Damage permit hunting
The Wildlife Damage and Abatement Claims Program (WDACP) provides two types of hunting opportunities:
- Hunting access during the open season
- Agricultural damage shooting permit program
Hunting access during the open seasons
In order for farmers to be eligible for damage compensation they must provide hunting access to the public for the species they are enrolled for, generally deer, during the regular open hunting season(s) for that species. Public hunting access requirements may apply to the property the farmer owns or leases. Farmers have two options for providing access to hunters during the open seasons:
- Managed Access: The farmer can limit access to 2 hunters per 40 acres of land suitable for hunting. The county damage specialist determines the amount of land suitable for hunting. Open fields are not considered land suitable for hunting. All hunters must ask permission of the farmer prior to hunting and must sign-in on the farmer's logbook. This is the most common option chosen by farmers.
- Open Access: Any number of hunters may hunt on the farmer's land during the open season. All hunters must notify the farmer of their intent to hunt on the farmer's land.
Agricultural damage shooting permit program
Farmers who receive agricultural damage shooting permits are required to fill their harvest authorizations by specific deadlines. They have the option to provide some of their harvest authorizations to hunters who would like to help them shoot deer, bear, turkeys or geese that are damaging their crops. These permits are valid both inside and outside of the regular hunting seasons. Farmers are interested in alleviating damages throughout the growing season, and many farmers with deer permits will look for hunters to assist them in filling their harvest authorizations prior to the crop growing season.
Damage permit hunting regulations
Contact the farmer to ask permission to hunt on his/her land. Hunting on lands not enrolled in the program, without permission of the landowner, is trespassing. Farmers enrolled in the WDACP and/or possessing deer damage shooting permits cannot charge any fees for hunting, hunting access or any other activity that includes hunting the species causing damage. In all cases, the hunter is responsible for limiting their hunting only to properties enrolled in the program.
Please be courteous to farmers! Call ahead to plan your hunt, and please refrain from calling them after 8 p.m.
Hunting access during the open season
(using your own harvest authorization)
Hunting under a damage shooting permit
(using the farmer's damage harvest authorization)
List of farmers enrolled in the WDACP
List of farmers with damage shooting permits
Farmers are not required to allow hunters to use their damage tags.
Remember for all damage permit hunting
Farmers may deny access for reasonable cause to individuals who exhibit intoxication, vandalism, littering, reckless conduct or property damage, or who do not comply with the 11 listed requirements on the Log Book agreement form. Reasonable cause may not be based on age, race, religion, color, handicap, sex, physical condition, developmental disability, creed, sexual orientation or national origin.
If a hunter is refused access and feels that the farmer was not in compliance with the hunting requirement, or the farmer has charged some type of hunting fee for the species causing damage, please file a complaint with the USDA-Wildlife Services. Complaints should be in writing and contain the name of the farmer, the date and time of the alleged violation, any circumstances relevant to the alleged violation, the name, telephone and address of the hunter, and the hunter’s signature. The county damage specialist or WDNR will investigate these complaints.
Complaints should be filed within 10 days of the denial.