Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program available for ag producers
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MADISON — Agriculture producers are reminded the Wildlife Damage Abatement and Claims Program is available for crop or livestock owners who have or anticipate agricultural damage caused by white-tailed deer, elk, black bear, wild turkeys, cougar or Canada geese.
Producers experiencing problems with one or more of these species should contact the respective wildlife damage technician for their county. A list of county contacts can be found on the DNR’s Website at dnr.wi.gov, search “WDACP county contacts.”
“Early detection of damage is key,” says Brad Koele, the Department’s wildlife damage specialist who oversees the program. “The earlier damage is identified the earlier we can work with producers to implement damage abatement methods and limit the losses.”
The program’s primary goal is to provide damage abatement assistance to reduce agriculture damages from eligible species. The secondary goal is to provide partial compensation for crop loss.
In order to be eligible for program assistance, producers must:
• Own the crop.
• Control hunting access on all contiguous lands of same ownership or control on which the damaged crops are located.
• Allow public hunting access for the species causing damage.
• Sign an enrollment form detailing all lands suffering damage and where hunting access will be allowed.
• Agree to be cooperative. Abusive language, behavior or threats of violence or otherwise will be considered a failure on the part of the applicant to cooperate.
To be eligible for damage compensation, the producers must follow the above provisions and additionally must:
• File a complaint with within 14 days of first damage for deer, elk, bear, turkey, cougar and goose damage. Complaints must be filed each year.
• Implement recommended abatement.
• Call each time they want a crop appraised. Contact must be made prior to harvest, or the field/crop will be ineligible for compensation that year.
• Allow staff 10 days to conduct an appraisal. If the field is harvested before an appraisal is done, that field will be ineligible for compensation that year.
• If a shooting permit has been issued, the conditions of the shooting permit must be complied with.
There is no cost for producers to enroll in the program and receive program services. For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “wildlife damage.”