- Contact information
- For information on military priviledges, contact:
- Customer Service
Armed Forces hunting privileges
Wisconsin law extends many privileges for hunting, fishing and trapping to active members of the U.S. Armed Forces, Wisconsin National Guard or Reserves for both residents and nonresidents. Different sections of Wisconsin statutes authorize these privileges, each with their own qualifications.
Any resident in active service with the Armed Forces, who presents their military I.D. and leave papers is eligible for a free Small Game & Fishing License. All other hunting, trapping or fishing licenses can be purchased at resident rates.
Active service, means full time employment as a member of the armed services and does not include annual summer training by members of the national guard or reserves.
Any resident Purple Heart recipient who exhibits proof at a DNR Service Center of having received a Purple Heart medal is eligible to purchase a Conservation Patron license for $10. More details including acceptable documentation available on Veteran's page.
A hunting, fishing and trapping license can be purchased at the resident rate by a nonresident who is:
- a member of the Wisconsin National Guard
- an active member of the Armed Forces stationed in Wisconsin
- a member of a Reserve Unit of the Armed Forces located in Wisconsin
- a current member of the Armed Forces or current member of a Reserve Unit of the Armed Forces stationed out of state who was a resident at the time he or she entered active service
Any nonresident Purple Heart recipient who exhibits proof at a DNR Service Center of having received a Purple Heart medal is eligible to purchase a nonresident Conservation Patron license for $161 and other hunting, trapping, and fishing approvals at resident rates. More details, including acceptable documentation available on the Veteran's page.
Anyone who presents their military I.D. or other proof they've completed basic training in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard may purchase a hunting license without the need to possess a hunter safety certificate or accomplishment.
Any U.S. Armed Forces or National Guard member who is serving on active duty unable to exercise his or her privilege to fish, hunt or trap as permitted by the permit/license due to his or her service on active duty (includes members of a reserve unit when serving on active duty for the U.S. Armed Forces) may defer a permit or license issued under a random or preference selection system. This deferral can be used for any of the following permits:
- Bobcat hunting or trapping permit
- Otter trapping permit
- Fisher trapping permit
- Canada goose hunting permit
- Spring and Fall Turkey hunting permit
- Sharp-trailed grouse hunting permit
- Class A Bear license
- Elk hunting license
- Upriver Sturgeon Spearing license
Purchasing a unit-specific antlerless permit or tag ("bonus" tag)
Any resident in active service with the Armed Forces stationed outside Wisconsin and who presents their military I.D. and leave papers may purchase one bonus antlerless deer carcass tag for any ONE unit with a quota, even if the unit is sold out.
Qualifications for tagging deer statewide
Qualified active duty Armed Forces members may use their Gun Buck Deer Carcass Tag and one Farmland (Zone 2) Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag statewide, with some limitations (see below for buck and antlerless tagging specifics). The qualified active duty Armed Forces member must meet one of the following requirements:
- is a resident who is an active member of the Armed Forces* stationed outside of Wisconsin who is back in Wisconsin on furlough or leave; or
- is a nonresident who is an active member of the Armed Forces* stationed outside of Wisconsin, who is back in Wisconsin on furlough or leave, BUT ONLY IF they were a resident at the time they entered active service.
*Active U.S. Armed Forces members also includes any person who is a member of a unit incorporated into the Armed Forces, such as an activated National Guard unit serving under the direction of a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Qualified active duty Armed Forces members may use their Gun Buck Deer Carcass Tag during any firearm deer season to tag a buck that has been harvested with any legal weapon for that firearm season, including antlerless-only deer seasons.
Tagging antlerless deer
Qualified active duty Armed Forces members may use one Farmland (Zone 2) Antlerless Deer Carcass Tag in units outside of the Farmland Zones to tag an antlerless deer, including buck-only units, but only under the authority of a gun deer license and only during a season open to hunting deer with firearms; tag is land-type specific (public access or private).
Any resident in active service with the U.S. Armed Forces stationed outside Wisconsin, and who presents their military I.D. and leave papers, may obtain a turkey permit for any zone and time period, without the need to go through the normal application and drawing process.
To obtain a turkey carcass tag, contact DNR Customer Service at 1-888-936-7463.
Any resident in active service with the U.S. Armed Forces stationed outside Wisconsin, who presents their military I.D. and leave papers, may purchase a sturgeon spearing license after the October 31 deadline, through the end of the open season for spearing sturgeon.
For more information, contact DNR Customer Service at 1-888-936-7463.
Residents and nonresident Active Duty Armed Forces who exhibit proof of active service are eligible to receive a one-time transfer of a Class A Bear license.
Visit awarded permit transfers for details.
Section 40.02(57m) U.S. Armed Forces means any of the following:
- The U.S. Army, including the WACS
- The U.S. Navy, including the WAVES
- The U.S. Air Force, including the WAFS
- The U.S. Marine Corps, including the WMS
- The U.S. Coast Guard, including the SPARS
- The U.S. Maritime service, including the merchant marine
- 29.164 (3m) Turkey Permits
- 29.173 (2) Deer of Either Sex
- 29.177 (7) Antlerless Permit in Regular Unit (previously hunter's choice)
- 29.183 Deferral of approvals
- 29.192 (4c) Goose Permits
- 29.194 Free Fishing & Small Game, Eligibility for licenses as a resident if resident at time entering service
- 29.569 Three day waiting period for archer, Sturgeon Spearing License Purchase
- 29.593 Hunter Safety