Wisconsin Deer Season 2023: WI Deer Hunting Guide [Schedule, Rules, Licenses]

Hunters and outdoor enthusiasts are excited about Wisconsin’s deer season in 2023. Wisconsin provides some of the greatest hunting possibilities in the nation, with an estimated one million deer. The 2018 season, which looks to be another exciting year for deer hunting, contains dates, rules, and restrictions released by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Hunters are preparing as the hunting season draws near, exploring new terrain, organizing their hunts, and creating lifelong memories.

Wisconsin Deer Season 2023

The season dates and application deadlines for 2023 have been made public by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Rifle hunters in Wisconsin have plenty of time since the deer shooting season is open from October to February.

WI Regular Deer Season

Deer SeasonStart DatesEnd Dates
Archery and Crossbow16-Sep7-Jan
Archery and Crossbow16-Sep31-Jan
Disabilities (Gun)7-Oct15-Oct
December 4-Day Hunt (Antlerless-Only)7-Dec10-Dec
Antlerless-Hunt (Only Holiday)24-Dec1-Jan

WI Youth Deer Season

Deer SeasonStart DatesEnd Dates
Youth Deer hunt7-Oct8-Oct

Elk Season

Wisconsin Elk SeasonHunting DatesNote
Early Season15-Oct (*TBD)13-Nov (*TBD)
Late Season8-Dec (*TBD)16-Dec (*TBD)

Note: # Clam Lake Elk Management Zone. (*TBD) refers to be decided, and the dates are tentative.

Hunting Licenses

WI Deer LicensesTypes/NoteFees
Resident Deer Licenses
Gun DeerFirst-time Buyer5
Junior Gun DeerFirst-time Buyer5
Sports(Deer Gun Hunting)60
Sports Junior Age: 12-17 years old (Deer Gun Hunting)35
Elk Application10
Gun Deer24
Jr. Gun DeerAge: 12-17 years old20
Gun DeerAge: under 12 years old7
Jr. Archer Age: 12-17 years old20
ArcherAge: under 12 years old7
Jr. CrossbowAge: 12-17 years old20
Crossbow Age: under 12 years old7
Crossbow/Archer upgrade3
Antlerless Deer Carcass Harvest Authorization (Unit specific)12
Antlerless Deer Carcass Harvest AuthorizationAge: under 12 years old (Unit specific)5
Farmer Antlerless Harvest Authorization (not available for online purchase)0
Nonresident Deer Licenses
Gun Deer160
Gun DeerUnder 12 years old7
Student Gun DeerNot available for online purchase24
Student Gun Deer12-17 years old, Not available for online purchase20
Military Gun DeerNot available for online purchase, More information available24
ArcherUnder 12 years old7
Student ArcherNot available for online purchase24
Student Archer12-17 years old, Not available for online purchase20
CrossbowUnder 12 years old7
Student CrossbowNot available for online purchase24
Student Crossbow12-17 years old, Not available for online purchase20
Crossbow and Archer Upgrade3
Military ArcherNot available for online purchase, More information available24
Antlerless Deer Carcass Harvest AuthorizationUnit specific20
Antlerless Deer Carcass Harvest Authorization Under 12 years old, Unit specific5
Military Antlerless BonusNot available for online purchase, More information available12

