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“The illegal activity of growing and harvesting marijuana on public lands has occurred in recent years and is expected to continue,” the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service informs Wisconsin hunters heading into Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. “National Forest and other public lands are being used for these illegal operations as they are often vast, uninhabited acres the growers find have the right conditions for their illegal operations.” Bottom line: “Drug Trafficking Organization marijuana growers are dangerous and are known to carry firearms!” Helpfully enough, the feds provide 411 on how to identify these sites (hint: lots of marijuana plants) and what actions to take if you encounter one . . .

Indicators of illegal marijuana grow sites include:

– Isolated tents in the forest where no other recreational activity is present

– Garden tools, bags of fertilizer, and large amounts of garbage

– Signs of cultivation/soil disturbances in unlikely areas

– 1 to 2 acre cleared areas with stumps up to approximately 3 feet tall

If you encounter a site, or unusual circumstances you should take these actions immediately:

– Leave the area as quickly and quietly as possible

– Do your best to know your location by use of landmarks or waypoints

– Notify local law enforcement authorities, if on National Forest you can also notify the local Ranger District Office.

Authorities will continue to work together to decrease this unlawful and damaging activity. Your assistance is important to help stop marijuana growing in your National Forest.

How bad is the problem? offers a not-so-surprising snapshot:

For the last three summers, large marijuana operations have been discovered in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin. In each of those busts, law enforcement made numerous arrests, almost all natives of Mexico here illegally. Confiscated weapons included handguns, AK-47s and a .308-caliber rifle with ammunition magazines taped together.

Taped together magazines? That is serious! Anyway, once again, as with FEMA’s emergency supply list at, the feds fail to mention the unique advantages of carrying a firearm for personal defense in the face of a lethal threat.

We know better, yes?

One thing: if you end-up in a gunfight with a pack of environment-destroying undocumented dope growers, just remember that the USDA Forest Service prohibits “discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun within 1000 feet [of] the lakeshore or buildings.” [h/t]

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  1. Who goes into the woods unarmed? I don’t go gold panning alone or unarmed. If I see suspicious activity I’m unassing the area. Anyone gets in my way becomes road kill.

    Too many missing persons in this country. I will not go peacefully or quietly and neither will my partners. The issue has been discussed and a plan of action thought out.

  2. 20+ years ago a very dumb cousin of mine got his leg mostly blown off trying to raid a pot patch in Humboldt County California. He didn’t encounter anybody – he tripped a piece of fishing line that was rigged to the trigger of a cocked cheap single-shot 12ga.

    Watch out guys…I guarantee you this trick is still in use :(.

  3. The sad thing about this report is that the mexicans will either face deportation or a few years board and lodging. Shame the US doesn’t execute people for this stuff. After all, drugs are harmless

  4. Making brownies isn’t one of the suggestions? I’ve always wanted to try MJ brownies, but I’m a little nervous to try them in Thailand or Amsterdam.

      • because you will get reefer madness! you will attempt to copulate with caucasian women and start a murder/robbery spree. and lastly: JUST SAY NO!


        • At my age I can copulate with the women or I can go on the murder/robbery spree. I can’t do both. This week it’s copulating. Hopefully it will be next week too.

      • Because if I get a non-violent drug conviction I become a stat in the failed “war on drugs” and lose my carry license.

        Besides, It’s MUCH healthier to drink legal alcohol–that never hurts anyone /sarcasm…

  5. If anyone is interested in finding out more things people have found in the woods, this forum post is HILARIOUS and utterly terrifying at the same time. Marijuana seems to be a regular find, along with such things as young couples having sex, random naked guys, old Vietnam vets, and the occasional dead body.

  6. The press release should have been titled: Attention Marijuana Growers, Beware the Hundreds of Thousands of Armed Citizens that will be Reporting your Illegal Activities.

    • We aren’t all snitches Joe, and most pot farmers are just farmers. It’s only in the wake of the US and Mexico stepping up the drug war that the cartels have become increasingly violent. That’s one thing you can always count on prohibition to do.

  7. Carrying a firearm is certainly better than not carrying one, but if you encounter a group of criminals armed with ak-47s, that handgun you’re carrying is just not going to cut it.

    • Well most hunters have decently powered rifles and shotguns… I figure a guy who has spent a decent amount of time stalking animals can stay away from illegal Mexicans tramping around the woods. I personally would probably freak out and run away if I stumbled upon a marijuana field…

    • Depends. If they shoot like Iraqis you are probably safe if they are shooting AT YOU. If they are shooting at the guy standing next to you, you might get hit, though.

  8. It’s a significant problem in California, too. When I was invited to go turkey hunting in northern CA (Humboldt Co) the first things I wanted to know were (a) where’s the nearest BLM/NPS land, and (b) is the property big enough to hunt on without straying into a weed grow…

    Sure would be nice if the stuff was straight-up legal (thank you, WA state!) so the grow operations could be shifted to legit farms and greenhouses. That would reduce the backwoods grow operations to a nuisance, IMHO.

    • I had a family member who was very senior in the USFS in the mid-late 1980s.I recall him being extremely concerned about the fact that in Northern Cal and various other parts of the forest system the rangers and forest users were running into heavily armed growers even then. As a result, previously unarmed rangers were carrying some heavy artillery just to defend themselves in case they stumbled across weed growers.

    • You’re welcome! Haha.

      Here in WA state, there’s been the same issue for years of gangs using public lands to grow their crops. Marijuana is a serious cash crop – one enterprising group actually buried an entire SHIPPING CONTAINER and was growing gangja inside of it.

