Options for new hunters as they head into 2020 deer hunting season

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in our state, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is offering alternatives to traditional in-person hunter education and outdoor skills classes in order to keep people safe while hunting this season.

The following options are available to new and returning hunters in 2020:

Hunter education: New online-only certification option for youth

As of Oct. 15, students of all ages can earn their Wisconsin hunter education safety certification through a single, online-only hunter education course (https://www.hunter-ed.com/wisconsin/) under a temporary change approved by the DNR.

While online-only hunter education safety certification has been available to adults since 2018, this year’s temporary change allows those under age 18 to take the online-only course now through Dec. 31, 2020. Those interested in taking the online-only course who are over 18 years of age may continue to do so after Dec. 31.

Mentored hunting

If there is someone in your household who is interested in trying hunting, check out mentored hunting (https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/mentor).

This program allows novice hunters of any age to purchase a mentored hunting license without first completing a hunter education course, as long as the novice hunts within arm’s reach of a licensed mentor over the age of 18. If you have not passed hunter safety but would like to hunt with a mentor this year, you may buy your license through Go Wild. Upon completion, the license will automatically print as “Mentored Only.”

Tips for new and returning hunters

The DNR is committed to providing hunters with free and easy access to public lands. To locate public hunting land near you, visit https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/lands.

Consider taking the online-only hunter education course as a refresher or to earn your hunter education safety certificate.

Check out your local shooting ranges for rifle and shotgun sight-in opportunities (https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/WisconsinShootingRanges).

Don’t forget to buy your license (https://gowild.wi.gov/).

The DNR wishes all hunters a fun, safe and successful hunting season.