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Wisconsin Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

Wisconsin Hunting

Wisconsin is one of the best states in the US to bag big game animals like wolves, turkeys, bears, and deer. Hunting regulations in the state allow the use of various weapons to take these games as long as it is their hunting season. There are also various small games in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Hunting Regulation

Some of the Wisconsin hunting regulations put in place by the law of the state to control hunting activities include the following:

Distance Restriction

In Wisconsin, it is illegal to hunt a game or discharge a hunting firearm within, at least 500 yards, from public areas like highways, public roads, etc. Hunting firearms restricted include shotguns with more than 4 shots, a muzzle rifle, or a .40 caliber or more firearm. Distance restriction hunting law in Wisconsin mostly affects deer hunting. Any deer hunting activity or gaming within the 50 yards’ restriction is unlawful in every part of the state. The state legislature passes this law to tackle safety concerns in Wisconsin.

Hunting Permission

It is an unlawful act to capture, hunt, destroy, kill, or injure a game in someone else’s land or property, without permission from the landowner or someone standing in place of the landowner. The only exception to this regulation is if you are accompanied in the hunting activity by the landowner, or you are a guest of the landowner.

Hunting Hours

Wisconsin regulates hunting hours in the state. Lawful hunting is only allowed in daylight periods, and this is defined as the hours between 30 minutes prior to sunrise and 30 minutes after the sunsets.

Body Protection Falling

One of the commonest hunting injuries in Wisconsin is falling from a tree. This is why the state legislature makes it compulsory to be fully protected with a body harness while hunting. Every hunter in the state that makes use of tree stands is mandated to have full-body protection. Also, the state requires that such hunters make use of a pull-up rope to pick instruments from the ground to treetop. The regulations also forbid them from carrying bows, guns, or other hunting equipment when climbing or descending from the tree. Also, while pulling up a gun from the tip of the tree, it must be unloaded. The regulation also recommends removable tree stands and prohibits permanent or erected ones if a landowner does not give permission.

Wisconsin Bow Hunting

There has been steady development in bow hunting in Wisconsin. Various associations in the state such as Archery Trade Association, Wisconsin Wildlife, and Freshwater Fisheries Division, and the United State Fish and Wildlife Services have come together to improve various archery parks in the state.

Archery parks in Wisconsin have various shooting targets and distances for hunters to train ahead of an archery season.

Before you can make use of an archery park, you must be between the ages of 16 and 64 and own a valid hunting license from Wisconsin.

Open Carry While Hunting In Wisconsin.

If you have the right to hunt in Wisconsin, you can open carry while doing so.

For bow hunting, it is illegal to make use of firearms except they are concealed, and you have a state permit to carry.

Hunter harassment law in Wisconsin states that nobody shall deliberately impede hunting or any similar licensed activity like fishing or trapping in such a way that makes the taking of animals difficult.

Other violations of this law include:

  • Harassing or disturbing wildlife or involving in any activity that suggests so.
  • Interfering or impeding a person from taking part in a legal hunting activity or related practices like fishing or trapping.
  • Causing disturbance on a person’s property meant for legal hunting or similar activities like trapping.
  • Tampering with bait or any form of a trap meant for attracting and taking wildlife or fishes.
  • Violating any section of this law with the use of a drone.
  • Taking part in more than one activity simultaneously in such a way that impedes or disturbs the lawful hunting of animals or similar activities related to such practices in the state.
  • Staying close to anybody taking part in hunting in such a way disturbs the activity.
  • Harasses or confronts a person taking part in lawful hunting activity.
  • Monitoring licensed hunting by illegally photographing or taking a video without permission.

Wisconsin Hunting License Permits and Tags

It is compulsory to complete a state-approved hunter education course before applying for a Wisconsin hunting license. However, there are few exceptions for those that may apply for Wisconsin hunting education, and they include the following:

  • Law enforcement agents
  • Military members in the state
  • Residents of the state are members of the Wisconsin National Guard.

People That Need Hunter Education.

Wisconsin hunter education is compulsory for anyone that was given birth within the 1st of August 1977 and now. The minimum age for anyone to apply for the course is 10 years old. But the person will not be needing it at that age, since the minimum age to apply for Wisconsin Hunting License is 16 years old. However, it is advised that you complete your Wisconsin hunter education course as early and you can.

