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Wisconsin's Cooperative Trapper Education Program is administered jointly by the Wisconsin Trappers Association (WTA) [exit DNR] and the DNR.

Contact information
For more information about the online or correspondence Trapper Education course or to sign up, contact:
Mike Widner
WTA Online and Correspondence Course Coordinator

Online and correspondence course trapper education

Class demonstration

Trapper education is serviced through the Wisconsin Cooperative Trapper Education Program (WCTEP). The WCTEP offers three ways to obtain trapper education certification for the state of Wisconsin:

  • Traditional hands-on classes
  • The mail based correspondence course
  • The web based online course

Traditional hands-on classes are recommended for those less familiar with trapping in Wisconsin. If you would like to look for a hands-on trapper education class, search class listings on GOWILD.

A field test-out with a trapper education instructor is required after completing either the correspondence course or the online course to obtain certification, but is not required for traditional hands-on classes.

The online course is only available to individuals 18 and older. Individuals under 18, though not eligible for online trapper education, can attend hands-on trapper education classes or take the correspondence course. Individuals under the age of 10 should contact the lead instructor for approval to take his or her class.


Trapper education classes are $12. The correspondence course requires an additional and refundable deposit for class materials.


To enroll in the online or correspondence course contact the online and correspondence course coordinator, Mike Widner. If contacting Mike, please be specific as to which course type you are interested in. Students must have a DNR Customer ID number prior to the start of class. A number can be acquired for free by calling 1-888-936-7463 between 7AM.and 10PM.

Class schedule

Trapper education class

Students must complete and pass all homework assignments and the course exam to finish the online or correspondence courses. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students are eligible for a test-out exam to gain certification. Test-out exams will be posted to GOWILD just like our traditional live classes and may not be available once trapping season starts. Trapper education instructors are trappers themselves and so have limited availability during trapping season, please plan accordingly.

Sign up for the online or correspondence course by contacting the coordinator. Then follow these steps:

  • Read the WCTEP student manual
  • Read and view supplemental materials.
  • Complete the homework assignments and send completed homework to the online and correspondence Coordinator.
  • You will typically receive your results within 1 to 2 weeks of submission.
    • Failed homework will be sent back.
    • After passing all the homework assignments with a 70% or better, you will be sent the exam
  • Complete the exam and send the completed exam to the coordinator.
  • Results will typically be sent back in 1 to 2 weeks. A certificate of completion will be sent with the results if you passed with an 85% or better. Keep this certificate as you will need it to test-out. All class materials must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the scheduled test-out.
  • Study for and schedule a test-out exam. The test-out exam is a 3 hour exam with a trapper education instructor proctoring. Students must score an 85% or better to pass. Students who score below 80% are not allowed to correct wrong answers and will need to enroll in another test-out to try again to gain certification.

Note: Students must enroll in a test-out exam at least 10 days prior to the exam date. No walk-ins will be allowed. If passing this exam sounds daunting, we recommend you take a traditional in person trapper education class. Test-out exams can be accessed using the GOWILD webpage.

Test-out exams are offered as little as once a year per district and will not be offered in every county. Search state-wide for the most options. You may sign up prior to completing the online portion of the course, but you may only sign up for one test-out exam.

Test-out exam

Trapper class test

The WCTEP is requiring test-out exams to complete trapper education certification for students taking either the online or correspondence course. Following the homework and online exam, students must pass a three hour in-person field test-out exam. Students should have experience handling traps prior to the test-out and be ready to create mock sets. Students with little to no experience in trap handling are advised to take a traditional hands-on trapper education class.

Because many instructors are busy during the trapping season, test-out exams are not commonly offered during the trapping season. Most test-outs are offered March through October.

Students have two years from the online or correspondence exam completion date to complete the test-out portion of the course. Those who do not finish within those two years must retake the online or correspondence portion of the course. For an extension, please contact the coordinator.

Trapper education class materials

WCTEP Student Manual

Homework and study guides

Supplemental materials

Contact information
For more information about the online or correspondence Trapper Education course or to sign up, contact:
Mike Widner
WTA Online and Correspondence Course Coordinator
For information about trapper education, contact:
Bryce Larson
WTA Statewide Trapper Education Coordinator
Curtis Twellmann
DNR Statewide Trapper Education Coordinator
Last revised: Friday September 21 2018