Photo courtesy of Mark Martin.
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2013 Wisconsin Act 61 passed; expanded crossbow opportunity
All hunters are eligible to purchase a crossbow license to hunt with a crossbow during the crossbow season regardless of age or ability. Starting in 2014, Wisconsin will have both concurrent archery and crossbow seasons. Hunters who wish to use a crossbow to hunt deer during the crossbow season must purchase a crossbow license, which will be available for the first time on March 5, 2014. Hunters who wish to use bow and arrow during the archery season will need to purchase an archer license. Act 61 rescinds crossbow privileges that accompanied all previously issued disabled hunter permits. The issuance of the disabled hunter Crossbow Permit has been discontinued. The cost of the archer license and the crossbow license are the same, however, hunters can choose to purchase both a crossbow and an archer license for $3 more than the normal cost of either license. Both the archer and crossbow licenses are included in the conservation patron license package. Since 2012, ALL hunters can use a crossbow or bow and arrow while hunting under the authority of a gun deer license, sports license and conservation patron license during any firearm deer season. Please check the deer hunting regulations for crossbow, archery and gun deer season dates.
Permits for people with disabilities
Wisconsin law provides for a variety of hunting, fishing and recreational use permits designed to help people with disabilities enjoy the state's natural resources, such as:
- hunt from a stationary vehicle (Class A or Class B permit);
- use a laser sight (Class C permit);
- use an adaptive device to facilitate the use of a firearm (Class D permit);
- permit to fish while trolling with an electric motor; and
- permit to use a mobility device on department lands.
Persons with disabilities can use the Hunting or Trolling Disability Permit Authorizations Application form 9400-604 to apply for the following privileges:
- Shoot from a stationary vehicle – The Class A Shoot From Vehicle permit is issued to applicants who have specific permanent disabilities that prevent them from walking a distance of 50 feet without use of a wheelchair, walker, two canes or prosthetics; or have lung disease; and/or cardiovascular disease. The permit allows the hunter to hunt from a stationary vehicle and motor troll. A Class B Shoot From Vehicle permit is a discretionary permit issued to applicants who are unable to walk a distance of 50 due to temporary physical limitations related to injury, surgery or illness, or have permanent physical conditions not included under the Class A criteria. The Class B permit can also include a Fish While Trolling permit.
- Use of a Laser Sight (Class C Permit) - Hunters who are legally blind in both eyes can apply for a permit that allows them to use laser sights while hunting. Hunters with Class C permits MUST be accompanied by an assistant.
- Use of an Adaptive Device on a Firearm (Class D Permit) - This permit is for individuals with upper extremity impairments such as amputation of one or both arms, permanent loss of function in one or both arms, hands or shoulders, or prosthesis in one or both arms. The permit allows the hunter to hunt deer of either sex with a firearm during the October disabled gun deer season and use an approved adaptive device to facilitate firearm use.
All applications must be completed and signed by you and your health care provider no more than six months prior to the date the application is submitted for review. First-time Class A, C and D permits are issued for five seasons while a renewal is issued for 10 seasons. To renew a disabled permit a new application is required.
The Mobility device access application and permit for department lands 2500-124 – The DNR may authorize by permit persons with mobility disabilities to use a mobility device as a mode of personal conveyance on lands owned or managed by the department. To apply for a permit, complete and submit form 2500-124 and provide proof of disability to the property manager for the property you intend to access. You are encouraged to contact the property manager to discuss your application prior to submitting this form. Each permit applies only for the particular Department of Natural Resources (DNR) property identified. Separate permits issued by the relevant property manager are required for use at each individual property.
- Spring turkey hunting opportunities
- Special gun deer hunts for persons with disabilities
- Conduct gun deer hunts for persons with disabilities 2300-211
- Permit to Fish or Troll with an Electric Motor 9400-604
- Disabled Group Fishing Event License Waiver 9400-562A
- Developmentally Disabled Group One-Day Fishing License Waiver - $25.00 Fee 9400-562
- Institutional Free Fishing Authorization 9400-506
Qualifications and application procedures for fishing licenses
- Resident Annual Disabled Fishing License - $7.00
- Resident Annual Veteran/Disabled Fishing License - $3.00
Many Wisconsin residents with disabilities are eligible for a discount on their annual fishing license. These licenses must be renewed annually and do not exempt the holder from the need to purchase required fishing stamps. The licenses are available at any sales location. At the time of purchase, you must present evidence you are receiving disability benefits.
A discounted Resident Annual Disabled Fishing License is available to residents with impaired vision; to residents receiving Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income or Railroad Retirement Disability Benefits; and to residents who are veterans of foreign war receiving Veteran's Disability Compensation for a not related to a service-connected disability. Acceptable evidence to receive this license includes:
- A current Social Security Disability Award Notice dated within the past 365 days;
- a letter from the Social Security Administration advising that the customer is receiving disability benefits dated within the past 365 days;
- a letter or notice of Railroad Retirement Disability.
- a signed Statement from a licensed physician or optometrist indicating that the customer's sight is impaired to the degree that he/she cannot read ordinary newspaper print with or without corrective glasses; or
- a document from the Veteran's Administration indicating customer is a war veteran and is receiving disability pension that is permanent and total disability but is not service-connected.
A discounted Resident Veteran's Disabled Fishing License is available to veterans who are receiving Veteran's Disability Compensation for a disability of 70 percent or more for a service-connected disability; or are receiving service-connected disability benefits as individually unemployable. Acceptable evidence to receive this license includes:
- Veteran's Disability Award Letter showing benefits are being paid for a disability of 70 percent or more;
- a letter from the Veterans Administration that indicates customer is receiving benefits for a disability of 70 percent or more;
- a completed Disabled Veteran Free State Park Application signed by a county veteran service officer; or
- a Wisconsin State Park & Forest Disabled Veteran or Former POW ID Card issued by the DNR.