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Hunting Ban

wisconsin hunting laws and regulations

Felon in possession of firearm

Many of the frequently asked questions regarding Wisconsin laws and regulations as they pertain to hunting, and more specifically to a felon in possession of a firearm, are discussed below. Please remember that this website does not nor can it provide legal advice; if you are seeking legal advice regarding possession of guns, please defer your questions to competent legal counsel in the state where you received your conviction or wish to hunt, as applicable.

Can a convicted felon hunt with an Air Gun or Air Rifle in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin laws do not prohibit a felon from possessing or using an an air gun or air rifle for hunting, but an air gun or air rifle is only legal if it is .1 (point one) caliber or larger and then only for the following species: squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, fox, coyote, and unprotected species, such as opossums and skunks. Air guns and air rifles are not legal for deer, bear, or game birds.

Can a convicted felon purchase a hunting license or hunt in Wisconsin?

A convicted felon can purchase a hunting license in Wisconsin, but it is illegal for a felon to possess any type of firearm, including a muzzle loader. A convicted felon cannot be a member of a group deer hunting party, nor may a convicted felon tag a deer in a group deer hunting party. Absent any other prohibition (such as a court order), a felon would be able to hunt under the authority of an archery license.

Can a felon hunt with a bow and arrow?

Under current Wisconsin laws, a felon can hunt under the authority of an archery license absent any other prohibition (such as a court order prohibiting the felon from using a bow and arrow).

Is it legal for a convicted felon to use a muzzle loader?

Unlike the federal definition of firearm, a muzzle loader. is considered a firearm in Wisconsin. Therefore, convicted felons may not possess a muzzle loader. in Wisconsin, just as they may not possess a rifle, shotgun or handgun. A muzzle loader. uses gun powder, so it is prohibited under the felon in possession of a firearm statute as a weapon that uses gun powder.

Is it legal for a convicted felon to be a member of a gun deer hunting party?

No. All members of a group deer hunting party must have a gun deer license and possess a firearm. Since convicted felons may not possess a firearm, they may not be a member of a ”group deer hunting party”. However, convicted felons may be present in the field and participate in activities, such as deer drives, which do not require the possession of a firearm. Wisconsin laws prohibit a felons from tagging any deer, bear or other game killed with a firearm. Under normal circumstances, felons can hunt with a bow and arrow, however, “group hunting” is not allowed for archery deer hunting.

The prudent felon would likely avoid being in the proximity of any group deer hunting party so as to avoid being held to possess a firearm, even if that firearm belongs to another person. Remember, possession is the key word; a person is considered to possess a firearm by merely handling the gun, whether or not the gun is locked, loaded or assembled.

Is a cased, Disassembled or Broken gun considered a firearm?

Yes, a gun is a gun is a gun! Notably, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court has ruled that a gun that is disassembled is still a firearm. The fact that a gun is disassembled and unable to be fired at any given moment does not change the fact that it is still a firearm. Likewise, a cased gun is still a firearm, and a broken gun cannot be so highly differentiated from a disassembled gun so to preclude it from qualifying as a firearm under Wisconsin laws.

Is a BB gun considered a firearm?

Under current Wisconsin law, a BB gun is not a firearm.

Possession is a legal term

Often times, when people think about the term "possession" as it applies to a firearm, they view it being held; however, possession is a legal term that encompasses holding a firearm (physical possession), as well as constructive possession or effective possession. To possess a firearm can mean that the firearm is being held by the person, or that the firearm is within the person's power or control, or that the person has or can exercise dominion over the firearm. To have or to be able to exercise dominion over a firearm means, in short, that the firearm is within your general area and you can take possession of it. You need not be holding the firearm to possess it. Additionally, holding a firearm for someone else, even if only for a second, is possession.

firearms in school zones

Current Wisconsin law prohibits any person from possessing a firearm within 1,000 feet of any school.

Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau states that bee bee guns are expressly excluded from the definition of “firearms” prohibited in school zones.

The Legal Community Against Violence indicates that non-powder guns are increasingly causing injuries and deaths, and are under the Consumer Product Safety Commissions’ regulatory authority.

Gun laws in other states

It is critically important to know the territory where you will be hunting, and the laws that pertain to it. For example, a BB gun is not a firearm under Wisconsin law; however, a BB gun IS a firearm under Illinois law.

For a quick reference to gun laws in the United States, please refer to NRA ILA Gun Laws:

Expungement effects on felon in possession

If a felony is expunged or pardoned, can the previously convicted felon hunt with a firearm?

With very few exceptions, felony convictions cannot be removed from a person's criminal record. If a felony is expunged, then the effect will result in that person being able to hunt with a firearm, unless otherwise prevented.

If a person is pardoned from a felony offense, and the pardon erases the felony, then the felony would no longer exist and the person would be able to hunt with a gun, unless otherwise prohibited.

charged with felon in possession firearm?

If you are a convicted felon who is under investigation for possession of a firearm, if you've been charged with felon in possession firearm, or if you have already been convicted of a felony offense for possession of a firearm, please call ( or ) the attorneys at Van Wagner & Wood right away. You can also send the attorneys an e-mail to request a return call or make them privy to the type of charges you are facing prior to calling the law firm.

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Hunting Licenses In Wisconsin

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