The LWCD has and continues to contract with USDA-APHIS-ADC to provide landowner services through this program. The program deals with crop damage caused primarily by deer and geese but will offer consulting services on other nuisance species. Abatement measures are emphasized and always required as a first step. Crop damage is also reimbursed, with a deductible amount that applies. Wisconsin's Wildlife Damage Program has requirements, which farmers need to fulfill for program assistance. The core requirement of this program is hunting access. Parking is restricted to designated areas; vehicular access is prohibited; and use of existing hunting stands or blinds is prohibited, unless specific permission is granted by the enrollee. ENROLLEES SHALL NOT CHARGE ANY FEES FOR HUNTING, HUNTING ACCESS, OR ANY OTHER ACITIVITY THAT INCLUDES HUNTING THE SPECIES CAUSING THE DAMAGE. Hunting is only allowed for the species causing the damage, unless authorized by the landowner.
Farmers have two options available to them for assistance. Each option has a hunting access requirement. The first wildlife damage program option is OPEN PUBLIC HUNTING (OPH). This option provides the farmer with all program services. Hunting access on the property enrolled is unlimited for the species causing the damage, but the hunter must notify the enrollee of their plans to hunt. The hunter is responsible to limit their hunting only to properties enrolled in the program. The second wildlife damage program option is MANAGED HUNTING ACCESS (MHA). Under this plan, the farmer's enrolled property is assigned a minimum daily hunting requirement. This hunting access requirement is the number of hunters that need to be allowed access, based on 2 hunters/40 acres of huntable land. The hunting access is based on “presence of” language. This means that enrollees may not deny permission unless their hunting requirement is met with hunters on the property at that exact time. Hunters must contact the participating farmer and obtain permission. The farmer is required to keep a daily hunting log to document the hunting access requirement.
Farmers that received a Shooting Permit for the species causing the damage are required to enroll in the Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program. Access hunters, who seek to hunt during the regular hunting season using their regular licenses and tags, may receive an extra tag under an enrollee's Shooting Permit. The farmer has sole discretion for Shooting Permit tag distribution. However, Shooting Permit tag denial is NOT hunting access denial.