Wisconsin Implements Ban on Internet-Based Hunting

Apr 26


Kevin Doberstein

Kevin Doberstein

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In a significant legislative move, the Wisconsin State Assembly has passed Bill 179, which mandates hunters to be physically present with their firearms, bows, or crossbows while pursuing captive deer or other captive wild animals. This law aims to curb the rising trend of internet hunting, ensuring that the hunting experience remains authentic and physically engaging.

Overview of Bill 179

Bill 179 was introduced as a response to concerns about the practice of internet hunting,Wisconsin Implements Ban on Internet-Based Hunting Articles where individuals could remotely control firearms via online platforms to hunt game. This method gained attention after a Texas businessman set up a website allowing users to shoot game from his ranch using rifles equipped with cameras. The site was purportedly designed to offer disabled individuals the opportunity to participate in hunting and target shooting. However, the Wisconsin legislature viewed this as a deviation from traditional hunting practices, which are deeply rooted in physical participation and outdoor experience.

Enhancing Accessibility for Disabled Hunters

Despite the ban on internet hunting, Wisconsin remains committed to making hunting accessible to all, including those with disabilities. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has established several initiatives under its "Open the Outdoors" program to facilitate this:

  • Advisory Services: The Disabled Advisory Council advises the DNR on improving access to department programs and services for physically challenged individuals.
  • Needs Assessment: Identifying and communicating the needs of physically challenged persons to enhance DNR offerings.
  • Policy Advancement: Proposing research, policy, and legislative changes to increase accessibility.
  • Collaboration: Working with other organizations and agencies to boost accessibility across various platforms.

These efforts are part of a broader national effort to ensure that disabled individuals can enjoy recreational opportunities just like anyone else.

Public and Legislative Support

The passage of Bill 179 has garnered support from traditional sportsmen groups who argue that hunting should involve being physically present in the natural environment, which is an integral part of the hunting experience. They contend that remote, internet-based hunting detracts from these essential elements.

National Trends and Future Directions

Wisconsin is not alone in its stance against internet hunting. At least 14 other states are considering similar legislation to preserve the integrity of hunting as an active outdoor activity. This growing trend highlights a collective effort to maintain traditional hunting practices while balancing technological advancements and accessibility.


Wisconsin's legislative action reflects a commitment to both preserving traditional hunting practices and enhancing accessibility for all hunters, including those with disabilities. By requiring physical presence during hunting, the state upholds the values of outdoor sportsmanship while continuing to support inclusive participation through well-structured programs and initiatives.

For more information on Wisconsin's hunting regulations and accessibility programs, visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

This legislative move sets a precedent for other states, ensuring that the essence of hunting remains intact while embracing inclusivity and accessibility.