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Types of Hunting Licenses in Wisconsin
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While a lifetime hunting license is not available in Wisconsin at this time, there are plenty of different licenses available to residents of the state, including standard, senior, military and youth licenses. To qualify for most licenses that are available in Wisconsin, you must be considered a resident of Wisconsin by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). An out of state hunting license can be purchased by nonresidents who wish to hunt in Wisconsin and who meet the eligibility requirements for obtaining a hunting license in the state. While certain license types are limited for nonresidents, youth licenses are available for children younger than 18 years of age.

A youth hunting license will be required of both resident and nonresident children who wish to hunt with a licensed adult. However, the price of the license will differ based upon residency status. It is also worth learning about which children qualify as a resident of the state, as children have more lenient residency requirements than adults.

Is a lifetime hunting license available in Wisconsin?

At this time, a lifetime hunting license is not available within Wisconsin, as it is not offered by the WI DNR. In participating states, this form of license provides a hunter with a license that does not expire for a larger, one-time lump sum fee. Only a resident hunting license is available to hunters who live in Wisconsin, which is valid from April 1 to March 31. Hunters can click here to get an informative guide to hunting in Wisconsin.

Understanding Your Options for an Out of State Hunting License in Wisconsin

A non resident hunting license is available for purchase through the Wisconsin DNR if you are not a resident of the state but you wish to hunt within it. When it comes to out-of-state hunting licenses, nonresidents do not have as many license choices compared to residents of the state. However, nonresidents may still purchase general licenses, game-specific permits, youth licenses, combination licenses and first-time buyer licenses. Each of these licenses is available but for a fee that is higher than what a resident would be expected to pay.

When is a youth hunting license required in Wisconsin?

To obtain a Wisconsin youth hunting license, a child must be at least 10 years of age, as children who are younger than 10 are not permitted to hunt within the state regardless of who is present for the hunt. Any child that is younger than 10 years of age who will be hunting with a licensed adult will require to have this reduced-cost license, regardless of residency status. Resident children will still have a reduced rate for the license in comparison to nonresidents.

To obtain a youth hunting license as a resident, at least one parent must live within Wisconsin, even if the child does not. If both parents live outside of the state, then the license must be purchased at the nonresident rate.

Applying for a Resident Hunting License in Wisconsin

In order to apply for a resident hunting license in Wisconsin, you must be considered a resident of the state by the Wisconsin DNR. To be considered a Wisconsin resident, you must have lived within the state for at least 30 days and you must possess a Wisconsin driver’s license or state identification card. However, some nonresidents are permitted to purchase a license at a resident rate, even if they are not a resident, such as active military personnel who are stationed within the state.

What is a Wisconsin First-Time Buyer Hunting License?

A Wisconsin first-time buyer hunting license is a type of license offered at a reduced rate for new hunters that are interested in the sport. According to the hunting laws and regulations, applicants must be at least 12 years of age. The license is offered to both residents and nonresidents, although the price of the license is still based upon residency. This license can only be purchased if you are purchasing a Wisconsin hunting license for the first time.

Understanding a Wisconsin Military Hunting License

More than one type of military hunting license is available within Wisconsin, so it is important to learn about each type in order to determine if you qualify for one.

If you are a resident of Wisconsin who is on active duty with the armed forces, then you can obtain a free small game and fishing license while on leave by presenting your military identification card and leave papers to any licensing vendor within the state. Furthermore, if you have received a purple heart medal at any time during your service, then you will be eligible to purchase a Conservation Patron License for a reduced fee.

A military hunting license can be purchased at a resident rate by any nonresident of the state who is:

  • A member of the Wisconsin National Guard.
  • An active member of the United States armed forces that is currently stationed in Wisconsin.
  • A current member of the Reserve Unit of the Armed Forces stationed in Wisconsin.
  • A current member of the armed forces or Reserve Unit who is stationed outside of Wisconsin but was a resident at the time of entering service.

Any nonresidents who have earned a purple heart may purchase a nonresident Conservation Patron License. Additionally, the nonresident veteran may then purchase any hunting license at residential rates.

A military hunting license can be purchased without attending hunters safety and education courses, so long as you have completed basic training with the United States armed forces, Reserves or National Guard.

Qualifying for a Senior Hunting License in Wisconsin

To request a senior hunting license in Wisconsin, you must be 65 years of age or older. In Wisconsin, seniors can apply for a reduced-rate small game license by providing proof of age, such as with a Wisconsin driver’s license or state identification card. This license is only available to seniors who live within the state and meet residency requirements.

Understanding the Wisconsin Disabled Hunting License

A disabled hunting license is available in Wisconsin to both nonresidents and residents who have a disability that would interfere with their ability to hunt. This license does not come at a reduced rate, but rather allows for a disabled hunter to hunt during disabled hunter day and allows the use of certain stationary vehicles or weapon modifications that would otherwise not be permitted.

Is there a temporary hunting license Available in Wisconsin?

At this time, a temporary hunting license is not offered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Licenses that are available for purchase through the DNR are valid from April 1 through March 31 of the following year, regardless of at what point in the year the license is purchased.