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Contact: DNR Office of Communications

Take Advantage Of Wisconsin’s Mentored Hunting Law This Fall

two hunters wearing blaze orange walking through a field The Mentored Hunting Law allows new hunters to participate and start gaining hunting experience safely. Photo credit: Northeast Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages experienced hunters to share their skills and knowledge with beginner hunters by taking advantage of Wisconsin’s Mentored Hunting Law.

Since 2009, this one-on-one mentoring opportunity has given new hunters a chance to try hunting without first completing a Hunter Safety course. No special steps are required to purchase a mentored hunting license – log in to Go Wild to buy a hunting license and any necessary stamps. If the account does not have a valid Hunter Safety Certificate on record, Go Wild will prompt you to check the Mentored-Only license option, and the license will automatically print as “Mentored Only.” Mentees must purchase a Mentored hunting license through their own DNR customer account.

Anyone hunting with a Mentored-Only license:

  • Must stay within arm's reach of a licensed hunter (mentor) over age 18,
  • Must have all required hunting approvals for the applicable season (license, permit, tag, etc.), and
  • Must comply with all other hunting laws, including season, bag limit and weapon regulations.

Fall is a busy time of year for the Hunter Education program, and it can be hard to find a class before the hunting seasons open.

“The Mentored Hunting Law allows new hunters to participate and start gaining hunting experience safely, even if they haven’t yet gone through the formal Hunter Education course required by the state of Wisconsin to hunt independently,” said Emily Iehl, DNR Hunting and Shooting Sports Program Specialist.

Individuals of any age, including under age 10, may purchase a Mentored-Only hunting license.

Under the Mentored Hunting Law, mentors may have any valid, non-expired Wisconsin hunting approval, regardless of the type of game pursued by the mentee. Hunters may only mentor one mentee without Hunter Education certification at a time. Mentors may hunt alongside their mentees as long as they have the necessary harvest authorizations and stamps.

In addition to the Mentored Hunting Law, Wisconsin offers a variety of opportunities to help facilitate mentored hunting for people of all ages and backgrounds, including Hunter Education and the Learn to Hunt Program.

Learn more about mentored hunting on the DNR’s Outdoor Skills Education webpage.