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Learn to Hunt

FOR NOVICES OF ALL AGES AND BACKGROUNDS

Learn to Hunt programs combine four-plus hours of classroom and field instruction before a novice goes hunting with a qualified mentor. Learn to Hunts provide a great opportunity for novices of all ages and backgrounds to learn how to hunt safely and ethically in Wisconsin.

Upcoming Learn To Hunts

Learn to Hunt programs are hosted by qualified volunteer mentors from local hunting clubs, non-governmental organizations and other conservation organizations across Wisconsin. Lead instructors may request license and stamp waivers, season date waivers and sex restriction waivers for participants. You must contact the lead instructor directly to enroll in a Learn to Hunt program.

View upcoming Learn to Hunt events

Participant Information

Any novice hunter or trapper may participate in a Learn to Hunt or Learn to Trap program. There is no minimum age requirement to participate in a Learn to Hunt or Learn to Trap program; however, the lead instructor may implement a minimum age requirement at their discretion.

All participants must create a Wisconsin DNR Customer ID Number prior to the first hunting or trapping activity date. Novice participants may participate in more than one Learn to Hunt or Learn to Trap program and more than one program of the same species.

Participants are not required to have completed a hunter or trapper education class to participate in a Learn to Hunt or Learn to Trap program. Participation in a Learn to Hunt or Learn to Trap program does not grant the participant a hunter education or trapper education safety education certificate unless a safety education class is taught in conjunction with the Learn to Hunt program.

Hunting Gear and Equipment

Some Learn to Hunts provide hunting gear and equipment to use during the program, while others do not. Contact the lead instructor of the Learn to Hunt to inquire what gear and equipment they may or may not be able to provide during the program.

Learn to Hunt For Food

DNR-sponsored Hunt For Food programs are in-depth Learn to Hunts for novice adult hunters and their families with a focus on sustainable harvest of wild game. For more information and enrollment instructions visit, the Hunt For Food page.

How to host a Learn to Hunt

Enjoy the satisfaction of helping novice hunters of all ages and backgrounds learn how to hunt safely and ethically by hosting a Learn to Hunt. Designate a lead instructor (applicant) to complete the required steps below and coordinate the Learn to Hunt program.

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Steps for hosting

  1. Complete and submit the Mentor Background Check Authorization For Educational Outdoor Skills Activities (Form 4100-217) [PDF] to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator at least 30 days prior to mentor participation. Ensure all participating mentors have completed and submitted the Mentor Background Check Authorization to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator at least 30 days prior to mentor participation. Authorized mentors must submit a new Mentor Background Check Authorization every five years.
  2. Secure the date(s) and location(s) of the Learn to Hunt.
  3. Complete and submit the Application and Authorization to Conduct an Educational Outdoor Skills Activity – Hunting or Trapping (Form 2300-260) [PDF] to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator at least 30 days prior to the first hunting date.
  4. The State Learn to Hunt Coordinator will notify the lead instructor whether the application is approved or denied, and if approved, will provide the signed and approved Application and Authorization to Conduct an Educational Outdoor Skills Activity – Hunting or Trapping (Form 2300-260) to the lead instructor.
  5. Recruit novice hunters to attend the Learn to Hunt.
  6. Complete and submit the final mentor list (only if different from the original mentor list in the Application and Authorization to Conduct) to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator at least one week prior to the first hunting date.
  7. Host the Learn to Hunt.
  8. After the Learn to Hunt, complete and submit the Educational Outdoor Skills Activity Participant Report (Form 8500-166) [PDF] and the Learn to Hunt Mentor Volunteer Hours Report (Form 2300-345) [PDF] to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator no later than 15 days after the program.
  9. If desired, apply for up to $25 reimbursement per participant through the Learn to Hunt reimbursement program.

Program Requirements

Application Deadline

Applicants (lead instructors) must submit the Application and Authorization to Conduct an Educational Outdoor Skills Activity – Hunting or Trapping (Form 2300-260) request to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator at least 30 days prior to the first hunting or trapping activity date. The applicant will be notified whether the application is approved or denied.

Volunteer Mentor Requirements

"Mentor" means a person who is instructing or assisting with the teaching of the educational outdoor skills activity. Individuals interested in mentoring must be at least 18 years of age, have five years of hunting experience for the Learn to Hunt program species, complete the Mentor Background Check Authorization (Form 4100-217) and submit it to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator at least 30 days prior to the first hunting or trapping date. Mentor background checks must be completed every five years. All mentors are required to sign the Learn to Hunt Mentors Volunteer Hours Report (Form 2300-345) and record the number of administrative, classroom and field instruction hours donated for each course.

Learn to Hunt/Trap Program Rules

A minimum of four hours of classroom and field instruction is required prior to the hunting or trapping activity. At least one mentor must be a certified hunter education instructor for Learn to Hunt programs. During the field portion of a Learn to Hunt activity, a mentor must accompany a novice participant. The applicant must submit a completed Educational Outdoor Skills Activity Participant Report (Form 8500-166) to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator no later than 15 days after the activity.

Participation Limits

Any novice hunter or trapper may participate in Learn to Hunt or Learn to Trap programs. There is no minimum age requirement to participate in a Learn to Hunt or Learn to Trap program; however, the applicant may implement a minimum age requirement at their discretion. Participants are not required to have completed a hunter or trapper education class. All participants must create a DNR customer ID number prior to the first hunting or trapping activity date. Novice participants may participate in more than one Learn to Hunt or Learn to Trap program and more than one program of the same species.

Regulation Compliance

Unless otherwise provided by the DNR, all participants and designated mentors must comply with all hunting/trapping rules and regulations. All participants or their mentors must carry a Learn to Hunt harvest authorization during DNR-authorized bear, deer and turkey Learn to Hunts. The State Learn to Hunt Coordinator will provide bear, deer and turkey harvest authorizations to the applicant after approval of the proposed activity. Acceptable proof of harvest authorization includes a paper copy, or a digital PDF file issued by the DNR and displayed on an electronic device. Bear, deer and turkey harvested during a Learn to Hunt program must be registered by 5 p.m. the day following recovery. All waterfowl hunt dates must fall within the federal season framework. Participants 16 years old and older must purchase and carry a Federal Duck Stamp.

Posting Requirements

The applicant is responsible for posting the field portion of the Learn to Hunt activity with at least one sign advising the public of the Learn to Hunt program. Learn to Trap programs do not require posting. Signs will be provided upon request to the State Learn to Hunt Coordinator. All such notices must be removed from state properties within two days of the last hunting date.

Fees

The applicant/sponsor of this program must not charge fees in excess of the cost of educational materials, equipment rentals, meals or lodging. Those charging fees may not be eligible for reimbursement through the Learn to Hunt Reimbursement Program.

State Game Farm

The applicant may request pheasants to release for Learn to Hunt pheasant participants. The State Game Farm may provide a maximum of two roosters per participant and a maximum of 50 pheasants per Learn to Hunt program.

State Parks

Waivers may be issued that allow the following activities in state parks:

  • Possession of loaded and uncased firearms.
  • Possession of strung and uncased bows.
  • Hunting or trapping on properties opened for the hunting of these species under s. 29.089 (1m), Wis. Stats.
  • Use of unleashed dogs.

Learn to Hunt programs

For More Information, Contact:

State Learn to Hunt Coordinator

Tel: (608) 445-8168