Wisconsin’s hunting tradition could be under attack in Wausau, WI. A proposed city ordinance would fine hunters $50 for hanging their deer carcasses in their backyards if approved by the Wausau city council.

As first reported by the Wausau Pilot and Review, the proposed ordinance states:

“No person shall dismember, display, eviscerate, hang, skin or slaughter any animal or part of an animal in any front or side yard, in any rear yard other than in an enclosure that will prevent such activity from being viewed by persons adjacent to such yard, or on any public property in the City.”

The ordinance will first be taken up by the Wausau Public Health & Safety Committee on Monday night at 5:15 PM. According to the posted agenda online, the ordinance will not run afoul of state laws to protect hunting because it does not ban hunting itself.

The committee is taking up the issue, according to the committee’s agenda, because of a number of complaints the city receives every year regarding animal carcasses hanging from a tree during hunting season. As noted above, the issue is not about health or safety, but aesthetics.

The ordinance not only affects deer hunters, but hunters of all animals.

(1) “Animal” means, but is not limited to, dogs, cats, deer, moose, elk, bear, rabbits, squirrels, skunks, chipmunks, ground hogs, opossum, rats, raccoons, porcupine, beavers, turkeys, geese, ducks, muskrats, foxes and coyotes, whether dead or alive.

Even hanging an animal for a short time could result in a fine, the agenda states, because most animals are only hung for 24-48 hours.

However, a blog on Ammo Atlas states that the ideal amount of time to hang a deer carcass is five to seven days.

“This length of time will allow the meat time to cool, move past rigor mortis, and the collagen to begin to break down,” the blog says. “This will result in meat that is both tender and flavorful.”

Cutting up a deer carcass during rigor mortis will result in meat that will be tough and leathery.