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Wi. new mentored hunting program

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Wisconsin’s new Mentored Hunting Program, with the combined controlled conditions of "one gun", "arms reach", and "one to one" mentoring, was designed first and foremost with safety in mind. The mentoring program removes barriers to participation yet allows people to safely experience hunting in a highly controlled manner. It creates circumstances that are responsive to the social conditions research tells us is necessary to recruit more hunters. A mentored hunting experience can kindle an interest that leads to the creation of a life-long connection with the natural world – creating an appreciation and understanding of it - and evoking a spirit of commitment to pass on the conservation ethic and our hunting heritage to future generations. Read on to learn more.

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Sign up for Mentored Hunting Program Updates.

Anyone age 10 or older, born on or after January 1, 1973 can obtain a hunting license and hunt, without the need to first take hunter education, provided they and a mentor comply with all of the following requirements:

Rules that apply to the Hunter:

Must be at least 10 years old.

Must have the appropriate valid hunting license, permits and tags

May only hunt while within arms reach of a “mentor” - regardless of the hunter’s age or the mentor’s age

Must follow all other hunting laws, seasons and bag limits

10 & 11 year olds may only hunt under these mentorship rules, even if they already completed hunter education

Rules that apply to the Mentor:

Must be at least 18 year old

If born on or after 1-1-73, must be a hunter education course graduate, or have completed basic training with the U.S. Armed Forces

Must be the hunter’s parent or guardian, or have the permission of the hunter’s parent or guardian before acting as a mentor for a person under age 18

Must have a current year’s hunting license. (Type of hunting license does not matter for the mentor, unless they will also be attempting to harvest game, in which case they must have the appropriate valid hunting license, permits and tags for species they are hunting.)

Only allowed to serve as a mentor for ONE hunter at a time if the hunter is either of the following:

age 10 or 11, or

was born on or after 1-1-73 and has not yet taken and passed a hunter education course.

Rules that apply to Both the Hunter and the Mentor:

Only ONE firearm, bow or crossbow (if eligible for a crossbow permit) can be possessed jointly between the hunter and the mentor

Additional Information

Printable Mentored Hunting Pamphlet [PDF 338KB]

Frequently Asked Questions About Mentored Hunting

What Has Not Changed

Reduced License Fees for 10 or 11 Year Old Hunters

A person who is at least 10 years old by the first day of the bear hunting season for which they are applying can now apply for a Class A bear hunting license or a bear hunting preference point.

A person who is age 9 or older may apply for a spring or fall turkey hunting permit, sharp-tailed grouse and Horicon goose permit. There is no minimum age to apply for a bobcat permit, but a person must be at least 10 before they obtain a license allowing hunting of bobcat.

Any person may apply to the DNR to transfer one or more of their hunting permits or licenses to a youth age 10-17 who is eligible to hunt. The transfer application must be made at least 15 days before that season begins.

It is legal for a youth of any age to possess a firearm (rifles, shotguns, or handguns) for the purpose of target practice, which also includes shooting trap, skeet or sporting clays, if accompanied by a parent or guardian, or a person age 18 or older designated by the parent or guardian. Note: the arms reach one firearm rule does not apply to target practicing.

Handguns may not be possessed or used for hunting by any one under age 18.

New Mentored Hunting Law effective: September 1, 2009

Last Revised: Friday August 14 2009

dnr.wi.gov

The Official Internet Site for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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