MADISON, Wis. - A package of rules aimed at modernizing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' customer service licensing system gained approval Wednesday from the Natural Resources Board.
If approved by Gov. Scott Walker, the rules will modify use of carcass tags for some species and facilitate use of the new "Go Wild" licensing system, which is a combination paperless and plain paper system. Under the new rules, DNR will continue to contract with more than 1,000 vendors statewide, offer sales at DNR Service Centers and provide for online purchases through a new website - GoWild.Wi.Gov. Phone sales, however, will be discontinued.
"The changes make it easier and quicker for people to get out and Go Wild without having to wait for regular retail hours or for a license to arrive by mail," said Mark Rappe, of DNR's bureau of customer and outreach services. "The new Go Wild licensing system secures licensing and registration information electronically and provides several methods of proof. These include the optional personal conservation card, a validated Wisconsin driver's license, a plain paper copy or display on a mobile device."
Implementation of the new system is part of a broader Go Wild campaign that encourages people to head outdoors and enjoy the numerous recreational opportunities made possible by the sound management of Wisconsin's natural resources. Rappe said GoWild.WI.Gov also acts as a portal to help plan adventures that make the most of Wisconsin's great outdoors. The site links to information on hunting and fishing opportunities, Wisconsin's unparalleled network of state parks, trails and natural areas and a variety of maps.
No fee increases are planned as part of the upgrade. License options will include hunting licenses, fishing licenses, Conservation Patron licenses and boat, snowmobile, ATV and UTV registration renewals.
In addition to eliminating the old thermal paper licenses, the Go Wild system will change the way carcass tags are handled. Customers who purchase a license, either at a vendor or at home, will be able to print out a paper copy of their harvest permits, such as turkey or goose. The permits will have information and additional space for validation.
The rules approved by the Natural Resources board retain the requirement to immediately validate the carcass tag upon harvest, but do not require the validated tag to be attached to some species such as deer, bear, wild turkey, sharp-tailed grouse and sturgeon as long as the hunter is with the carcass. This allows a hunter to keep the validated carcass tag in a pocket while removing game from the woods or water to help reduce loss or damage of the paper carcass tags.
Durable tags remain for some limited-draw species such as bobcat, fisher and otter, and these species also carry the requirement to attach the carcass tag immediately upon recovery and register in-person.
Also under the new rules, a person may obtain a reprint, which is a printed hard-copy of the original hunting, trapping or fishing approval or safety certificate. With the ability to reprint products from the convenience of your home, there is no need to drive to a license agent to purchase a duplicate if you lose your license or carcass tags.
The new Go Wild system will launch in March. During the current transition period, customers who wish to purchase products such as fishing licenses or a snowmobile trail pass must place their purchases at a DNR service center or call the customer service line and purchase products over the phone at 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463).