Before you can get your license to hunt in Wisconsin, you need to go through a hunter education course. This applies to everyone born on or after January 1st, 1973.
For the last five or so years, the Wisconsin DNR has offered an online version of the course for those who are 18 years of age or older.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DNR is temporarily expanding the program to allow students of all ages to take the online hunter education course.
“A significant portion of our instructors are at risk for COVID-19. So when they’re out there teaching there’s a health concern for them and then families also just said they’re scaling back on public interactions with their kids and activities with the public. That made it tough for us to be able to continue on and do everything we do normally,” said DNR Hunter Education Administrator Jon King.
In-person classes are still being offered in some places. This just gives parents an extra option.
King said the online course is good for people have experience hunting with a mentor. If your child has never hunted with someone before, the online class may not be the best option.
“A younger, new person that’s never been out hunting, never been out shooting, just doesn’t have that experience. The hands-on class really drives homes all of the process of handling firearms, loading and unloading them. The four firearms safety rules. It does a much better job. So that’s something parents have to keep in mind,” said King.
The temporary change to allow those younger than 18 to take the hunter education course online is in effect now through the end of December.
You can learn more about the course and sign up on the DNR’s website.