- Wisconsin gamebird businesses are essential businesses that provide livestock as food in a safe manner that easily allows the practicing of social distance requirements.
The Wisconsin Order provides a list of Essential Businesses that may stay open. Section 13, item (c) of the list of permitted businesses states: “Food and beverage production, transport, and agriculture. Food and beverage manufacturing, production, processing, transportation, and cultivation; farming, livestock, fishing, baking, and other production agriculture, including cultivation, marketing, production, and distribution of animals and goods for consumption; businesses that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for animals, including animal shelters, boarding, rescues, kennels, and adopting facilities; farm and agriculture equipment, supplies, and repair services.”
- Hunting is an outdoor activity that clearly conforms within the parameters of a permissible essential activities. Upland gamebird preserves provide exercise and fresh air for both participants and their hunting dogs and can easily do so within the social distance requirements of the order.
The Wisconsin Order states that individuals may leave their home for essential activities provided they practice the social distance requirements as spelled out in the order. The third listed essential activity Section 11, (c) states, “To engage in outdoor activity, including visiting public and state parks, provided individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined below. Such activities include, by way of example and without limitation, walking, biking, hiking, or running.”
Upland gamebird hunting preserves are easily adaptable to operate in compliance to social distance requirements as hunters are spread out across a field. Hunting preserves will close club houses and conduct all financial transactions electronically, over the phone or through the mail.
- The Wisconsin Order’s list of essential activities includes the ability of an individual to obtain necessary supplies including food.
Section 11, (b) states, “To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation: canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, gasoline, propane, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.”
Wisconsin’s gamebirds are as fresh of a source of poultry as can possibly be procured.
- The Wisconsin Order also permits essential travel that would include travel to hunting for food.
Section 15 of the order states, “Essential Travel. Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply with Social Distancing Requirements to the extent possible. For the purposes of this Order, Essential travel includes:
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Special Situations, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses and Operations, or Minimum Basic Operations.”
Because hunting provides both exercise and a food source that can be procured while complying with the social distance requirements, travel to and from a hunting preserve would be permitted.
- Last, a press release issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on March 24th states:
“Hunting And Fishing
Wisconsin’s waters are open. You can fish if you have a license. Normal season regulations apply. All current regulations apply for hunting, trapping, and fishing seasons.”
Wisconsin’s hunting preserves are permitted by WDNR and are subject to regulation by the department.
Whether or not to remain open is a decision that will have to made by each individual business. In the event that a business elects to remain in operation, it could be helpful to be able, if confronted, to provide law enforcement or the state with justifications for the decision. This document provides a summary of the exceptions in the Wisconsin Order that explain the decision to remain in operation during this time.
Disclaimer: This information is not legal advice and does not guarantee eligibility or approval of any government program. NAGA strongly advises interested gamebird businesses to consult with their own financial or legal advisers on their own specific applications.