Can You Shoot on Your Property in Wisconsin?

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Firearm safety is the main reason why federal and state gun laws exist. Negligent use of firearms may lead to unintentional loss of life and property damage. Being aware of the gun laws governing the area you live in or plan to shoot your firearm in keeps you out of legal trouble.

Can You Shoot on Your Property in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, it is not permissible to shoot firearms within city limits. Outside city limits, discharging of firearms is allowed depending on the Wisconsin town.

Shooting is allowed in own properties as long as the firearm discharge remains within the confines of own property. It is against the law to discharge firearms in another person’s property without their express permission.

A person wearing an orange cap and carrying a sniper hunting rifle

It is therefore important to check with local authorities to find out what the law says regarding firearm discharge on own property. You will avoid any legal issues when you use your firearm only in the manner spelt out by the law.

The laws are not in place to curtail gun owners’ freedom but to ensure that a high level of safety is maintained when a person uses a firearm even on their own property.

The top four tips to maintain safe firearm shooting on your own property include:

  • Alert everyone within the property of the shooting activity taking place. Depending on the activity at hand, be sure to let everyone know the places and time that the shooting will take place.
    If it is hunting, it means that shooting can take place at any corner of your property. If everyone is aware, they will keep off the set areas or take precautions when out on the property.
  • Designate specific areas for target practice. This will limit the shooting to a confined area of your property that everyone is aware of. Remember to put up signs on your property boundary warning anyone that could come in of the shooting taking place.
  • If the shooting will involve other people, be sure that everyone has the necessary training on gun handling. This will prevent accidents caused by people that have no idea how to shoot firearms. If it is your family, ensure that they all undertake training that will cover all aspects of shooting, from safe gun handling to shooting-intended targets.
  • Every person at a hunting party should wear bright-colored clothes that do not blend with the background. This will make it easy to identify their presence and avoid incidents where the shooter hits them unintentionally. Many hunters will have bright-colored jackets on them for this purpose.

Hunting License for Shooting on Private Property

If you are shooting on your own property for hunting purposes, you need a hunting license to do so. There are different types of licenses depending on the animal you are hunting. However, for small animals such as rabbits and predators like foxes, you do not require a hunting license to kill.

Rear view of a person aiming a sniper hunting rifle

Hunting within your property has its advantages. Still, remember that you need to keep within the confines of the property.

You should not shoot on your neighbor’s property unless you have received permission to do so. If an animal you are hunting crosses over to the neighbor’s property, you need to have had prior permission to follow it there.

Gun Laws in Wisconsin

Law Long Guns Handguns
State permit requirement for purchase No Yes
Firearm registration No No
Assault weapon law No No
Magazine capacity restriction No No
Owner license required No No
Permit required for concealed carry N/A Yes
Permit required for open carry No No
Castle Doctrine Yes Yes
State preemption of local restrictions Yes Yes
NFA weapons restricted No No
Peaceable Journey laws No No
Background checks required for private sales No No

Related Questions

Can You Legally Shoot Someone on Your Property in Wisconsin?

Yes, you can if the degree of threat warrants the need to prevent or terminate the interference. You also can’t shoot someone if your sole basis is the defense of one’s property.

What Self Defense Weapons Are Legal in Wisconsin?

The only self defense weapon that is legal in Wisconsin is pepper spray. Other self defense weapons are not legal even if you mix pepper spray in them.

Is Wisconsin a Castle Doctrine State?

Yes, Wisconsin is a Castle Doctrine state. While it is not lawful to shoot someone in defense of one’s property, you can apply Castle Doctrine when there is legal presumption to use deadly force.


Safe discharge of firearms ensures that you do not injure or fatally shoot your neighbors or family members even as you shoot within your property.

Following the laws set by state and federal governments on firearm, discharge is one way of ensuring this safety. If you live within city limits, find out what instances would allow you to discharge your firearm within the property.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.