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Hunting Questions

Forest Crop Law (FCL) and Managed Forest Law (MFL)

The public may use MFL-Open lands for hunting, fishing, hiking, sight-seeing and cross-country skiing. Only hunting and fishing are allowed on FCL lands. All DNR hunting and fishing regulations and seasons apply. All other uses are prohibited unless the landowner gives permission.
Can a landowner prevent hunting during the nine-day gun deer season?

No, landowners must allow all types of hunting and seasons on MFL-Open and FCL lands, including hunting during the nine-day gun deer season.

Can I scout deer or sight my gun on MFL-Open or FCL lands?

People can hike on MFL-Open lands, so it would be difficult to prove that a person is scouting instead of hiking. Scouting is not allowed on FCL lands, since the only activities allowed on FCL lands are hunting and fishing. Sighting of guns on MFL-Open or FCL lands is prohibited. Hunters are encouraged to sight guns at local shooting ranges.

Can I bait bear when hunting on MFL-Open or FCL lands?

Baiting is a legal part of bear hunting, therefore is legal on MFL-Open and FCL lands. Hunters could be cited for litter if inorganic materials, such as paper, plastic, Styrofoam or other materials are left at the bait pile.

Is trapping allowed on MFL-Open and FCL lands?

No, trapping is not considered to be hunting and therefore not allowed on MFL-Open or FCL lands unless the landowner gives permission.

Can I use a tree stand on MFL-Open and FCL lands?

Yes, tree stands can be used for hunting; however you or the tree stand cannot cause damage to trees or the land. Cutting of shooting lanes, branches or shrubs or screwing in tree steps is considered to be causing damage to trees or land.

Can I use a trail camera on MFL-Open and FCL lands?

No, it is illegal to use trail cameras on lands enrolled in the Open MFL or FCL programs without the permission of the landowner.

Can I leave my tree stand on MFL-Open or FCL lands overnight?

No, you are not allowed to leave tree stands overnight unless you have landowner permission.

If I shoot a deer and it dies in the landowner's crop field, do I have the right to walk in the landowner's field to retrieve my deer?

No, not unless you have the landowner's permission. Landowners who have MFL-Open and FCL lands are required to provide access to those lands only. Crop fields are ineligible for enrollment in the MFL program, so therefore the expressed permission for access does not apply to these crop fields. It is important for all hunters to speak with landowners to gain permission to retrieve deer in crop fields or other areas in which permission to access is not obtained.

Can I lease MFL lands for hunting or recreation?

Landowners are allowed to receive consideration or lease their lands for recreational uses when enrolled in the MFL Program (s. 77.83(2)(ar), Wis. Stats. [exit DNR]). Recreational uses for the purpose of leasing include: hunting, fishing, sight-seeing, cross-country skiing, horseback riding and staying in cabins. Any leasing activity that interferes with or deters the public from recreating on MFL-Open lands is prohibited.