Now is the time to enroll in a hunter education course

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages anyone considering hunting for the first time in 2024 to enroll in a hunter education course now before courses begin filling up in spring.

Many hunting incidents in Wisconsin involve hunters older than 40, decades after learning firearm safety rules in their hunter education courses. It may be time for veteran hunters to refresh these lessons.

As part of the program, hunter education graduates receive a certificate accepted in every U.S. state, Canada and Mexico. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1973, must have a hunter education certification to purchase a hunting license unless hunting under the Mentored Hunting Law.

The DNR offers multiple hunter education course options and locations, so hunters can choose the best format for how and where they’d like to learn. More than 20,000 people take hunter education courses in Wisconsin each year.

Traditional Course

Students attend a multi-day, in-person course where students learn hunter responsibility and safety through lectures, demonstrations, group discussions, practical exercises and individual study. The students then take a multiple-choice exam and complete a hands-on, skills-based assessment based on information found in the printed student manual and taught during class.

Internet and Field Day

Students must enroll in an in-person field day course and then complete the online portion before attending the field day. Upon completing the online course, students will receive a field day voucher, which is required to participate in the in-person field day course in which they enrolled. Students will reinforce what they learned online through hands-on safe firearm handling, demonstrations from experienced hunters and practical exercises. The students then take a multiple-choice exam and complete a hands-on, skills-based assessment.

Online-Only (Ages 18 and older)

The online-only course has the same general content as the other course options but is entirely online. Students work through online units, take multiple-choice quizzes and take a final multiple-choice exam. This course is specifically for students with prior hunting or firearms handling experience. It is only for those 18 or older.

For more information on courses, visit https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/.