Video: Mentored hunting

Your friends can "test drive" hunting through the DNR's Mentored hunting program. See more videos

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Mentored hunting

It's easier than ever to introduce someone new to hunting in Wisconsin. Anyone 10 or older can now obtain a hunting license and 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, and follow other rules. Such mentored hunts remove barriers to hunting yet still allow people to safely experience hunting in a highly controlled manner. There are other ways people can Learn to Hunt in Wisconsin too.

This one-on-one mentoring opportunity gives first-time hunters a chance to try hunting and enables veteran hunters to pass on their passion for the outdoors and help keep Wisconsin's hunting heritage strong.

Rules for hunter

Mentored Hunting Within Arm's reach
  1. Must be at least 10 years old.
  2. Must have the appropriate valid hunting license, permits and tags
  3. May only hunt while within arm's reach of a "mentor" - regardless of the hunter's age or the mentor's age
  4. Must follow all other hunting laws, seasons and bag limits
  5. 10 & 11 year olds may only hunt under these mentorship rules, even if they already completed hunter education

Only ONE firearm, bow or crossbow can be possessed jointly between the hunter and the mentor

Rules for mentor

Mentored Hunting One-on-One Mentoring
  1. Must be at least 18 year old
  2. If born on or after 1-1-73, must be a hunter education course graduate, or have completed basic training with the U.S. Armed Forces
  3. Must be the hunter's parent or guardian, or have the permission of the hunter's parent or guardian before acting as a mentor for a person under age 18
  4. Must have a current year's hunting license. (Type of hunting license does not matter for the mentor, unless they will also be attempting to harvest game, in which case they must have the appropriate valid hunting license, permits and tags for species they are hunting.)
  5. Only allowed to serve as a mentor for ONE hunter at a time if the hunter is either of the following:
    • age 10 or 11, or
    • was born on or after 1-1-73 and has not yet taken and passed a hunter education course.

Only ONE firearm, bow or crossbow (if eligible for a crossbow permit) can be possessed jointly between the hunter and the mentor

Additional information

  • Printable Mentored Hunting Pamphlet [PDF]
  • Programa de Caza con Mentor en Wisconsin [Spanish PDF]
  • Wisconsin txoj kev Saibxyuas Me nyuam plob hav zoov [Hmong PDF]
  • What Has Not Changed
  • Reduced License Fees for 10 or 11 Year Old Hunters
  • A person born on or after 1-1-73 who has not completed hunter education may only obtain a license that requires hunting with a mentor in compliance with the Hunting Mentorship Program rules.
  • A person who is at least 10 years old by the first day of the bear hunting season for which they are applying can now apply for a Class A bear hunting license or a bear hunting preference point.
  • A person who is age 9 or older may apply for a spring or fall turkey hunting permit, sharp-tailed grouse and Horicon goose permit. There is no minimum age to apply for a bobcat permit, but a person must be at least 10 before they obtain a license allowing hunting of bobcat.
  • Any person may apply to the DNR to transfer one or more of their hunting permits or licenses to a youth age 10-17 who is eligible to hunt. The transfer application must be made at least 15 days before that season begins.
  • It is legal for a youth of any age to possess a firearm (rifles, shotguns, or handguns) for the purpose of target practice, which also includes shooting trap, skeet or sporting clays, if accompanied by a parent or guardian, or a person age 18 or older designated by the parent or guardian. Note: the arms reach one firearm rule does not apply to target practicing.
  • Handguns may not be possessed or used for hunting by any one under age 18.
Contact information
For information about mentored hunting, contact:
Mentored Hunting
Last revised: Friday October 03 2014