      Now with legalization passing, the industry will be better regulated and fairly taxed – the old WA state liquor control board already has a structure set-up to do so, even though the state voted to get rid of state owned booze.

      • Careful, you might accidentally put WA’s state economy into the black by adding a major source of tax revenue, decreasing crime rates, and shrinking the prison population.

        Now if we can just figure out how to get the Feds to back off and respect the will of state citizens & legislatures…

        • I see you missed my previous post on the subject of weed and revenue.. There is no significant revenue to gain in legalizing marijuana. If you levy high taxes people will just get it from untaxed sources just like they get cheap cigarettes from criminals today. It also the perfect grow your own commodity.

        • This is uncharted territory. How can you be so sure? Various counties in Washington are already dismissing simple possession charges. There is no precedent yet. But, people are lazy and convenience counts. So walking down to the state-run, neighborhood Mary Jane shop will probably become pretty normal. However, the Feds aren’t going to take this lying down and I believe this will end up in the Supreme Court.

  9. If this wasn’t so pathetic it would almost be laughable…….

    Down here, our illustrious federal government has had TAXPAYER PAID signs made that state:

    “Travel Caution – Smuggling and Illegal Immigration May Be Encountered in This Area”

    In other words, let’s not get rid of the problem, just put up a sign!

    • Because, of course, fixing those problems is TOTALLY just as straightforward as posting warning signs. Which would be OK if they were paid for out of private funds, but they’re outrageous because they were posted by the government.

      Got it.

      • Or maybe just, you know, accept the fact that prohibition has never worked and never will. Guns, drugs or humans, get rid of all of it and let otherwise law abiding people do what they want.

  10. Everyone here is missing an opportunity. In Texas we are required to purchase a hunting license for deer, duck, quail, etc.

    Imagine, no license to hunt armed Mary Jane growers!!

    Are they hard to clean and cook??

    • Now THAT is something I can sink my teeth into! Decent stalking and since the cretin are illegals, no one would file a missing persons report once they go to ground. (Except maybe in Kalifornia – they have some weird notions there)

    • +1 YeeeHawww!!! Legalized Murder and Cannibalism! Awesome! After we issue licenses for Illegals, we can issue hunting licenses for People who Drive Lowered Trucks!

      On the downside, I am pretty sure humans are terrible eating. Think of all the garbage those things eat (though the PETA crowd is probably tasty)…they probably stink worse than the insides of a three-days-dead-chicken. Better off just skinning them for the pelt.

      Wait, WTF are we talking about?

        • There has to be an equivalent to Godwin’s Law for humorous discussion threads, and I’m pretty sure a Silence Of The Lambs fava-bean reference is one of the required criteria.

          In other words: well played, sir/madam.

        • No!! You like flied lice?? You twy it with flied lice!! 2 dollar GI.. 2 dollar. Vely Vely good!!!

  11. Just an FYI for everyone, a lot of growers wire their
    fields with incendiaries and booby trap entrances.
    Many of the smarter ones have figured out that
    arson doesn’t give as much time as murder.

    • +1 on that. I’d be much more concerned about the booby traps than armed illegals. The people I know that hunt near this area hunt in groups, and with their hunting 30-06’s and .270’s they know how to “play sniper” well enough, including ditching the blaze orange first. AK’s just spray lead.

  12. “almost all natives of Mexico here illegally”
    — More ‘law-abiding’ people just here struggling to have a better life (eyes rolling at the national lunacy, pathetic weakness, and lack of common sense in modern America).

    Two simple ways to make real change:
    1) Declare marijuana legal for medicinal and recreational use. Let it be sold from either pharmacies or liqueur-type stores. Tax it at the same level as liqueur.

    2) Really seriously seal the southern border.

    • Two questions for you: 1) What sort of magically effective sealant will we be using on that Southern Border and why hasn’t anyone else ever heard of it? and 2) What will you be doing with all your free time as the economy dies the slow death that Japan’s has? That’s what happens when you don’t have population growth, and since all of ours comes from immigration we can pretty well count of the death of our economy.

      Also – who will be working all our entry level jobs? You? And in the absence of those damn wetbacks who can we direct our casual racism at? I be going back to the blacks or Jews would be a pretty transition.

  13. Totenglock and I have had the discussion before about legal/illegal drug use/ manufacture/growing so I won’t bring that up any further.
    While in the Army our LRSD unit/teams were assigned to various groups of DEA agents to assist in hunting down illegal drug growing/manufacture/ trafficking areas in State and National forests.
    I will tell you first hand these people are deadly serious about protecting their operations.
    We lost one team member(KiA) and one team member lost a leg, both due to booby traps which were 12 ga shells packed in a metal coffee can and set on a tripwire.
    They are very devious and ingenious so be very very careful!!!
    RIP Bro!!!

    • Thanks for your service in tracking down and helping to reduce the criminal activity in our own forests. Sorry to read about your team brothers who were killed and maimed.

  14. Don’t forget the “anti-personnel mines” made from steel pipe and a 12 gauge shell. Step on the pipe and the whole thing drops from your weight onto a nail used as a firing pin. Good way to lose a foot.

  15. socal border patrol leo gave tips :

    if you come across a “hunter” claiming
    “to be looking for buddy” who sez
    “that area closed for research ” avoid it.

    and dont follow rabbit trails off main path.

    and open carry loaded if legal area.

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