(1) Definition. In this section, “activity associated with lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping” means travel, camping, scouting, target shooting, dog training, animal baiting or feeding, or other acts that are preparatory to lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping and that are done by a hunter, fisher, or trapper or by a member of a hunting, fishing, or trapping party.
(a) No person may interfere or attempt to interfere with lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping with the intent to prevent the taking of a wild animal, or intentionally interfere with or intentionally attempt to interfere with an activity associated with lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping, by doing any of the following:
1. Harassing a wild animal or by engaging in an activity that tends to harass wild animals.
2. Impeding or obstructing a person who is engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.
3. Impeding or obstructing a person who is engaged in an activity associated with lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.
4. Disturbing the personal property of a person engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or trapping.
5. Disturbing a lawfully placed hunting blind or stand.
6. Disturbing lawfully placed bait or other material used to feed or attract a wild animal.
7. Engaging in a series of 2 or more acts carried out over time, however short or long, that show a continuity of purpose and that are intended to impede or obstruct a person who is engaged in lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping, or an activity associated with lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping, including any of the following:
a. Maintaining a visual or physical proximity to the person.
b. Approaching or confronting the person.
c. Photographing, videotaping, audiotaping, or through other electronic means, monitoring or recording the activities of the person. This subd. 7. c. applies regardless of where the act occurs.
d. Causing a person to engage in any of the acts described in subd. 7. a. to c.
8. Using a drone, as defined in s. 941.292(1), to conduct any activity prohibited under subds. 1. to 7.
(b) No person may knowingly fail to obey the order of a warden or other law enforcement officer to desist from conduct in violation of par. (a) if the order is based on any of the following:
1. The warden or other law enforcement officer personally observed such conduct by the person.
2. The warden or other law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has engaged in such conduct that day or that the person intends to engage in such conduct that day.
(3) Exemptions. This section does not apply to actions under sub. (2)(a)1. to 8. performed by wardens and other law enforcement officers if the actions are authorized by law .
(3m) Affirmative defense. It is an affirmative defense to the prosecution for violation of this section if the defendant's conduct is protected by his or her right to freedom of speech under the constitution of this state or of the United States.
(4) Civil actions. (a) A person who is adversely affected by, or who reasonably may be expected to be adversely affected by, conduct that is in violation of sub. (2)(a) may bring an action in circuit court for an injunction or damages or both.
(b) The circuit court may enter an injunction under ch. 813 against conduct in violation of sub. (2)(a) if the court determines any of the following:
1. The defendant is threatening the conduct.
2. The defendant has engaged in the conduct in the past and that it is reasonable to expect that the defendant will engage in the conduct that will adversely affect the plaintiff in the future.
(c) The circuit court may award damages to the plaintiff if the defendant's conduct in violation of sub. (2)(a) has adversely affected the plaintiff. The damages awarded may include punitive damages and any special damages. Special damages may include approval fees, travel costs, camping fees, costs for guides, and costs for equipment or supplies to the extent that the plaintiff did not receive the full value of any of these expenditures due to the unlawful conduct of the defendant.
1989 Act 190, § 2, eff. April 13, 1990 .
St.1995, § 29.223 .
1997 Act 248, § 415, eff. Jan. 1, 1999 .
2015 Act 346, §§ 1 to 7, eff. April 4, 2016 .