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Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program

Wisconsin has a program that assists farmers when wildlife damages their agricultural crops. The Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program (WDACP) provides damage prevention assistance and partial compensation to farmers when wild deer, elk, bear, geese and turkeys damage their agricultural crops. Wildlife managers issue agricultural damage shooting permits to farmers for removal of deer - and occasionally bear, geese and turkeys - that cause damage.

There is also assistance for people experiencing urban nuisance wildlife problems.

Who can apply

This is a state program that is administered through participating counties. Currently, all counties participate in the program with the exception of Kenosha and Menominee.


Eligible species

Eligible species include wild white-tailed deer, elk, black bear, Canada goose and turkey.

Compensation limits

  • $500 Deductible per claim
  • $10,000 Maximum per claim.

Abatement requirements

  1. Ownership of the crops being damaged.
  2. Control hunting access on each crop field and all contiguous acres under the same ownership and control.
  3. Allow public hunting during the open season for the specie(s) requesting abatement or claims assistance. Exception: public hunting is not required for deer hunting if issued a deer damage shooting permit only and forfeit eligibility for deer damage compensation payments.
  4. Follow normal agricultural practices
  5. Agree to be cooperative. Abusive language, behavior or threats of violence will be considered a failure on the part of the enrollee to cooperate.
  6. The permittee may not charge any form of a fee to a participant. Note: This includes any form of a trespass fee, stand or blind rental or any other activity that includes hunting the species causing damage.

Compensation eligibility

  1. File a complaint with the county, or the county's agent, within 14 days of the first damage each year.
  2. Follow the county, or the county's agent recommended abatement and all abatement eligibility requirements listed 1-5 above.
  3. Call the county, or the county's agent, 10 days prior to harvest to conduct an appraisal. Call for the first cutting of alfalfa, for each additional cutting, and for each crop/field. If a field is harvested before an appraisal is conducted, that field/crop WILL NOT be eligible for compensations that year.
  4. Crops subject to the claim are not planted or manipulated to attract eligible species.
  5. If the enrollee has been issued a deer shooting permit, the enrollee has complied with the deer harvest objectives.
  6. Maintain an accurate hunting log if enrolled in Managed Hunting Access option.
  7. Provide parking that is accessible to the land suitable for hunting.
  8. The land subject to the claim has been in cultivation or in an approved stabilization and conservation service set-aside program for at least 5 years.
  9. Failure to meet any of these provisions will make you ineligible for damage compensation in that year and the following year.

How to Apply

Application materials


Grant related statutes and administrative codes


Contact information
For more information, contact:
Brad Koele
Wildlife Biologist
715-356-5211 ext. 234