It's easier than ever to introduce someone new to hunting in Wisconsin. Anyone can now obtain a mentored-only hunting license and hunt without first completing a hunter education course. He or she must be accompanied by a licensed hunter (mentor), hunt within arm's reach of the mentor and follow other rules. Such mentored hunts remove barriers to hunting yet still allow people to safely experience hunting in a highly-controlled manner. There are other ways people can Learn to Hunt in Wisconsin, too.
This one-on-one mentoring opportunity gives first-time hunters a chance to try hunting and enables veteran hunters to pass on their passion for the outdoors and help keep Wisconsin's hunting heritage strong.
Definitions of mentee/mentor
A mentee may be either:
- Any person under age 12, regardless of whether they have completed a required hunter education course.
- Any other person who has not completed a required hunter education course, and is not exempt* from the hunter education requirement.
A mentor is an individual who meets all of the following requirements.
- Age 18 or older.
- Is the mentee's parent or guardian, or has the permission of the mentee's parent or guardian. This does not apply if the mentee is age 18 or older.
- Has completed a required hunter education course, or is otherwise exempt* from the hunter education requirement.
*The following are exempt from the hunter education requirement:
- any individual born before 1-1-1973;
- any individual who has successfully completed U.S. armed forces basic training, and submitted evidence to DNR; or
- any individual who has successfully completed a recognized hunter education course in another state, province or country and submitted evidence to DNR.
NOTE: View your customer account at Go Wild, or contact DNR customer service to verify your compliance with the hunter education requirement.
Mentored hunting program rules
Rules for mentee
- Must have all required hunting approvals for the applicable season (license, permit, tag, etc).
- Must remain within arm's reach of the mentor.
- Must comply with all other hunting laws, including season, bag limit and weapon regulations. Youth under age 18 are not permitted to possess or use handguns for hunting.
Rules for mentor
- Must have any valid, non-expired Wisconsin hunting approval, regardless of the type of game pursued by the mentee.
- Must remain within arm's reach of the mentee.
- Must ensure compliance with all other hunting laws, including season, bag limit and weapon regulations. If also hunting and/or attempting to harvest game while mentoring, has all required hunting approvals for the applicable season (license, permit, tag, etc).
- A mentor may not use any deer harvest authorizations issued to the mentee.
- Must only serve as a mentor for one mentee at a time.
A hunter with any valid hunting approval who is assisting in a mentored hunting situation or assisting a person who is 17 or younger may kill an animal that has been shot and wounded by a youth or mentored hunter if:
- the youth or mentee wounded the animal while hunting with the accompanying hunter;
- the youth or mentee asks the accompanying hunter to kill the wounded animal; and
- the accompanying hunter uses a type of weapon authorized for use by the youth or mentee during the hunting season in which the youth/mentee is hunting.
A harvested animal counts toward the bag limit of the youth or mentee who wounded the animal.
- Discounted youth licenses are available for those under age 12.
- Any individual purchasing a hunting approval must have completed the required hunter education course, or otherwise, be exempt from the hunter education requirement. Completion of a hunter education course authorizes the purchase and use of all eligible hunting approvals. Completion of a bowhunter education course only authorizes the purchase and use of archer or crossbow hunting approvals. Individuals that do not meet these requirements may only purchase a hunting approval valid for use under the Mentored Hunting Program rules. These restricted licenses will indicate "mentored."
- Certain youth hunts establish additional accompaniment restrictions; see the appropriate regulation pamphlet for more information.
- There is no limit on the number of times that any individual can hunt as a mentee.
- The Wisconsin DNR hunter education curriculum is written at a sixth-grade level (11-12-year-old); parents ultimately decide whether their child is capable of successfully meeting the requirements of a Wisconsin hunter education course.