything in thier power to stop the spread of this to other deer. That includes feeding and baiting. Good luck in the battle of CWD.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I still think it should be

I still think it should be banned everywhere, not just the CWD zones, but whatever.  Hopefully more and more people will realize the importance of avoiding situations where the deer can come into contact with each other, adn baiting is the most common way.  They love their hutning too much up there to see the herd crippled by CWD.


SSGJB's picture

@Vernmonster, I couldn't


I couldn't agree with you more. I've hunted WI all my life, and i'll be the first one to admit i used to bait deer, well atleast my dad did for me when i first started hunting. When i started hunting at the age 12 he baited for me so i could see deer, i understand why he did it, so i would see some deer. But after the first couple of years i seen first hand the effects of baiting deer. We own land in northern WI neer the MI border. After one deer season we took a trip up to our land. It was the begining of a very hard winter. The deer became soo dependent on the bait they died by the bait pile waiting for the food. Now it was a very hard winter and there was not much for food anywhere else, so i think it was a last hope that someone would thow food out. After that we never baited again. I think that most people that do bait are the lazy hunters that don't want to put the time and effort in to learn the deer patterns and the lay of the land. But i do understand some that bait just to get deer to come in for the youth. But then again why not teach the youth the right way to hunt or atleast how to put the time and effort in. Okay time for me to get off my soap box