MADISON - If you like to hunt, fish, boat or just get outdoors and enjoy Wisconsin's wild side, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources encourages you to visit GoWild.Wi.Gov.
Licenses and permits for hunting, fishing, trapping and more go on sale Wednesday, March 8, through DNR's Go Wild system, an online portal dedicated to the numerous recreational opportunities made possible by sound management of Wisconsin's natural resources.
"Our top rankings in the Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young record books for trophy whitetail bucks, top-tier turkey and black bear hunting, world-record musky and exceptional walleye, trout and bass fishing are just a few reasons why hunting and fishing are so popular in Wisconsin," said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "The Go Wild system makes it easier than ever for our hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy Wisconsin's wild side with all of the licenses and access information they need in one place."
The system, introduced in 2016, secures licensing information electronically and enables customers to provide proof of their purchases through an optional personal conservation card, an authenticated Wisconsin driver's license, a plain paper print out or a pdf display on a mobile device such as a smartphone. Thanks to its 24-7-365 availability, the Go Wild system also expands the opportunities to purchase fishing and hunting licenses, as well as register boats, ATVs, UTVs, off-highway motorcycles and snowmobiles beyond the hours offered at vendors or DNR service centers.
Mark Rappe, of the DNR Bureau of Customer and Outreach Services, said licenses purchased for the 2016 license year remain in effect through March 31. Licenses purchased on or after March 8 are valid immediately for any open season.
Conservation wardens need help
When the new license year begins, anglers fishing Michigan and Minnesota boundary waters, as well as the Great Lakes, are again reminded they must possess a paper copy of their license to be legal. The paper printouts are needed because law enforcement officials in the surrounding states do not have access to the Wisconsin database. Wardens say that having the paper license handy will expedite license checks and allow enthusiasts to stay focused on their outdoor activity.
For tag species such as wild turkey, in 2017 hunters must again possess their carcass tags while hunting and validate tags immediately upon harvesting, Rappe said.
Following the regular license year sales that begin on March 8, the sale of left-over spring turkey permits begins on March 20. This year, sales for Zone 1 permits begin at 10 a.m. on March 20; Zone 2 permits on March 21; Zone 3 permits on March 22; Zone 4 permits on March 23; and Zones 5 and 7 on March 24. A total of 105,463 spring turkey permits will be available in all and leftover sales will continue for all zones on March 25, again starting at 10 a.m.
Fees for the 2017 license year remain the same as last year. To learn more, visit GoWild.Wi.Gov or visit the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, and search "Go Wild." Informational resources include fact sheets, descriptions of how and when certain forms of proof of license purchase apply as well as tagging information for a variety of game.