This week, Department of Natural Resources wardens are keeping an eye out for hunters who are the breaking the rules. Some of the illegal activity can damage the forest that provides habitat for the deer.
Wisconsin state law requires that hunters not erect permanent tree stands or keep portable stands up at the end of the day. Dave Zebro, DNR northern region conservation warden, says the majority of complaints involve the portable stands, "Portable stands that have been placed on state property where they're not being removed at the end of hunting hours every day. Hunters will either pound nails into the trees for steps to get up the trees or they'll use the screw-in tree steps, which causes damage to the tree and ultimately can kill the tree."
Zebro says the use of nails can also cause injury or equipment damage when the trees are later harvested, "When it goes into the mill, when the loggers are cutting them, it can certainly cause lots of damage to the equipment that will process that wood."
Wardens are also keeping an eye out for patches of the forest that have been cut down illegally to give hunters a better shot. "You know, if they have a location that they think is a good spot to hunt but maybe there's a lot of brush or maybe there's some trees, it's not uncommon for folks to cut down trees, brush and create that shooting lane," Zebro said.
When wardens see a violation they typically try to persuade the hunter to change his behavior, but if that doesn't work they can confiscate tree stands and later sell them at auction.