Hunter Education Requirement Exceptions

An alternative to the Wisconsin hunting education course is provided by the state Wildlife Heritage Act enacted in 2007. This act provides those seeking a hunter’s license in the state to hunt under the supervision of a mentor to obtain the hunter education cost. License buyers that do not want to hunt under supervision will have no other option than to complete the required course.

For hunting under supervision, the act states that all hunters must adhere to voice commands and must not be more than 30 feet away from the supervisor. The supervisor in this case will be a licensed hunter that is at least 21 years old.

Understanding The Options for Wisconsin Hunter Education Course

You can apply for your hunter education by attending a physical class or an online class. Physical classes are always free of charge, but you will have to pay a provider’s fee for the online class. Successfully completing either the physical or virtual class will qualify you for a Wisconsin hunter’s license.

If you would like a close proximity learning system, then the physical class will work better for you. The online option on the other hand demands a functional internet network with good speed.

Physical Hunter Education Course

The duration for this option is at least 8 hours for teaching and instructions, at the end of which you have to sit for an examination. The State Wildlife and Freshwater Fishery Division is in charge of this training. The division will provide instructors for the applicants. The minimum age to apply is 10 years old, and it comes at zero costs.

Some of what a Wisconsin Physical Hunting Course Will Cover include:

  • Hunting regulations and ethics
  • Survival and first aid during hunting
  • Muzzleloading
  • Game care
  • Identification of wildlife
  • Management of wildlife
  • Handling firearms safely
  • Archery

If you are with a disability and you want to undergo Physical Hunter Education training, you can contact the Wisconsin Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fishery before applying.

Online Hunter Education Course

For this option, you will be provided with some of the most educational hunting videos that come with interactive games and exercises. The course provider will also grant you access to an all-inclusive hunter education course that will give you insights into the necessary information and expertise that will make you hunt responsibly and safely.

Types of Wisconsin Hunting Licenses

Wisconsin issues these 3 types of basic Hunting License:

  • Hunting Recreational License for Residents
  • Hunting Recreational License for Non Residents
  • Hunting Commercial License
  • Hunting Recreational License for Residents

The state will only issue these licenses to residents. Wisconsin residency is proved by either a state-accepted ID card or a state driver’s license. If you are a landowner in Wisconsin, you can hunt on your property without a hunting license, but it is mandatory that you own a driver’s license. The age requirement to apply for a Hunting Recreational License is 16 years old. Various types of licenses, permits, and tags under Hunting Recreational License for Residents include the following:

  • All Game License
  • Small Game license
  • Hunter’s Exception License Privilege
  • DNR Registration Privilege
  • Baiting Privilege
  • Commercial Fowl Hunting permit
  • Duck Stamps (Both federal and state licenses)
  • Wildlife heritage license
  • Wildlife Management Area License
  • Lifetime Hunting Licenses
  • Senior Lifetime Hunting licenses
  • 100% Physically Disabled Resident Hunting
  • 50% Disabled Military Veterans Appreciation Hunting
  • 100% Disabled Military Veterans Appreciation Hunting
  • Disabled Military Veterans Appreciation 3-Day Event Hunting
  • Hunting Recreational License for Non Residents

Nonresidents of Wisconsin that want to hunt in the state must own a Hunting Recreational License different from the one issued to residents of Wisconsin. The age requirement to apply for such a license is 16 years old. License, permits, and tags categorized under Hunting Recreational License for Non Residents include the following:

  • All Game license
  • Small Game license
  • Baiting Privilege license
  • Non-Resident College Students license
  • Hunter's Exempt License
  • DCNR Registration Privilege
  • Disabled Military Veterans Appreciation license
  • Commercial Fowl Hunting Preserve license
  • Duck Stamps
  • Harvest Information Program
  • Wildlife Management Area License
  • Hunting Commercial License

This refers to licenses, permits and tags issued for commercial hunting purposes in Wisconsin. They include the following:

  • Commercial Fowl Hunting licenses
  • Fur catcher licenses for residents and non-residents in the state.
  • Falconry permits
  • Field trials permits.

