• All first-time hunters born on or after Jan. 1, 1960 are required to take and pass a hunter safety course. You will not be able to purchase a base license (other than an apprentice license) unless you can prove successful completion of a hunter safety course.

    Hunter safety certification (hunter education) information ►

    General safety reminders

    • Tell someone the specific time, duration and location that you will be hunting and schedule check-in times. Update your contact if plans change. Medical incidents are unplanned – staying in contact with someone who knows your plan could save your life.

    • Hunt with a partner and know your zone-of-fire.
    • Carry a two-way communication device that receives service in remote areas – such as a phone or two-way radio. Ensure the device is always within reach in case you need to call for help.
    • Hunting on or near water? Wear your life jacket.
  • Firearms

    • Keep the safety of your firearm on until you are prepared to take your shot.
    • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
    • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.
    • Be aware of your surroundings – know your target and what is beyond it.
    • Put your finger on the trigger only when you are ready to shoot.
    • Don’t use your scope as binoculars – only point your firearm at something you intend to shoot.
    • Unload the firearm when crossing obstacles and/or getting in or out of a tree stand.
    • Check the barrel and ammunition to ensure they are clear from any obstructions and use the proper ammunition.
    • Do not drink alcohol or use any mind-altering substances when hunting – including marijuana and/or medications.
    • Firearms in the home should be unloaded and securely stored separate from the ammunition.
    • When transporting firearms in vehicles make sure that they are unloaded and in a case.
  • Tree stands

    • Using your hands and feet, maintain three points of contact at all times when ascending or descending into a tree stand.
    • Always use a full body harness that is attached to a secure fall line positioned above your head.
    • When lifting your firearm or crossbow into a tree stand, use a secure pull system (such as a rope) and make sure it is unloaded and the safety is on. Do not attach anything to the trigger guard.
    • Refrain from using screw-in steps on tree stands that are located on public land.
    • Ensure your tree stand is securely attached and stable prior to using it.

    Tree stand resources:

  • Hunter orange & tresspassing

    • Obey no trespassing signs – they are there for a reason.
    • If your game goes onto property marked as “no trespassing,” you must have the landowner’s permission to retrieve your game.
    • The DNR recommends that you wear as much hunter orange as possible to increase your visibility – orange and other colors do not impact deer’s behavior.
    • Hunter orange should be worn as the outermost layer of clothing and must be visible from all directions. Options include:
      • Cap
      • Hat
      • Vest
      • Jacket
      • Rain coat
    • Hunter orange garments (including camouflage) must be at least 50 percent hunter orange to meet the legal requirements.
    • If you are recreating outdoors near hunting areas, wear hunter orange so you can be seen by hunters.