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Wisconsin Hunting Laws and Regulations
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Wisconsin hunting season varies by the type of game that you wish to hunt and the weapon that you will be hunting with, but most seasons take place within the spring and fall months. It is important to learn more about the hunting laws for the type of game that you wish to hunt as well as the game that can be hunted within the state during an appropriate season.

Wisconsin hunting regulations must be followed in order to retain hunting privileges. Therefore, it is important to learn about laws and regulations that must be followed, including where you are permitted to hunt, when you can hunt a particular species, the equipment that must be worn, reporting laws and other important restrictions. By familiarizing yourself with these important regulations, you can avoid violation penalties, including criminal charges, fines and the revocation of hunting privileges.

What can be hunted during Wisconsin hunting seasons?

In order to determine a hunting season in Wisconsin, you must first know the type of game that you are interested in hunting, as each species has its own open season. In Wisconsin, you can hunt larger game such as white-tailed deer, black bear, wolves, wild turkey and waterfowl during an appropriate season. Additionally, smaller game and birds can be hunted, including:

  • Pheasants, ruffed grouses, sharp-tailed grouses, Hungarian partridges, bobwhite quails and crows.
  • Mourning doves, snipe, sora rails, Virginia rails and woodcock.
  • Squirrels, raccoons, opossums, skunks, weasels and rabbits.
  • Foxes, bobcats and coyotes.

You should always review hunting regulations that are specific to the type of game that you are interested in before embarking on any hunt. You can click here to get your informative guide to hunting in Wisconsin.

Hunting Information Regarding Where You Can Hunt in Wisconsin

Not only must you abide by hunting seasons in Wisconsin, but you are only permitted to hunt on your own land or in approved areas throughout the state. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has secured hundreds of acres that are available to Wisconsin hunters during the appropriate season. Therefore, it is important to review the locations that are in your area. Hunting outside of an approved location is a violation of Wisconsin laws. If you take a hunter safety and education course, then you can learn more information about what is considered legal hunting practices.

Wisconsin Hunting Regulations Regarding Bag Limits

To remain in accordance with hunting restrictions in Wisconsin, it is important for you to review the bag limits associated with your targeted game in any given year. A bag limit refers to the amount of game in any given species that is permitted to each hunter. Larger game, such as turkey, bear and deer will allow for stricter limits to each hunter while smaller game can generally be hunted in abundance.

Wisconsin Hunting Laws Regarding Reporting Successful Hunts

Wisconsin hunting laws require hunters to report successful hunts of deer, bear, turkey, sharp-tailed grouse, bobcat, fisher and otter. Failing to report successful hunts is against the law and could result in severe consequences if you are caught. Unsuccessful hunts need not be reported.

Reporting hunting regulations are in place in an effort to aid the Wisconsin DNR in the management of the various species that can be hunted within the state. Therefore, hunter reports are essential in establishing open seasons and bag limits.

To abide by reporting hunting laws, you can register your successful hunt by the same methods for applying for hunting licenses, which include online, by phone or in person. Keep in mind that certain species must be reported in person at a registration center, including bobcat, fisher and otters.

Wisconsin Hunting Regulations and Hunter Orange

Wisconsin hunting regulations regarding hunter orange reduce the amount of hunting-related accidents that involve a firearm and ultimately save lives. Since hunter orange requirements were introduced within the state, the amount of hunting-related accidents has steadily decreased.

As part of hunting laws regarding hunter orange, you must wear a minimum of 144 square inches of solid blaze orange material whenever hunting during a season that allows the use of firearms, even if you are not hunting with a firearm yourself. In recent years, new hunting regulations have extended hunter orange colors to include fluorescent pink, but the amount of pink that must be worn remains the same 144 square inches minimum.

Wisconsin Hunting Regulations on Weapons and Equipment

There are Wisconsin hunting regulations regarding the weapons and equipment that you are allowed to use as well as what is prohibited. While there are some limitations across all hunting such as the use of fully automatic weapons, most permitted weapons are different for each game species that you can hunt. Therefore, it is important to review laws regarding each game species that you intend to hunt.

During an open hunting season in Wisconsin, there will be days in which firearms are permitted as well as specific firearms, such as muzzleloaders.

When is hunting season in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin hunting season generally takes place within the fall and spring months each year. However, open season is different for each species that can be hunted within the state. There are also seasons that are specific to youth and disabled hunters and seasons for specific types of weapons, such as general firearms or muzzleloaders.

You should check new hunting regulations regarding open season each year as dates can change.

Additional Important Hunting Restrictions in Wisconsin

Wisconsin hunting restrictions must be obeyed in order to be able to continue to hunt within the state and avoid penalties that are issued in the event of a violation.

In Wisconsin, every hunter must have at least one of types of hunting license issued by the state in order to participate in a hunt unless found exempt from the license requirement. Children who are between 10 and 17 years of age must have a youth hunting license. Children who are younger than 10 years of age are not permitted to hunt within the state.

Wisconsin hunting regulations also extend to how many children can be mentored through the mentorship program at any given time. No matter the age of the child, you may only mentor one child at a time. Always review new hunting regulations and restrictions each year before committing to a hunt in order to remain on the right side of Wisconsin law.