Wisconsin Fishing License Permits and Tags

Just like hunting licenses, fishing licenses in Wisconsin also have 3 basic types where all other permits, tags, and licenses are categorized. They include:

  • Freshwater Fishing Recreational Licenses for Residents
  • Freshwater Fishing Recreational Licenses for Non Residents
  • Freshwater Fishing Commercial Licenses

Freshwater Fishing Recreational License for Residents

These licenses are issued to those with proof of residency in Wisconsin. The license, permits, and tags categorized under this type of license include the following:

  • Freshwater Fishing License
  • Optional 65+ Freshwater Fishing license
  • Freshwater Public Fishing Lakes Daily License
  • Wildlife Heritage License
  • Spearfishing license
  • Wire basket license
  • Lifetime Freshwater Fishing license
  • Optional Senior Lifetime Freshwater Fishing
  • 100% Physically Disabled Resident Freshwater Fishing License
  • Disabled Freshwater Fishing Military Veteran's Appreciation 
  • Disabled Freshwater Fishing 3-Day Event License 

Freshwater Fishing Recreational Licenses for Non Residents

These are permits issued to non-residents that want to hunt in Wisconsin. Licenses permits and tags under this include the following:

  • All States annual license except Louisiana and Mississippi
  • All States freshwater fishing license except Florida & Georgia
  • Non-Resident College Students license
  • Freshwater Public Fishing Lakes License
  • Annual License
  • Daily License 
  • Spearfishing license
  • Wirebasket license

Freshwater Fishing Commercial Licenses

Licenses, permits and tags under this include the following:

  • Commercial Freshwater Fishing license for residents and non-residents
  • Nongame Freshwater Fish Dealer license (retail and wholesale)
  •  Minnow and/or Live Fish Dealer license for nonresidents
  • Stocking Public Water Permit  

Wisconsin Hunting Season

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Wisconsin includes the following:

Wisconsin Deer Hunting season

  • Archery and Spear period (15th of October to 10th of February
  • Firearms (21st of November to 10th of February)
  • Deer Dog Hunting when permitted (7th of November to 1st of January)
  • Muzzleloader and Rifle Deer Hunting (2nd of November to 6th of November and 16th of November to 20th of November)’

The seasons may vary between different zones in the state, and counties may have further restrictions for spear and dog deer hunting.

Wisconsin Turkey Hunting Season

  • Hunting in the fall (21st of November to 29th of November and 12th of December to 1st of January
  • Hunting in the Spring (20th of March to 2nd of May)
  • Youth Turkey Hunting (The weekend before the commencement of spring season)
  • Disabled Turkey Hunting (A day prior to spring commencement)

The dates for each season may vary across different zones in the state. Also, counties may have various regulations for bag limits.

Wisconsin Small Game Hunting Seasons

The dates for hunting small games in Wisconsin’s 2020/21 season includes the following

  • Quail Hunting (7th of November to 28th of February)
  • Rabbits and Squirrel Hunting (12th of September to 7th of March)
  • Raccoon, opossum, Bullfrog, Pig, Frog, Starlings, Crows, English Sparrows, Hunting (Open Season)

The dates will vary across the various zones in the state. Also, bag limits, regulations, and special seasons will be different depending on the wildlife and the season. Baiting is prohibited during hunting in Wisconsin, and there is a regulation on the type of game you can hunt.

Wisconsin Wildlife Game and Fish

Wisconsin is an endowed state in terms of wildlife to hunt. It is one of the states in the US where it is possible for hunters to hunt at least 1 wildlife per month.

Some of its most popular wildlife includes the following:

Wisconsin deer hunting

Deer are the commonest game available for hunting in Wisconsin, especially the white-tailed deer. Deer hunting is one of the major impacts on Wisconsin's economy.

Wisconsin Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting in Wisconsin is the second commonest game after deer hunting in Wisconsin. The state has some of the most enthusiastic deer hunters in the US and they enjoy more than a month of turkey hunting season per year.

Wisconsin Duck Hunting

Duck hunting in Wisconsin is common and many hunters are active during the duck hunting season. A large number of ducks and waterfowls are mostly found in Mobile Tensaw Delta and the Tennessee River. Another common duck species hunted in the state is the Wood duck.

Wisconsin Quail Hunting

There has been a significant change in Wisconsin quail hunting over the past 10 years. This is due to the state farming culture and habitat conditions that have drastically reduced the amount of quail in the state. Now quail hunting in Wisconsin happens only on commercial quail hunting reserves.

Wisconsin Dove Hunting

The hunting period for doves hunting in Wisconsin is designated to the fall season. Most hunters use this period as a social and recreational event to get together with their hunter colleagues and families. Dove hunting in Wisconsin differs for each zone.

Wisconsin Coyote Hunting

Coyote is one of the wildlife you can hunt all year round in Wisconsin, as long as you have your state license.

Wisconsin Rabbit Hunting

Small game hunting in Wisconsin is one of the ways hunters socialize and introduce little children to hunting.

