The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters and wildlife observers that deer baiting and feeding are prohibited in much of the state—including in our northern area counties.

It is important for you, as a local resident, to know our local baiting and feeding polices as well as the policies of other state counties you hunt.


  • Bait and Feed include, but are not limited, to materials such as mineral, salt, hay, corn and apples.
  • Bait is placed for hunting purposes, while Feed is placed for non-hunting purposes such as wildlife viewing.

Where Baiting Is Allowed, It Is Illegal To:

  • Place bait during the closed season for deer, except that bait may be placed starting the day before the archery deer season opener. Baiting must stop at the close of all deer seasons.
  • Place, use or hunt over more than two gallons of bait.
  • Hunt over an illegally baited site unless the area is completely free of bait for at least 10 consecutive days.
  • Place, use or hunt over bait that is contained in or deposited by a feeder designed to deposit bait automatically, mechanically or by gravity.

Where Feeding Is Allowed, It Is Illegal To Place:

  • More than two gallons of feed for each owner-occupied residence or business.
  • A deer feeding site more than 50 yards from an owner-occupied business or residence.
  • A deer feeding site within 100 yards of a highway having a posted speed limit of 45 mph or more.
  • Feed at a deer feeding site that the person knows is being used by bear or elk.
  • Feed that is contained in or deposited by a feeder designed to deposit bait automatically, mechanically, or by gravity.

The baiting and feeding laws are meant to limit the spread of the fatal and highly contagious deer disease, known as chronic wasting disease (CWD) as well as other serious diseases. Bans on baiting and feeding are established within a geographic range of any confirmed CWD case.

CWD may be spread by animal-to-animal contact. It also may be transmitted by contact with saliva, urine, feces, blood, carcass parts of an infected animal or contaminated soil. Baiting and feeding encourages deer to congregate and have direct contact, thereby increasing the chances of spreading this fatal disease within the herd.

To protect our state’s natural resources – in this case, our white-tail deer and elk populations – it is important to know and follow the baiting and feeding regulations. Violating these regulations could result in penalties such as fines and revocation of hunting privileges.

Stay safe and enjoy the hunting seasons!

- Per Lt. Scott A. Bowe / Warden Supervisor, Division of Public Safety and Resource Protection / Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Rusk, Taylor, Price, and Sawyer Counties

Last Update: Jul 25, 2021 1:58 am CDT

Posted In


Share This Article