Hunters petition to be allowed on private land to retrieve deer


BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Hundreds of people have signed an online petition for a state law allowing hunters on private property to retrieve deer if accompanied by a game warden or sheriff’s deputy.

Local authorities don’t think the proposal is a good idea.

With gun deer season just days away, the Brown County Sheriff’s Office knows an increase in calls is coming.

“We get calls quite frequently, and it’s always about trespassing. It’s what it always is,” Sheriff’s Capt. Dan Sandberg said. “We get a complaint that there’s somebody that’s in orange, they see a hunter and they’re on somebody else’s property without permission.”

“Current state law, it’s you have no right to go on somebody else’s property. That’s their privacy rights, and that’s their right to control their own property,” Sandberg said.

But the online petition started by a southern Wisconsin hunter proposes a new state law allowing hunters to access private land to retrieve a deer with proper authorities, even if the landowner says stay away.

Sandberg, who’s an avid hunter, does not support that idea.

“We’re not real enthusiastic about something like that ,because you’re going into an area where people have their rights, their constitutional rights to their property.”

Department of Natural Resources wardens declined to comment about the petition, saying they enforce the rules and regulations dictated by state law.

But Sandberg sees other problems with it.

“Somebody could spend an hour, they could spend 2 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours or 2 days looking for that deer and we don’t have that manpower to go around and walk with somebody through the woods just because they didn’t have permission of a landowner to go through there.”

Which is why Sandberg advises all hunters to do some leg work before the season.

“Communicate with those landowners prior to it, so you have a plan in place and that you know you have permission to be going on their property.”