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Wisconsin Welcomes Wingshooters

photo by Mark Herwig

I recently visited my local Gander Mountain retail location to purchase a Wisconsin small game hunting license in advance of a trip east in search of ruffed grouse and woodcock.


“Is this the first time you’ve purchased a hunting license in Wisconsin,” the Gander Mountain clerk asked.


I annually buy a fishing license during visits with my brother’s family in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, but this was indeed the first Wisconsin hunting license of my life.


It turns out Wisconsin has a fantastic promotion to help encourage hunter recruitment in which all first time hunting licenses are sold at a 50 percent discount.  In other words, my non-resident small game hunting license cost me $42.75 instead of the normal $85 charge.  In fact, Wisconsin residents buying their first adult small game license are only charged $5.

The following note appears on my license:

“Thank you for your license purchase.  Wisconsin implemented a Recruitment Program that offers incentives to first time participants and the individuals who recruited them into hunting, fishing, and trapping.  You paid a reduced license fee since it was either your first time purchasing this type of license or you haven’t purchased one within the last 10 years.  This recruitment program also gives you the opportunity to recognize the individual who encouraged you to participate in this activity.  If you would like to designate the person who recruited you, call the DNR at 1.888.936.7463.  Enjoy Wisconsin’s great outdoors.”

Another nice nugget about Wisconsin is the fact their ruffed grouse hunting season remains open across the state’s northern range through January 31st.  That’s an extra thirty days of late season bird hunting when compared to neighboring states Minnesota and Michigan’s grouse season.  I’m already planning a snowshoe hunt in January.


Wisconsin can consider this bird hunter hooked for life.


NOTE: A pheasant stamp (resident or non-resident) costs an additional $10.


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

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4 Responses to “Wisconsin Welcomes Wingshooters”

  1. Chris says:

    My friend just got into bow hunting this year. He has hunted deer with a rifle all his life but recently picked up the archery bug. He was stunned when purchasing his Wisconsin archery tag. The clerk said, “five dollars please”. It’s great to live and hunt in a state that gets it.

  2. keith says:

    good press for wisconsin. where are you hunting? there is a lot of good grouse country in lincoln county. good luck!

  3. Sam says:

    Was just in park falls last weekend brought a friend who had never hunted and he was happy to e able to take advantage of this great deal.

  4. Jared says:

    I took advantage of this with two other guys a week or two ago – great program. I had been meaning to scout the woods around our cabin in Hayward for years. This finally got me off the fence. I have no problem paying full freight for the non-resident license next year.


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