Register now for Hunter Education courses

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Madison, Wes. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages the public to prepare for the 2023 hunting season by enrolling in a hunter safety course. Whether you are looking to experience hunting or just learn more about firearm safety, DNR has classes available. It’s never too early to consider completing a hunter’s education or repeating a refresher course.

Those who complete a hunter safety course play a vital role in keeping Wisconsin a safe place to hunt. Most hunting accidents in Wisconsin involve hunters older than 40, after decades of learning firearm safety rules in hunter safety education courses. It may be time for seasoned fishermen to refresh these valuable lessons.

More than 20,000 people take fishermen’s education courses in Wisconsin each year, making early registration important for anyone interested in taking a class.

“Whether you are new to hunting or have many years of experience, the lessons learned on a Hunter Education course are invaluable,” said Lt. Michael Weber, DNR Hunter Education Director. “Hunter Education has played a pivotal role in promoting safe hunting practices across Wisconsin and will continue to do so in the future.”

Anyone born on or after January 1, 1973 must obtain a Hunter Education Certificate to purchase a hunting license unless they are hunting under the Directed Hunting Act. DNR offers Hunter Education’s online options to adults 18 and older.

If a practical method is preferred, there are two other ways to complete training courses that enhance hunting knowledge and safety skills.

Hands-on, in person

  • Internet + field day: This training allows you to complete some online training and then attend a training day with a certified trainer. This class is very suitable for someone who has dealt with firearms or is going to hunt with someone who has more experience to help beginners build hunting skills. During this class, there are approximately four to six hours of firearms handling opportunities. We welcome all age groups.
  • traditional class: This training offers a more hands-on approach to working with a certified trainer over the course of a few days. Most students and families enjoy this option because they can do it right in their community. This option provides students with opportunities to handle hunting equipment, learn about safe hunting and shooting practices, and many other subjects. Personal feedback from teachers also enhances student learning. We welcome all age groups.

Before enrolling in any course, interested students must first obtain a Wisconsin Customer ID number.

All course options, registration links, and cost information are outlined on the DNR website.

Become a teacher

Already certified in hunter education? DNR encourages individuals to consider bringing their educational enthusiasm and call for volunteer action to join our team of coaches.

Volunteer trainers are key to having successful educational programs. Becoming a volunteer Hunter Education or Learn to Hunt instructor is a great way to help save lives, prevent injuries, get to know people in your community, and positively influence the attitudes and actions of other outdoor recreation practitioners.

In these programs, students learn and do how to be safe, legal, and responsible fishermen.

Volunteer Hunter Education instructors must be at least 18 years old, a graduate of a Hunter Safety student course in Wisconsin, and be willing to devote the time and effort necessary to carry out program responsibilities and pass a background check. Learn more on the DNR Volunteer Coach webpage.