Wisconsin Hunting Seasons

John Lewis

Wisconsin Hunting Seasons 2024: New Regulations & Dates

WI hunting, Wisconsin

Hunting in Wisconsin typically begins in the fall, attracting hunters from all over the state. The Badger State is a hunter’s paradise, with chances for everything from large game like deer and bear to small game like turkey and waterfowl, with highlights like the early teal in September, the deer period in November, and the waterfowl in December.

Information on complete game schedule, application due dates, and other pertinent restrictions will be provided in this section. Having a successful outdoor trip requires preparation, so be sure you have all the necessary equipment and permits.

Wisconsin Hunting Seasons

Hunters may enjoy the states rich wildlife and superb opportunities throughout the year. It has excellent whitetail deer, bear, turkey, and ducks. Cottontail rabbits, foxes, bobcats, and skunks are also targeted. However, the state has disabled and youth game. Hunters may choose a game that suits their needs. One must first understand the regulations, limits, and safety precautions to hunt legally and securely.


Archery and Crossbow*Sept 16–Jan 7
Archery and Crossbow**Sept 16–Jan 31
Gun hunt for hunters with disabilities***Oct 7–Oct 15
Youth deer huntOct 7–8
GunNov 18-Nov 26
MuzzleloaderNov 27–Dec 6
December 4-Day Antlerless-Only HuntDec 7–Dec 10
Antlerless-Only Holiday Hunt****Dec 24–Jan 1


*During the designated antlerless-only hunts, no bucks may be taken.

**Counties and metro subdivisions having extended archery. Check the map to see which counties have longer archery.

***This schedule is not statewide. Know more.

****Only open in a few counties in Zone 2 (Farmland). For a list of acceptable counties, read the combined rules

Discover everything you need to know about deer with our in-depth guide on the state’s deer seasons.


  • Oct. 14 to Nov. 12 and Dec. 14 to Dec. 22


The state has not reintroduced moose, however numerous sightings in northern wach year are confirmed. No moose hunting is allowed.


Bear Zones Permitted Methods
A, B, DSept 13 – Oct 3With aid of dogs, aid of bait, all other legal methods
A, B, DOct 4 – Oct 10With aid of bait, all other legal methods not using dogs
A, B, DSept 6 – Sept 12With aid of dogs only
C, E, FSept 6 – Oct 10With aid of bait, all other legal methods not using dogs

Wild Turkey

Spring Turkey Youth HuntApril 13, 202414-Apr
Spring Hunt Period  
Fall Hunt  
StatewideSept 16Jan 7
Zones 1 – 5Sept 1617-Nov

Note: Find the Zones 1 – 5 Details here

Small Mammals

Cotton Rabbit

Northern16-Sep – 29-Feb
Southern14-Oct-23 (9 am) – 29-Feb
Milwaukee CountyYear-round


Statewide Squirrels (gray and fox)September 16 – February 29

Note: It is forbidden to hunt some protected species including badgers, jackrabbits, moose, and flying squirrels. You may review the small game regulations for a complete list of requirements.



North and south zones (Period-1)14-Oct – 25-Dec
North and south zones (Period-2)26-Dec – 31-Jan


Trap16-Oct – 15-Feb


Statewide14-Oct – 15-Feb


A (northwest)4-Nov – 30-Apr
B (northeast)4-Nov- 30-Apr
C (south)4-Nov- 31-Mar
D (Mississippi River)One day after the end of duck season to 15-Mar

Mink & Muskrat

Northern21-Oct – 15-Apr
Central28-Oct – 27-Mar
Southern4-Nov – 15-Mar
Mississippi River zone13-Nov – 10-Mar


North & South Zones14-Oct – 7-Jan


SouthNovember 4 – March 31
NorthNovember 4 – April 30


Non-residentOctober 28 – February 15
ResidentOctober 14 – February 15

Skunk, Opossum, Weasel, Snowshoe Hare, Porcupine and Woodchucks

These species may be hunted with a valid license; however there are no limitations, bag limits, size limits, or possession limits. To protect the environment and ensure the availability of resources in the future, responsible and sustainable practices should still be followed.

Upland Game Birds

Ruffed Grouse

ASeptember 16-January 7
BOctober 14-December 8


All State14-Oct-23 (9 am) – 6-Dec-23


StatewideOctober 14 (9am) – January 7

Hungarian partridge

14-Oct (9 a.m.) – 7-JanClosed in Clark, Marathon, and Taylor counties

Migratory Birds

Early Fall Hunting Seasons
TealSeptember 1 - 9
Early GooseSeptember 1 - 15
Rail (Virginia, Sora)September 1 - November 9
SnipeSeptember 1 - November 9
Common GallinuleSeptember 1 - November 9
Mourning DoveSeptember 1 - November 29
Youth WaterfowlSeptember 16 - 17
WoodcockSeptember 23 - November 6
Duck Hunting Seasons by Zone
Northern September 23 - November 21
SouthernSeptember 30 - October 8, October 14 - December 3
Open WaterOctober 14 - December 12
*Coot season dates match duck seasons for each respective zone.
Goose Hunting Seasons by Zone
NorthernSeptember 16 - December 16
Southern & Mississippi RiverSeptember 16 - October 8,
October 14 - December 3,  
December 16 - January 2


