Wisconsin Deer Hunting: What Every Hunter Needs to Know

(FoggyTrail Articles)

Note: Regulations, laws, and season dates will change every year. Always check the current year’s regulations, as this article is intended to merely provide general information on Wisconsin deer hunting, not detailed descriptions of regulations and laws.

Wisconsin is one of the finest hunting states in the country.

With upland birds, waterfowl, small game, predator hunts, and a healthy turkey population, Wisconsin hunters are never short on opportunity.

But one animal, in particular, defines the state’s hunting: whitetail deer. Wisconsin hunters take pride in their healthy, active, and hearty deer population, so whether you live in the Badger State or purchase a non-resident license, these are the regulations and seasons you should understand...


Wisconsin DNR Hunting Seasons for Deer

  • BowBow hunting for deer in Wisconsin provides a fantastic opportunity to hunt throughout the entire fall and into the winter. Usually running from mid-September to early January, bow Wisconsin deer hunting gives you nearly four months of available hunting time. This, perhaps more than any other is a top reason to hunt deer in Wisconsin with a bow.
  • GunUnlike bow season, the gun season for deer is extremely limited, traditionally to a nine-day season. During mid to late November, Wisconsin deer hunters have the chance to use appropriate firearms to harvest deer.

During the gun season, Wisconsin deer hunters can use an approved shotguns, rifles, or handguns to harvest deer. Shotguns must have a barrel that is at least 26 inches in length, and it is illegal to hunt with a .410 shotgun or smaller. Nearly any rifle can be used to harvest deer according to Wisconsin law, as long as it is .22-caliber or larger. Any hunter over the age of 18 can also hunt with a handgun as long as it is .22-caliber or higher and has a 5.5-inch or larger barrel.

  • ​​​​​​​MuzzleloaderIf you enjoy a challenge, muzzleloader season in Wisconsin is a great option. Usually, from about late November to early December, you can use a single-shot muzzleloader to harvest deer for about nine days in Wisconsin.
  • Youth Seasons: Youth is the future of hunting and conservation. Like many states, Wisconsin has a youth season that gives young hunters first-access to the available deer. This is usually held over a weekend in early October.


Get important deer hunting season updates, here.


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Info Source: DNR of Wisconsin.