Deer Hunters: Leave Firewood At Home

Nov 14, 2013

The “buy where you burn” principle still applies in hunting season.  

State officials urge hunters to buy local firewood to prevent the spread of invasive pests.
Credit Grendel Kahn via

The Wisconsin Department of Trade and Consumer Protection is reminding hunters not to haul firewood long distances when they head to their deer camps. 

Department spokesperson Donna Gilson says doing so could introduce new pests to an area. 

“There’s always that temptation to bring firewood with you because you’ve got some right in your backyard. IT’s never a good idea to haul firewood around the state.  And in some cases it may actually be illegal to do so.”

It’s illegal to bring hardwood out of a quarantined area that is home to gypsy moth or emerald ash borer.   And if heading to the state or national forest, the rules are stricter.  Wood must be brought in from within 25 miles of the area. 

“In the case of gypsy moths it would probably be the egg mass that would overwinter, and with emerald ash borer it would be the larvae that are under the bark.  Both of these are really destructive pests and you do not want to be the one that brings them into the Northwoods.”

Oak wilt is another pathogen that officials are concerned about spreading. 

The only exception to the rules is wood that’s been state certified as pest-free. It’s heat-treated and clearly labeled with the certification.  That can be hauled around anywhere.