Early Upland Bird 
Rail (Virginia, Sora)September 1 – December 4
SnipeSeptember 1 – December 4
Common GallinuleSeptember 1 – December 4
WoodcockSeptember 1 – December 4
Early TealSeptember 1 – 9
Duck, Merganser & Coots Falconry by Zone 
AllSeptember 17 – 18, January 13 – February 17
SouthSeptember 30 – October 8, October 14 – December 3
Open WaterOctober 14 – December 12
NorthSeptember 23 – November 21


  • There is a daily bag restriction of three migratory game birds, regardless of how many you shoot at once, with the exception of the maximum number of Canada geese allowed in your hunting area during the shooting season.
  • The maximum number of bags an individual may hold at any one time is three times the daily limit.

Wisconsin Hunting Season

Deadlines for Permit Application

Permit ApplicationDeadlines
Sharp-tailed Grouse*31-Aug
Spring Turkey10-Dec

Drawing Schedule

Elk Early Jun
Bobcat Mid-Sept
Sharp-tailed GrouseSept
Spring TurkeyLate Jan
BearEarly Feb


  • Hunting is prohibited without a valid license and the necessary stamps.
  • All turkey harvests must be reported to authorities.
  • Shotguns and muzzle-loading shotguns, crossbows and bow and arrows are some of the permitted weapons and tactics.
  • When on a wild turkey hunt, you can’t utilize any kind of artificially-produced or amplified bird calls or noises.
  • During the fall turkey, using dogs to hunt wild turkeys is permitted.
  • No use of electronic or live decoys to attract wild turkeys is allowed.
  • A valid license, stamp, and harvest permit for turkeys are required to possess a firearm, bow, or crossbow during the spring.
  • The drawing for the harvest permits for turkeys uses a cumulative preference approach.
  • When going for waterfowl that migrate, you may only use specified firearms and ammunition.
  • Some buildings and vehicles are off-limits to hunters.
  • Certain equipment, such as decoys left in the water unattended or put more than 200 feet from the cover, is forbidden.
  • Only boats powered by paddle, oars, or pole may be used for hunting from the water.
  • There are restrictions on the use of vehicles, such as drones, for the taking of migratory game birds.
  • Waterfowl, coots, and mourning doves cannot be hunted with the use of bait.
  • Certain bodies of water mandate a minimum hunting distance from land.
  • Particular bodies of water require the use of blind anchors.
  • For certain bodies of water, daily blind removal is required.
  • When shooting from shore to shore is practicable in a small stream, jumping shots from a non-motorized boat is permitted.
  • Taking ducks, coots, or mourning doves using bait is prohibited.
  • Hunting is permitted over fields that have recently been harvested or planted as part of a legitimate agricultural operation.
  • After a crop has been harvested and the grain or seed has been taken from the field, it is against the law to distribute or disperse the crop in any way.
  • The Youth Waterfowl Hunt is open only to those who have not yet reached their fifteenth birthday.
  • The only kind of waterfowl that adults guiding young hunters are allowed to take is geese.
  • Under the Harvest Information Program (HIP), young hunters are expected to report their catches.

License charges

Harvest permits and licenses can be bought at a number of shops and establishments spread out over the state. Licenses for residents and non-residents are offered; fees vary according on residency, season, bag method, and special designations.

License TypesNon-ResidentsResidents
(Archery)USD 160USD 25
(Crossbow)USD 160USD 25
(Gun Deer)USD 160USD 25
(Small game)USD 85USD 18
(Elk)Not ApplicableUSD 10
(Turkey)USD 60USD 15


When is Wisconsin's deer hunting season?

When does the hunting season start in Wisconsin?

It normally begins in September and ends in January; however, this varies depending on the kind of wildlife being pursued. The early teal in September, for deer it starts in September and the waterfowls in November.

What types of games can I hunt in Wisconsin?

Deer, bear, wolves, turkey, small mammals, game birds, and furbearers are just some of the animals you may go for.

Are there any safety regulations in Wisconsin?

During weapon season, hunters must cover at least half of their bodies in bright orange or neon pink. It’s also against the law to hunt or fire a weapon within fifty feet of a public road or one hundred yards of a public building or private residence. Drones cannot be used to help track the game.

Do I need a hunting license to hunt in Wisconsin?

Yes, a hunting license is required, which can be bought either online or from a licensed provider.

Are there any hunting seasons specific to youth in Wisconsin?

Young hunters may participate in the Youth Waterfowl Hunt if they are 15 or under. Participants must be accompanied by an adult mentor aged 18 or older and may collect any authorized species of waterfowl, including geese.

John Lewis
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