Wisconsin Bear Hunting

Black bears hunting in Wisconsin are only found in the southwest and northeast regions of the state. There is no open season for Wisconsin bear hunting and the state advises that residents should report to the DNR whenever they find a bear.

Wisconsin Shooting Ranges

Shooting range open to the general public in Wisconsin Include the following:

  • Sports Hollow.
  • West Bend Barton Sportsman's Club.
  • Twin City Rod & Gun Club Range.
  • Westby Rod & Gun Club.
  • Wood County Rifle and Pistol Range.
  • Wisconsin Sportsman's Association.
  • B16 4t Sportsman's Club.
  • Arbor Vitae – Caywood.
  • Acres for Recreation.
  • Beaver Dam Conservationists.
  • Beechwood Sportsman's Club.
  • Balsam Lake Rod & Gun Club.
  • Campbellsport Sportsmans Club.
  • Cassville Conservation Club.
  • Conservation Club of Kenosha County - Bristol Shooting Ranges.
  • Dalton Rod & Gun Club.
  • Cudahy Sportsmen's Club.
  • Dunbar Shooting Club.
  • Fishbowl United Sportsmen Club.
  • Flambeau Area Sportsman's Club Range.

Wisconsin Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in Wisconsin Include the following:

  • 40.05 acres with a great little cabin that provides a warm and comfortable place to end your day of hunting in Pembina, Wisconsin (Marinette County).
  • North Prairie, Wisconsin (Waukesha County), 96 acres.
  • Butternut, Wisconsin (Ashland County), 203.79 acres.
  • Hewitt, Wisconsin (Marathon County), 120 acres.
  • Warrens, Wisconsin (Jackson County), 82 acres.
  • Bristol, Wisconsin (Kenosha County), 61 acres.
  • Richland Center, Wisconsin (Richland County), 263.5 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in Wisconsin include the following:

  • 250 acres Hunting land for Lease in North of Shiocton, Outagamie county. Excellent for deer, turkey ducks, geese and some bears.
  • Hunting lease available for 32 acres in Croix county Somerset, WI. All wooded and available for excellent deer and turkey hunting.
  • 220 acres of mixed farmland & forest high deer density wildlife pond QDM for 25 years in Trempealeau county.
  • 1500 acre hunting preserve populated by the finest trophy whitetail bucks in the nation. With hunting packages like lodging and meals in Oconto county.
  • 100 acres for great deer hunting in the town of Hamburg, Vernon county, located approximately three miles south and east of the village of chaseburg.
  • Wooded and partial field great for hunting, secluded, easy access, deer, turkey, no duck in Rusk county, 20 acres.
  • Seasonal Trophy Whitetail and Elk Hunting Preserve with Varied Game Opportunities in Marathon county.
  • Reserve Offering Completely Private Whitetail Hunting Excursions. Owners should be contacted for land size details.
  • 40-acre woodlot, road access, logging road parking, deer and turkey, no duck in Rusk county.
  • 700 acres private Hunting Reserve with ranch and club open to the public which specializes in corporate-hunt outings in Iowa county. Licenses for hunting are not required on the club grounds. 
  • Bremer Creek is a Wisconsin Deer Hunting Outfitter, specializing in offering Wisconsin Guided Deer Hunts for trophy whitetail deer. Located in Buffalo County, Wisconsin, along the Mississippi River.

Wisconsin Public Hunting Lands

Public hunting lands available in Wisconsin include the following:

  • 1187 Acres in Calumet county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Elk, Turkey, Dove, Duck, Predator, and Exotics
  • 237 Acres in Milwaukee county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, and Exotics.
  • 1500 Acres in Waupaca county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Elk, Turkey, Duck, Predator, and Exotics.
  • 2296 Acres in Dane county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Duck, and Exotics.
  • 702 Acres in Ozaukee county for hunting Duck and Exotics.
  • 5350 Acres in Iowa county for hunting Duck, Predator, and Exotics.
  • 90147 Acres in Sawyer county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Elk, Turkey, Quail, Duck, Predator, and Exotics.
  • 30000 Acres in Burnett county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Duck, and Exotics.
  • 1970 Acres in Dane county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Duck, and Exotics.
  • 27000 Acres in Lincoln county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Turkey, Duck, and Exotics.
  • 1860 Acres in Waushara county for hunting Turkey, Dove, Duck, and Exotics.
  • 30000 Acres in Burnett county for hunting Whitetail Deer, Duck, and Exotics.
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