Shooting Ranges

Take Aim! Find a shooting range near you!

ATV safety
Learn about ATVing in Wisconsin
Boat safety
Learn about boating in Wisconsin
Hunter safety
Learn about hunting in Wisconsin
Snowmobile safety
Learn about snowmobiling in Wisconsin

Sign up for a safety education course

Requirements for all safety education courses

All Wisconsin recreational safety students are required to obtain a Wisconsin DNR Customer ID Number before the completion of any recreational safety class and will also be required to provide that customer ID number along with students personal information to the instructor. You can obtain a DNR Customer ID Number by calling DNR customer service from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. at 1-888-936-7463 or by visiting a DNR service center during their regular scheduled hours. For more information, visit our service center hours and locations page.

The following are the Wisconsin approved courses. Any courses other than the ones listed below will not be recognized in the state of Wisconsin.

Course objectives

To reduce the potential for accidents, injuries and fatalities; to reduce the potential for conflict between participants, landowners and other resource users; and to promote safe, responsible and ethical use of the environment and our resources.

Enroll
in a recreational safety education class.



ATV

ATV education students on the trail
ATV education students on the trail

ATV course requirements

Anyone who operates an ATV on public riding areas - e.g. trails, frozen waters, routes, permitted county and/or forest lands - who is at least age 12 years of age and who was born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 must have completed a safety certification course. These ATV operators must carry their safety certification card and they must display it to law enforcement officers when requested.

Anyone is eligible to take the class and receive a safety education completion certificate. For children under 12 years of age, the certificate does not become valid until the child reaches 12. Students with special needs must contact the instructor at least two weeks in advance of the course to request special accommodations.

Course information

Instruction emphasizes laws and regulations, ethics, personal safety and the proper use of all-terrain vehicles.

Length of course

This course requires a minimum of six hours but may be longer depending on the instructor.

Class availability

Courses vary depending on the area of the state and time of the year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course.

Cost of course

$10 for traditional classroom. $15-$30 for Internet courses.

Internet courses

Operators of all-terrain vehicles now have a convenient online method to receive ATV safety certification through Internet web courses. The Internet courses are available at www.atvcourse.com/usa/wisconsin [exit DNR]

www.offroad-ed.com/wisconsin [exit DNR]

Boating

Adults and children boating safely
Adults and children boating safely

Boating course requirements

Wisconsin boating safety certification or out of state equivalent certification is required for operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1989. Anyone is eligible to take the class and receive a safety education completion certificate, however, courses are designed at a 5th grade level or up. Please read the boating regulations [exit DNR] for full details.

Who may operate a boat

  • No one under the age of 10.
  • Children 10 years of age but less than 16 if accompanied in the boat by a parent or guardian or a person at least 18 years of age designated by a parent or guardian.
  • Anyone at least 12 years of age may operate a motorboat if they have successfully completed a DNR prescribed boating safety course and possess a boating safety certificate issued by the Wisconsin DNR or another state.
  • There are no age requirements for operating a boat that is not equipped with a motor.

Who may operate a personal watercraft

  • No one under the age of 12 may operate, lease or rent a personal watercraft.
  • No one under the age of 16 may rent or lease a personal watercraft.
  • Children at least 12 years of age may operate a personal watercraft if they have successfully completed DNR prescribed boating safety course and possess a boating safety certificate issued by the Wisconsin DNR or another state. Adult supervision is not a substitute for a certificate.

Wisconsin boat rental education certificate program details

  • Must be 16 years of age or older.
  • Renting or leasing a motorboat or personal watercraft from a licensed watercraft rental agent.
  • The certificate is valid until the end of the calendar year in which it is issued.
  • Can only be used by the person to whom it was issued.
  • Can only be used to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft which is rented or leased by the holder of the certificate.

Course information

Instruction emphasizes navigation, laws, ethics, personal safety and the proper use of boats.

Class availability

Courses vary depending on the area of the state and time of the year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course.

Cost of course

$10 for traditional classroom. $30 for Internet courses.

Internet courses

Boat operators now have convenient online methods to receive boat safety certification through Internet courses.

