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Recreation - Hunting

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for hunter safety. Required if you were born on or after January 1, 1973.
Buy
your hunting license.
Apply
for a permit and check permit status online.
Know
the regulations.

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Contact information
For information on hunting regulations and hours, contact:
DNR Customer Service
Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINFo
(1-888-936-7463)

Hunting regulations and hours

New rule: Effective immediately, requirements for deer and turkey tag use have changed. View the deer and turkey tag FAQ [PDF].

Hunters are no longer required to validate their carcass tags or attach the tags to harvested deer or turkeys, and are no longer required to keep the deer or turkey tag with the meat. However, hunters are still required to purchase licenses and carry proof of a valid deer tag or turkey harvest authorization while afield. All previously issued turkey and deer carcass tags will be honored.

  • Turkey: The department will now issue turkey harvest authorizations that do not require validation or attachment to the turkey. Registration through GameReg by 5 p.m. the day after recovery is still required, so hunters must use their harvest authorization number (formerly known as a tag/permit number) to register a turkey.
  • Deer: The department will continue to issue deer tags, but hunters will not be required to validate or attach the tag to the deer. Registration through GameReg by 5 p.m. the day after recovery is still required, so hunters must use their tag number to register a deer.

New rule: Effective immediately, hunters are no longer required to register Canada goose harvests. However, hunters will still need to carry proof of their Canada goose permit while afield.

Reminder: There are no changes to bear, bobcat, fisher, otter and sturgeon carcass tagging requirements.

More rule updates

The sections below include additional new rules that have gone into effect since publication of the 2017 regulations.

Deer

1. Although baiting and feeding of deer is prohibited in most CWD-affected counties, a recent Wisconsin Act limits the amount of time that baiting and feeding bans are in effect following a positive test for CWD or TB. Check the baiting and feeding regulations page frequently for updates, as baiting and feeding bans will renew again with each positive CWD/TB test result.

2. A rule allowing hunters to leave portable ground blinds, tree stands and elevated devices out overnight on DNR-managed land will be in effect for fall 2017.

  • North of Highway 64, each hunter may now leave up to two portable devices per county overnight on DNR-managed lands from Sept. 1 - Jan. 31, 2018.
    • On state park system lands, portable blinds may be placed overnight only in the timeframe seven days prior to and seven days after an established fall hunting season.
    • The new rule is specific to DNR-managed lands and does not necessarily apply on other lands.
  • South of Highway 64, hunters shall remove ground blinds and elevated devices daily at the end of shooting hours (except for waterfowl blinds).
Bear

A person of any age may now apply for Class A bear license preference points. To purchase a bear license, hunters must be at least 10 years of age. A license purchased by a youth who turns 10 after the start of the bear season authorizes bear hunting beginning the date of issuance.

Small game and turkey

A rule allowing hunters to leave portable ground blinds, tree stands and elevated devices out overnight on DNR-managed land will be in effect for fall 2017.

  • North of Highway 64, each hunter may now leave up to two portable devices per county overnight on DNR-managed lands from Sept. 1 - Jan. 31, 2018.
    • On state park system lands, portable blinds may be placed overnight only in the timeframe seven days prior to and seven days after an established fall hunting season.
    • The new rule is specific to DNR-managed lands, including and does not necessarily apply on other lands.
  • South of Highway 64, hunters shall remove ground blinds and elevated devices daily at the end of shooting hours (except for waterfowl blinds).

2017 hunting regulations

Shooting hours

Shooting hour zones [PDF]

Northern area

Southern area

Season dates

Last revised: Tuesday October 17 2017