Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In Wisconsin [No]

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People adore birds. But when it comes to pigeons, they are considered the number one annoying creature among birds. The increase in their population in the state has people wondering about ways to kill them. But is it illegal to kill pigeons in Wisconsin? 

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in Wisconsin. You can take down annoying pigeons lingering around your property. However, it is not legal to shoot Mourning doves off-season. Mourning doves are migratory birds. The US law forbids any harm against such bird species. 

Shooting pigeons might sound like an easy method, but their rules that you need to follow. Continue reading the article to learn more about pigeon hunting in the state. 

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In Wisconsin? 

In Wisconsin, it is illegal to hunt Migratory pigeons off-season. The Migratory pigeon species in the state are the Mourning dove. So, the state authorities prohibit the forced removal, killing, or hunting of them. However, hunters can take down Eurasian collared doves and Feral pigeons in Wisconsin.  

Mourning doves are tan or greyish brown with black spots on their wings. They have long, slender tails and small heads. You can also clearly see a dark dot under the eye.    

Eating pigeons is not illegal in Wisconsin as long as a person can prove that the pigeon was found dead. It is legal to eat pigeon and dove meat. But, many disapprove of the idea of eating unprotected pigeon meat as it can contain many lethal organisms. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In Wisconsin? 

It is illegal to hunt Migratory birds in Wisconsin. According to USA law, it is illegal to kill, harm, hunt, trade, or sell any migratory bird without a state permit. It is part of the MBTA or Migratory bird treaty act. The pact is between four countries, including the US, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. This act was implemented in the US in 1918 and included all the common birds found in all four countries.  

This treaty doesn’t include any native birds or pigeons. So, it only counts the pigeon, which moves according to the season. Mourning doves are also part of these birds. So, you can’t hunt them without a state permit. So, next time on a hunt, you must know all the features of these doves to avoid taking them down.   

It is legal to eat pigeon meat. But you can eat doves only if you find them dead. So, hunting migratory pigeons for food is forbidden. But eating Feral pigeon meat is not safe. They carry many bacteria and pathogens.   

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In Wisconsin State 

The laws ensure safe hunting and specify the date, time, weapons, and more. Rules might differ according to each state, like hunting age, license fee, and the bag limit and possession limit of Migratory birds.   

The Wisconsin wildlife authorities have all rules updated on their website each year. Every resident and non-resident needs to abide by these rules. I have discussed some of the necessary laws below to guide you.  

Hunting Education Course   

The Hunting education course is mandatory for all hunters born on or after January 1st, 1973. Students of any age can take this course. But, people only above 18 can take classes online. You don’t need to be a resident of Wisconsin.  

So, any county with this course will accept the certificate. It is ten hour-long class divided into two sessions. The first session includes theory learning which teaches hunting laws and ethics.  

The second session is on hand hunting practice. It teaches students the use of weapons and safe hunting technique.  

There is a test at the end of the classes. People who achieve more than eighty percent on the quiz pass the course. Once you pass the course, you can print the certificate immediately. The certificate is only valid for 550 days. 

Hunting License   

Hunters can apply for a hunting license after completing the education course. You can purchase a hunting license online or via the state wildlife agent. The hunting license depends on age, residence, and background. People from ages 10 to 17 are youth hunters. They must be under the direct supervision of an adult. The guide must be of at least 21 years.  

The hunting license in Wisconsin expires in a year. So, hunters will have to renew their hunting licenses, depending on the issue date. 

Hunting Weapon  

To shoot pigeons in Wisconsin, you can use firearms and archery equipment. It is legal to use Shotguns and air rifles to take down pigeons. However, the state allows only shotguns in Small games. The Shotgun must not be larger than ten gauge or smaller than 410 calibers. It must hold only three shells, not more than that. If your firearm has three gun shells and can hold more, you cannot bring it to the hunting field. However, you cannot use poison on any weapon, either gun shells or arrows. 

Safety Requirement   

In Wisconsin, all hunters must wear blaze orange or fluorescent pink vests and caps when hunting or carrying firearms. Hunters need to have a similar color backpack. When you do not have the same color backpack, conceal it with the matching cloth so you can be identified from behind. The rule is for hunters’ safety, so it’s easy to recognize them on the field.   

Private Land  

A landowner’s spouse and children can hunt on private property without a permit. If you want to hunt on private land, fill out the form online on the wildlife website and get a hunting permit. People leasing the land from landowners can also hunt on their property without any hunting permit. 

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In Wisconsin State? 

Pigeon hunting is quite simple when you know all the laws. Below are some necessary pointers which you must know for pigeon shooting and hunting. So, I have summarized all the rules in the points below.  

  • Purchase a hunting license online or through an agent. The license fee is different for residents and non-residents. It also depends on the hunter’s age.    
  • Youth hunters must be under the supervision of an adult licensed hunter above 21. 
  • Carry a hunting license and permit with you while shooting pigeons. The hunting license can be on an e-device or in print. 
  • For hunting on private land, obtain a permit from the landowner.    
  • You cannot hunt or shoot pigeons within 150 acres of dwellings. Nor is legal to use weapons within 500 meters of any worship place.   
  • The best pigeon hunting time is afternoon. The legal hunting time begins early morning and ends half-hour after sunset.   
  • The weapon must be legal, and you must have its license with you at all times. The bullet or arrow must not be poisoned.  
  • You cannot use decoys, electronic calls, or food to attract Mourning doves. However, you can use these tricks for Feral pigeons.   
  • Hunters must have all the safety gear while shooting pigeons, which includes goggles, gloves, and safety vests. 
  • Wear bright clothing on the field, including bright orange or pink vest, cap, and backpack.       
  • After shooting the target, collect the pigeon’s body and discard it in large plastic bags far from the area.    
  • Inform the bag count and the pigeon specie to the wildlife authorities.    

Summing Up 

In Wisconsin, it is legal to kill, shoot and hunt pigeons. Due to the increase in the pigeon population, the federal authorities do not protect them. To shoot or hunt pigeons, hunters will need a Hunting license and permits. The state has laws for pigeon hunting. 

The Mourning doves in Wisconsin are protected pigeon species. It is also illegal to kill them off-season. Hunters can hunt them only once per year, depending on the season. There is a bag and possession limit for them. But, the common pigeon species are the Rock pigeon and Eurasian collared dove. You can hunt them all year.