  • Boat education course [exit DNR]: This updated course offers interactive instruction for all learning styles. The three-hour course is split into short segments that are designed for easy comprehension and quick learning. Log out and the course "remembers" where you left off, so you can jump right back in after a few hours or days. This course has the identical text that students study in DNR's classroom courses, colorfully illustrated with more than 200 realistic drawings, more than an hour of streaming videos and interactive animations. Customer support is available 16 hours a day, seven days a week via email or a toll-free number.
  • BoaterExam [exit DNR]: This new course is suitable for boaters of any age and reading skills because students can choose to hear the material as well as see it. The course features many eye-catching animations and the ability for students to "bookmark" where they are, making it easier to return to complete the course later. This course takes a minimum of three hours to complete.
  • Wisconsin-approved boat rental course [exit DNR] for Wisconsin residents and visitors who do not already possess a valid boating education certificate, but who wish to rent a boat or PWC to operate on Wisconsin waters. The course covers all the information you’ll need to know to receive your temporary boating certificate. The entire course can be taken on a smartphone, tablet or computer. Using interactive animations, realistic illustrations and video, the course covers, Wisconsin legal requirements, navigation rules, safe personal watercraft operation, casting off and docking, plus more. This official Wisconsin-approved boat rental course makes learning fun and easy. Upon completing the course you will be issued a temporary boating certificate, allowing you to legally rent a boat or PWC anywhere in Wisconsin. Sign up and complete your course today.

Looking for additional boating education options?

  • U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary [exit DNR] boating courses provide instruction to boaters at all levels, from the fundamental to the advanced. Classes are taught by experienced and knowledgeable instructors committed to the highest standards of the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • Paddle Sports Safety Course [exit DNR]; A free online paddling safety course for new paddlers to learn the basics and as a great refresher for experienced paddlers. The course does not certify a person to operate a motorboat but is a great learning tool.

Hunting

Hunting course requirements

Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1973, must have completed a hunter education course and show the certificate to purchase any hunting license in Wisconsin. However, if they will be hunting under the hunting mentorship program or they have successfully completed and have proof of completing basic training in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard, they do not need a hunting safety course certificate to purchase a license.

Hunter education graduates receive a certificate that is accepted in every state, Canadian province and Mexico.

For Wisconsin residents, a first time graduate may use the Wisconsin hunter education certificate in lieu of a small game hunting license from the date of issuance until March 31 of the following year. Those qualifying do not need to purchase a small game license; the certificate is the license for the established time period.

Course information

The hunter education course instills in students the knowledge and skill to be a responsible and safe hunter. The basic course consists of 10 lessons during a minimum of 10 hours. Students learn how hunting accidents are caused and how they can be prevented. Hunter responsibility and safety are stressed throughout the classes, which consist of lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, practical exercises and individual study and activity assignments. Hunter education course manual [PDF]

Length of course

This course requires a minimum of ten hours but may be longer depending on the instructor. The average length course is 18 hours.

Class availability

Courses vary depending on the area of the state and time of the year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course.

Cost of course

$10 per student.

Internet courses

Students are required to attend a mandatory hunter Internet field day to complete their online certification. Students should check the upcoming classes [exit DNR] page daily. Click on the drop down arrow and choose "Hunter Internet Field Day" for upcoming course listings. Courses are limited statewide.

Internet certification process
  1. Register for a one-day Internet field day with a certified online hunter education field day instructor. You may not register for a traditional hunter education classroom field day.
  2. Complete an online course. A certified online hunter education instructor will direct you to an online course approved by the WI DNR.
  3. Attend and pass the mandatory WI DNR Hunter Education Internet field day. After passing the online course, you will spend a day in the field reinforcing what you learned online, basic firearm safety and handling skills. You will be tested on what you have learned at the end of the field day. The field day is mandatory to obtain your WI DNR safety certification.
The three acceptable online courses are
  • homestudy.ihea.com (free)
  • huntercourse.com/usa/wisconsin ($24.95)
  • hunter-ed.com/wisconsin/ ($24.50)
  • An additional $10.00 DNR fee is required to obtain your certification. No other online courses are accepted.

    Adult (18+) Online Internet Hunter Education Test Out

    Adult test outs are scheduled bi-monthly at WI DNR service centers. This option requires completion of an online course. The two acceptable online courses are hunter-ed.com/wisconsin/ ($24.50) or huntercourse.com/usa/wisconsin ($24.95) (to be paid to the website) plus an additional $10.00 WDNR fee. Student must be 18 years old on or before the date of exam to enroll.

    To locate a test out, adults should check the upcoming classes [exit DNR] web page. On the first drop down arrow choose "hunter adult only" as your course type. The second drop down arrow will default to “statewide.” This option will give you a list of adult test outs occurring through-out the state.

