DNR Q&A: OK to Shoot Albino Deer? | Environment
Question: Are white or albino deer protected and illegal to kill in Wisconsin?
Answer: Some are and some are not. Going back at least 75-plus years, white and albino were protected by law and could not be harvested by hunters. Many years later, a white deer was more clearly defined to be any deer that was all white, not including any part of the head, hooves or tarsal glands. More recently, albino and all white deer were removed from the protected animal status in the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone (CWD MZ), allowing hunters to harvest such deer in the CWD MZ, as they are just as likely to contract CWD as any other deer. Outside the CWD MZ, a deer that has some brown hair, even if only a small patch, on any part of the body that is NOT part of the head, hooves or tarsal glands, is not protected and may be harvested, tagged and registered by a hunter if they have a valid tag for that type of deer (buck or antlerless deer). Like hunting and harvesting any species of game, a hunter must be sure what they are shooting at is legal for them to harvest before pulling the trigger.
Question: If a person buys the junior gun-deer license and then turns 18, is the junior antlerless deer carcass tag still valid?
Answer: YES. Just like the person who purchases a resident license and four months later moves to another state, the license and associated tags remain valid until its expiration date. That is unless the person’s license or privileges are revoked during the effective period of that license or tag.
Question: Can a deer that was legally harvested in Illinois be donated to the ‘Hunt for the Hungry’ program?
Answer: Yes, deboned meat, no head or spinal column. The customer would have to follow the carcass transport requirements in the Deer Regulations.
Question: Can a person obtain a free farmer antlerless tag at any license agent, or is that limited to DNR service centers?
Answer: Yes, these tags can be obtained at any license agent. The free tag is issued to resident farmers who hold a valid license that authorizes deer hunting (gun or archery). This permit is issued for a specified deer management unit and can only be issued if the customer who qualifies for the tag and who purchase an antlerless bonus permit for that specific deer management unit.
Question: A child is 12 years old and has completed hunter safety. Do the same rules apply under the “accompanied” terms?
Answer: YES. A 12 year old who has completed hunter safety must be accompanied by an adult. Meaning the adult must be within both visual and voice contact. This is less restrictive than the hunting mentorship program rules that require a person who needs to be mentored to be within arm’s reach of their mentor.
Question: Can a felon sit in the same stand with a youth age 12 or 13 who has completed hunter education and must be accompanied by an adult? Could a felon who wants to accompany a 12 or 13 year old be within voice and visual?
Answer: YES. But if the person is a felon, and the person they are accompanying is hunting with a firearm, the felon would have to be very careful not to place themself into any position or situation in which they could be considered to also be in possession or control of any firearm, including the firearm that is being used by the youth. A felon sitting in the same stand or blind with a child who has a firearm would also be considered in possession of that firearm, which is why we tell folks that a felon may not serve as a “mentor” and within arm’s reach of a person hunting with a firearm. It would also not be legal for a felon to transport the youth and the firearm to their hunting location, as the operator of the vehicle is generally considered to be in possession and control of what they are transporting in a vehicle.
Question: Also, same situation as above but for a 10 year old who has completed hunter education. Can a felon go along on a hunt with their child as long as there is some other person acting as the actual mentor within arm’s reach of the 10 year old?
Answer: Only if the felon remains far enough away from the firearm (not in same stand or blind) so there is no question he/she is never in possession or control of the firearm. Being in the presence of firearms certainly heightens the risk that an individual will “constructively” possess the firearm (especially in vehicles). We do not mean to discourage a person from participating in a hunting party in which their children are participating where guns are present. But a felon must be aware and discouraged from placing themselves in any situation where they might be considered to be possessing a firearm in violation of state law.