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Trapper education course information

As of March 1, 2024, the student registration fee for Wisconsin Cooperative Trapper Education Program (WCTEP) courses is $20.

The course registration fee supports the overall trapper education budget and helps WCTEP volunteer instructors cover costs associated with holding a course (room rentals, equipment and other needs).

As of March 1, 2023, the Wisconsin DNR will no longer accept trapper education course certifications completed in other states. If you wish to purchase a Wisconsin trapping license and trap in Wisconsin, you must first complete the Wisconsin trapper education course either in-person or via online/ correspondence. If you have received a trapper education course certification from a state previously accepted by Wisconsin and have purchased a Wisconsin trapping license before March 1, 2023, you may have your out-of-state certification reviewed for acceptance for Wisconsin. Please submit proof of trapper education certification completion to be reviewed with your customer information. Mail documentation to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Attn: Wildlife Trapper Education Program, 473 Griffith Ave, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494. If approved, the out-of-state certification will be added to your customer record to allow you to purchase a nonresident license.

Please note that the online national trapper safety course is not accepted as a Wisconsin trapper education course and will not certify you to trap in the State of Wisconsin.

Certification Requirements

Trapper education is serviced through the Wisconsin Cooperative Trapper Education Program (WCTEP). The WCTEP offers three ways to obtain trapper education certification for the State of Wisconsin.

  • Traditional hands-on classes.
  • Mail-based correspondence course.
  • Web-based online course.

Traditional hands-on classes are recommended for those less familiar with trapping in Wisconsin.

  • Find in-person safety education classes listed on GoWild.

Anyone looking to trap in Wisconsin must complete a Wisconsin trapper education course. Wisconsin residents who have purchased a Wisconsin Trapping license before 1992 or are actively engaged in farming in the state of Wisconsin are exempt from the trapper education requirement - these exemptions ONLY APPLY TO WISCONSIN RESIDENTS.

Individuals under the age of 10 should contact the lead instructor for approval to take their class.


Trapper education classes are $20. The correspondence course requires an additional and refundable deposit for class materials; overnight classes may have additional costs.


Registration is required

To enroll in the online or correspondence course contact the online and correspondence course coordinator Mike Widner at When contacting the coordinator, please be specific as to which course type you are interested in. Email is the preferred contact method for course inquiries, but Mike can also be reached at 608-356-3621 for further questions. All Wisconsin recreational safety students are required to obtain a Wisconsin DNR Customer ID Number when registering for a safety education class and must provide that number to their instructor - see Get a DNR customer ID in the sidebar.

Class Schedule

To complete the online or correspondence courses, students must complete and pass all homework assignments and the course exam. Trapper education instructors are trappers themselves and have limited availability during trapping season, please plan accordingly.

Sign up for the online or correspondence course by contacting the online and correspondence course coordinator. Then follow the steps below.

  • Read the WCTEP student manual.
  • Read and view supplemental materials.
  • Complete the homework assignments and send completed homework to the online and correspondence coordinator.
  • You will typically receive your results within one to two weeks of submission.
    • Failed homework will be sent back.
    • After passing all the homework assignments with a 70% or better, you will be sent the exam.
  • Complete the exam and send the completed exam to the online and correspondence course coordinator.
  • Results will typically be sent back in one to two weeks. A certificate of completion will be sent with the results if you passed with an 85% or better.

WCTEP Student Manual

Download the WCTEP trapper education student manual using the three Unit links below. Instructors may assign pre-class homework from the WCTEP student manual and the supplemental educational materials.

Students taking an in-person trapper education class will receive a hard copy of the student manual during class.

Supplemental materials

Trapper ethics


Wisconsin's Cooperative Trapper Education Program is administered jointly by the Wisconsin Trappers Association (WTA) [exit DNR] and the DNR.