    Snowmobile

    Snowmobilers on the trail
    Snowmobilers on the trail

    Snowmobile course requirements

    Any person who is born on or after Jan. 1, 1985 and who has reached the age of 12, must have completed and received a snowmobile safety certificate in order to operate a snowmobile in Wisconsin. The certificate must be carried while operating the snowmobile and displayed to a law enforcement officer upon demand.

    This does not apply to the operation of snowmobiles upon lands owned or leased by the operator's parent or guardian. Leased lands do not include lands leased by an organization of which said operator or the operator's parent or guardian is a member.

    No person under the age of 12 may operate a snowmobile unless the person is accompanied either by a parent or guardian or by a person over 18 years of age. Accompanied means to be on the same snowmobile as the operator.

    Other states and provinces that issue a snowmobile safety certificate to snowmobilers will be honored in Wisconsin.

    Course information

    The snowmobile safety course consists of six hours of basic instruction in the principles of snowmobile safety. The course is comprised of six hours of classroom study and an optional two hours of hands-on snowmobile operation or optional snowmobile ride simulation.

    Length of course

    This course requires a minimum of eight hours but may be longer depending on the instructor and the student's learning ability.

    Class availability

    Courses vary depending on the area of the state and time of the year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course.

    Cost of course

    $10

    Internet courses

    Operators of snowmobiles have an online method to receive snowmobile safety certification. The Internet courses are available at Snowmobile Ed[exit DNR] and Snowmobilecourse.com[exit DNR]. Students MUST be 16 years of age or older in order to become certified by these online courses.

    Certificate replacement

    Obtaining a duplicate safety education certificate

    Should your safety education certificate become lost or destroyed, you may obtain a duplicate by following the steps below.

    Customers can now purchase and print their own duplicate safety education certificate from home online, or they may still visit a DNR service center or a DNR license sales agent.

    Fees for purchasing a duplicate safety education certificate are still $2.75. For the customer that decides to print their duplicate at home there will also be a $1 convenience fee for a total of $3.75. The customer will need to pay online with a valid credit card.

    If there is no option for you to obtain or print a duplicate safety card, you will need to contact DNR customer service at 888-936-7463. You may have multiple DNR Customer ID Numbers.

    Bow hunting education

    Bow course requirements

    Completion of the bowhunter eucation course of instruction authorizes hunting only with a bow or crossbow.

    A certificate of accomplishment issued to a person for successfully completing the course under the bow hunter education program only authorizes the person to obtain a resident archer hunting license, a nonresident archer hunting license, a resident crossbow hunting license, or a nonresident crossbow hunting license.

    Course information

    Wisconsin's bowhunter education program is voluntary and a bowhunter education certificate is not required to bowhunt in Wisconsin, however, numerous other states and certain federal properties do require a bowhunter education certificate from a course approved by NBEF in order to bowhunt. Wisconsin has adopted the National Bowhunter Education Foundation's (NBEF) International Bowhunter Education Program and our course is acknowledged and accepted worldwide.

    Course information

    1. The history of modern day bowhunting and our hunting heritage
    2. Responsibilities of bowhunters toward our environment, wildlife, landowners and others
    3. Preparing for the hunt - specific laws, clothing and other equipment
    4. Bowhunting Equipment selection and care - Tree stand safety
    5. Marksmanship fundamentals
    6. Bowhunting methods
    7. Handling outdoor emergencies
    8. Field care of harvested game

    Length of course

    Bow hunter education course is offered in three formats.

    • A bow hunter education only course which lasts a minimum of 10 hours.
      • In Wisconsin, without a hunter education course, the bow hunter education course only allows you to hunt in Wisconsin with a bow.
    • A hunter education course, plus a bow hunter education course allows you to buy a firearm or archery license in any state.
    • An online course designed for Adults.

    Bowhunter-ed.com [exit DNR] is a Wisconsin-approved online course covering all the information you need to get started. If you are 18 years of age or older, passing the online Wisconsin Bowhunter’s Ed Course will complete your bowhunter education. Those under the age of 17 must complete an arhcery course in addition to the online course.

    The course features:

    • Education from the Industry Leading Experts in bowhunting education
    • Fun and egging content
    • Videos, Interactive Animations and Illustrations
    • Designed for ANY device
    • Customer Support 8:30am to Midnight
    • Free to Start. Free to Study. Pay only when you pass

    Class availability

    Courses vary depending on the area of the state and time of the year. There is at least one class per county per year. Click the enroll button above to search for a recreational safety education course.

    Cost of course

    $10 per student.

    Last revised: Thursday September 18 2014