Wisconsin is undoubtedly one of the best states in the US for hunting enthusiasts. With its diverse wildlife and carefully regulated hunting seasons, it offers ample opportunities to bag big game animals like wolves, turkeys, bears, and deer. But it’s not just the big game that attracts hunters to Wisconsin; the state also boasts a variety of small games for those seeking different hunting experiences. In this article, we will explore the hunting regulations, season dates, and licensing requirements in Wisconsin, along with the different types of game you can hunt.
Wisconsin Hunting Regulations
In Wisconsin, strict laws govern hunting activities near public areas such as highways and public roads. It is illegal to hunt or discharge a hunting firearm within at least 500 yards of these areas. The restricted firearms include shotguns with more than 4 shots, muzzle rifles, or firearms with a .40 caliber or higher. This law, primarily aimed at deer hunting, was put in place to ensure safety and prevent accidents.
Hunting on someone else’s land without proper permission is unlawful in Wisconsin. Individuals must obtain permission from the landowner or someone authorized to give permission before engaging in hunting activities on private property. Exceptions to this rule include being accompanied by the landowner or being a guest of the landowner.
Wisconsin regulates hunting hours to ensure that hunting activities only occur during daylight hours. Hunting is allowed from 30 minutes prior to sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Body Protection Falling
One of the most common hunting injuries in Wisconsin is falling from a tree stand. To tackle this issue, the state mandates that hunters using tree stands must wear a full-body harness for protection. Hunters are also required to use a pull-up rope to raise their hunting equipment to the tree stand and refrain from carrying weapons while climbing or descending. Unloading firearms while pulling them up is also mandatory. The use of removable tree stands is encouraged, and permanent stands are allowed only with the landowner’s permission.
Wisconsin Bow Hunting
Bow hunting has seen steady development in Wisconsin, with various associations collaborating to improve archery parks in the state. These parks offer various shooting targets and distances for hunters to train ahead of the archery season.
Age and License Requirements
To use an archery park in Wisconsin, hunters must be between the ages of 16 and 64 and possess a valid hunting license issued by the state.
Open Carry While Hunting in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, hunters with the right to hunt can open carry while hunting. However, for bow hunting, the use of firearms is illegal unless they are concealed, and the hunter holds a state permit to carry.
Hunter Harassment Law in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has strict laws against hunter harassment, which prohibits deliberately impeding hunting or similar licensed activities like fishing or trapping. This includes disturbing wildlife, interfering with lawful hunting, trapping, or fishing activities, tampering with baits or traps, and using drones to disrupt hunting. Violation of these laws can lead to serious consequences.
Wisconsin Hunting License Permits and Tags
To obtain a Wisconsin hunting license, completion of a state-approved hunter education course is mandatory. However, certain exemptions apply for law enforcement agents, military members, and Wisconsin National Guard residents.
Hunter Education Requirement
Wisconsin hunter education is compulsory for individuals born on or after August 1, 1977. The minimum age for the course is 10 years old, although a hunting license can only be obtained at 16 years old. Completing the hunter education course early is advised to be fully prepared for hunting.
Exceptions to Hunter Education
An alternative to the hunter education course is provided by the state’s Wildlife Heritage Act, allowing individuals to hunt under the supervision of a mentor. Hunters must adhere to specific rules while hunting under supervision.
Types of Wisconsin Hunting Licenses
Wisconsin issues three types of basic hunting licenses:
- Hunting Recreational License for Residents: Issued to state residents for various types of games and privileges.
- Hunting Recreational License for Non-Residents: Issued to non-residents for hunting in Wisconsin.
- Hunting Commercial License: For commercial hunting purposes, including permits for fowl hunting, fur catching, and field trials.
Understanding the Options for Wisconsin Hunter Education Course
Hunters can choose between attending a physical class or an online class to complete the hunter education course.
Physical Hunter Education Course
The physical class includes at least 8 hours of teaching and instructions, followed by an examination. The State Wildlife and Freshwater Fishery Division provides instructors, and the minimum age for this option is 10 years old.
Online Hunter Education Course
The online option provides educational hunting videos, interactive games, and exercises for a comprehensive learning experience. Hunters must pay a provider’s fee for the online class, and successfully completing either option qualifies them for a Wisconsin hunter’s license.
Wisconsin Fishing License Permits and Tags
Wisconsin also offers various types of fishing licenses for both residents and non-residents, including recreational and commercial licenses.
Wisconsin Hunting Season
Wisconsin’s hunting season varies for different wildlife species. Deer hunting is particularly popular in the state, and various seasons allow for hunting with different weapons.
Wisconsin Shooting Ranges
Wisconsin offers numerous shooting ranges open to the public, providing hunters with opportunities to practice their shooting skills.
Wisconsin Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease
Hunting lands are available for sale and lease in Wisconsin, offering different hunting experiences for enthusiasts.
Wisconsin Public Hunting Lands
For those looking for public hunting opportunities, Wisconsin offers several areas with abundant wildlife for hunting.
Wisconsin remains a hunter’s paradise, offering a diverse range of game animals and well-regulated hunting opportunities. From big game like deer and turkeys to small game like rabbits and ducks, the state’s wildlife provides an exciting and rewarding hunting experience. By adhering to the hunting regulations and obtaining the necessary licenses, hunters can enjoy a safe and memorable hunting season in the beautiful state of Wisconsin.
What are the hunting hours in Wisconsin?
Hunting is allowed during daylight hours, from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset.
Is open carry allowed while hunting in Wisconsin?
Yes, individuals with the right to hunt in Wisconsin can open carry while hunting.
Are there shooting ranges open to the public in Wisconsin?
Yes, Wisconsin offers several shooting ranges open to the general public for practice and training.
What types of hunting licenses are available in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin offers hunting recreational licenses for residents and non-residents, as well as hunting commercial licenses.
Are there any exceptions to the hunter education requirement in Wisconsin?
Yes, certain individuals such as law enforcement agents, military members, and Wisconsin National Guard residents may be exempt from the hunter education requirement.