Online hunter education; Wisconsin DNR ending course for minors

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday, March 1 that the temporary all-online hunter education course option will end at midnight on Sunday, March 20 for those under 18 years old.

Hunter education students aged 18 and older will continue to have the online course as a hunter education option.  

The DNR temporarily offered the all-online hunter education option to all to help protect the public and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Following the updated guidance from state and federal health agencies, the DNR is returning to the in-person course for the under 18 group.

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Students under the age of 18 enrolled in the all-online course will have through March 20 to complete the course. Those over age 18 may continue to use the online course.

Students of all ages will have the following two course options available: 

  • Internet Field Day: This training allows students to complete some of their training online and then attend one day of training with a certified instructor. This class is a good fit for a person that has handled firearms or is going to be hunting with someone that has more experience to help them build upon their hunting skills. During this class, there are 4-6 hours of firearm handling opportunities. All age groups are welcome.
  • Traditional Class: This training offers a more hands-on approach to working with a certified instructor over a few days. Most students and families enjoy this option because they can do it in their community. This option provides students with opportunities to handle hunting equipment, learn about safe hunting practices, shooting and many other topics. In-person feedback from instructors also enhances student-learning. All age groups are welcome.
  • Hunter Education All Online Program (Ages 18+): This training allows any person age 18 and older to complete all hunter education online. The student spends multiple hours online studying, completing modules and passing a final exam to become certified. This option is a great fit for adults who have a connection/mentorship within the shooting sports to help establish and strengthen their skills and lessons learned virtually.

The DNR receives the most up-to-date information and will continue to adjust course operations if conditions change, according to a news release.

The DNR encourages the following safety protocols for all in-person classes:

  • Social distancing of 6 feet between participants
  • Class sizes may be capped to accommodate social distancing.
  • Face coverings are encouraged to use indoors and/or follow local guidelines that may be in place.
  • Availability and use of hand sanitizer to include sanitizing class equipment.
  • Outdoor class instruction where possible.
Wisconsin DNR Department of Natural Resources

The DNR encourages those who are interested to enroll in a hunter safety course now as classes will start to fill up with spring hunting seasons right around the corner.  

More than 20,000 people take hunter education courses in Wisconsin each year. Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1973 is required to have a hunter education certification to purchase a hunting license, unless hunting under the Mentored Hunting Law. 

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Before enrolling in any course, interested students must first obtain a Wisconsin Customer ID number through Go Wild, the DNR's online license portal.

All course options, links to enroll and cost information are outlined on the DNR’s safety education webpage.