Attention hunters: help stop the spread of invasive species

MADISON, Wisconsin. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking hunters to help slow the spread of invasive species while out in the field this hunting season.

Hunters are encouraged to check clothing and equipment for unwanted hitchhikers. The seeds of invasive plants such as garlic mustard, tansy, and spotted knapweed can travel long distances in the mud on vehicles, trailers, ATVs, shoes, and clothing.

Once introduced, these invaders quickly establish themselves, outcompeting native plants and damaging valuable wildlife habitat.

Hunters can play an important role in slowing the spread of invasive plants by cleaning up gear before and after heading to their favorite hunting spot this fall. Here are some ways to help:

  • Learn to recognize invasive species.
  • Beware of seeds sticking to clothing and shoes.
  • Inspect and clean hair, clothing, shoes, equipment, and pets before and after recreation.
  • Clean equipment before and after use.
  • Properly dispose of soil, seeds, or plant parts from the cleanup.
  • Stay on designated trails, roads, and other built-up areas.
  • Avoid areas that are infested with invasive species; “When in doubt, stay out!”
  • Educate others on how to limit the spread of invasive species.
  • Volunteer to help control invasive species.

Hunters who may have encountered an invasive species while recreating on public or private land can report the location, description, and photo of the invasive species to [email protected].

Learn more about invasive species and how to limit the likelihood of their movement on the Invasive Species Best Management Practices web page.