Hunting License Laws

Wisconsin Hunter Education Requirements

If a person was born on or after January 1, 1973 wishes to purchase a Wisconsin Hunting License, he or she must have completed a hunter education course. The Hunter Safety Certificate must be presented to purchase any hunting license in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Hunter Education – Exemptions

  • Those who are active or have successfully completed and carry proof of completion of basic training in the U.S. armed forces, reserves or National Guard do not need a hunting safety course certificate to purchase a license.
  • Anyone born before January 1, 1973 may purchase a license and hunt unless privileges are revoked in a court of law.
  • Mentored Hunting. Anyone 10 or older can now hunt without first completing a hunter education course. He or she must be accompanied by a licensed hunter, hunt within arm's reach of the mentor, have valid permits and tags and must follow all hunting laws, seasons and bag limits. Complete information is available at WI Mentored Hunting.

Wisconsin Hunting License

Everyone who hunts in Wisconsin must have a license on them when hunting. Licenses are available through the WI DNR Service Centers, WI DNR Field Stations, Online and various vendors across the state. License fees are dependent on the game hunted and whether the purchaser is a resident of the state or not.

Minimum Age Requirements

There is no minimum age to take a hunter education class in Wisconsin, however, no person under the age of 12 may purchase a license or possess a firearm unless participating in a mentored hunt. Anyone aged 12-13 who has completed the hunter safety course may purchase a license and hunt if within sight and voice contact by a parent or guardian who is at least 18 years of age.

Hunter Orange Requirement

When a firearm deer season is open in any area of the state, a person hunting game must have at least 50% of their outer clothing, above the waist, covered in blaze orange. Blaze orange is a highly visible colour that can be seen in many weather conditions and is an excellent safety measure. It is highly recommended that all hunters wear solid blaze orange jacket, pants and hat while hunting.

Exceptions to blaze orange requirements during firearm deer season include waterfowl hunters who do not need to wear blaze orange clothing. Hunters who are participating in legal night hunting from ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise are also exempt from wearing blaze orange clothing.

Important Note

For a more complete listing of Wisconsin's hunting license laws, hunting regulations, or hunter education requirements, please consult the Wisconsin Hunting Regulations, available directly from the Department of Natural Resources or on their website.