Photo courtesy of Mark Martin.
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Licenses and 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. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) issues a variety of permits that allow you to:
- hunt from a stationary vehicle;
- hunt with a crossbow;
- use adaptive devices to facilitate the use of a firearm;
- receive a discount on your Resident Annual Fishing License;
- fish while trolling with an electric motor; and
- sponsor or participate in gun deer hunts for people with disabilities.
- Class A Permit Application - This permit is specific permanent disabilities listed on the application, namely loss of mobility that prevents the applicant from walking a distance of 50 feet without use of a wheelchair, walker, two canes or prosthetics; lung disease; and/or cardiovascular disease. The permit allows the hunter to hunt from a stationary vehicle, hunt with a crossbow and motor troll.
- Class B Permit Application - This permit is for temporary or permanent physical disabilities not covered by the other permit types. The disability prevents applicant from being able to hunt with a traditional bow or restricts mobility. Hunting from a vehicle, crossbow, trolling or combination of privileges, may be allowed with this permit.
- Class C Permit Application - This permit is for legally blind hunters and allows hunting with a laser. Hunter must be accompanied by an assistant.
- Class D Permit Application - 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 early disabled gun deer season and use an approved adaptive device to facilitate firearm use.
- Crossbow Permit Application - This permit is for those individuals who have permanent disability of the shoulder, arm or hand, and requires specific testing results that measure range of motion, muscle strength, hand grip and/or finger pinch.
- Mobility device access application and permit for department lands - This permit allows hunter with a Class B Shoot from Vehicle permit or a Class A or C permit holder the ability to operate a vehicle while on state lands. The application needs to be reviewed by each individual DNR or other state agency property manager.
The Class A, C and Crossbow permits are issued initially for five seasons; a renewal can be granted for 10 seasons. To renew a disabled permit you would need to complete a new application and have your physician sign the new application. Please note; in order for an application to be valid, it must have a physician's signature dated within the past six months of the application being submitted for review.
- Conduct gun deer hunts for persons with disabilities
- Spring turkey hunting opportunities
- Special gun deer hunts for persons with disabilities
- Resident Annual Disabled Fishing License - $7.00
- Resident Annual Veteran/Disabled Fishing License - $3.00
- Permit to Fish or Troll with an Electric Motor
- Disabled Group Fishing Event License Waiver
- Developmentally Disabled Group One-Day Fishing License Waiver - $25.00 Fee
- Institutional Free Fishing Authorization
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 non-service related disability. Acceptable evidence to receive this license includes:
- 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 for a non-service related permanent and total disability.
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 related disability; or are receiving service related 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.