Hunting Regulations

  • Each deer hunting license allows harvesting one deer of the specified kind. Authorizations vary by place and season. Some authorizations are seasonal or location-specific. The following describes authorizations, weapons, and validity periods.
  • Gun, bow, and crossbow permits enable hunters to kill one buck deer with a Buck Harvest Authorization. Except in DMUs with antlerless-only hunts, the gun authorization is applicable statewide during firearm deer seasons. Except in antlerless-only DMUs, the bow permission is valid statewide during open archery or crossbow seasons.
  • The Junior Antlerless Deer Harvest Authorization is given to hunters under 17 with each license, while the Farmland (Zone 2) Authorization is included with archer/crossbow and gun deer licenses. The Junior Authorization authorizes one antlerless deer in any DMU statewide during any open deer season with the allowed weapon. The Farmland authorization allows the hunter to harvest one antlerless deer each authorization. It may hold any firearm in any season with a license.
  • Bonus Antlerless Deer Harvest Authorizations are sold once per day, first come, first served. They allow one antlerless deer per permission in the given zone, DMU, and terrain type. They may be filled with any weapon with the proper permission for harvest and season.
  • Metro sub-unit antlerless deer harvest authorizations are free with an archer/crossbow or gun deer license in specific regions. Bonus authorizations may be sold in certain places. These authorizations only apply to the metro sub-unit borders, DMU, and land type (public-access or private). Hunters may get comprehensive maps at dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/dmu.html.
  • To prevent the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), whole wild deer carcasses and parts of such carcasses harvested in CWD-affected counties may only be transported to adjacent counties or licensed taxidermists/meat processors within 72 hours of registration. Cut and wrapped meat, quarters, deboned meat, skins, antlers, clean skulls, and upper canine teeth may be carried without limitation. Deer carcasses from CWD-affected areas must be reported to processors or taxidermists. Many states and provinces limit the importation of cervid corpses, so hunters should verify their home state and the state where they’ll be hunting and going. CWD Alliance webpage.
  • Hunters may cut a deer into five pieces to take it from the field, but the head must stay connected. Hide and lower legs are not part of the five. Quartered deer may be moved alongside entire deer; however, only one can be kept or transported before registration. Lower legs may also be removed. Remove all deer parts except the entrails from the field. Deers must be hunted whole except for field dressing, skinning, and quartering.
  • Scents that simply attract deer by smell may be used to hunt deer in Wisconsin, but they cannot be put or deposited so that deer can eat them. Hunting may employ natural vegetation, agricultural or gardening stuff, and wildlife feeding plots. Certain regions allow hunting baiting, although there are limits on volume and placement. Bait must be removed for 10 days before hunting, chasing animals, or training dogs during the closed deer season. Bait cannot be put near other baiting sites, public trails or campgrounds, high-speed highways, or deer feeding places utilized by bears or elk.
  • GameReg must register a deer by 5 p.m. the day after recovery. Gamereg.wi.gov, 1-844-426-3734, and registration stations are available for registration. Registration requires a deer harvest permission number. For record-keeping, a 10-character confirmation number starting with “W” for white-tailed deer will be supplied after registration. GameReg information may be retrieved at dnr.wi.gov by Googling “GameReg.”
  • Honey, bones, fish, meat, solid animal fat, animal corpses, and animal parts are forbidden as bait or feed. Automatic, mechanical, or gravity-fed feeders are forbidden. Bait or feed cannot be in metal, paper, plastic, glass, wood, or other processed materials except for smell components.
  • During rifle deer season, a group deer Hunting party member may shoot a deer for another party member, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The recipient may only file junior antlerless deer harvest authorizations for 17-year-olds. Bow- and crossbow-hunting groups are illegal. Participants must be licensed and have firearms. Group deer hunters must always be in sight or in vocal contact. Due to geography or weather, a brief loss of speech or sight is permitted. Since convicts cannot own firearms, they cannot shoot deer with others or share their harvest permission.
  • Possessing or selling antlerless deer is unlawful. Hunters must have a deer carcass permit. Except for the head, skin (not spotted), and antlers (not velvet), selling, buying, or trading deer parts is forbidden. Without a department-issued permit, hunters cannot possess albino deer, which are white, save for specific sections.
  • The Youth Gun Deer Hunt is for 15-year-old gun deer license holders. Youth hunters must be accompanied statewide. Disabled hunters with licenses and sponsors may hunt the Gun Deer Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities. Gun deer licenses and permits allow disabled hunters to hunt sponsored properties.
  • For hunters with Class A, C, or D disability permits, the Gun Deer Hunt for Hunters with Disabilities provides additional chances. Class A and C permit holders must contact a hunt sponsor before September 1 for special regulations. Gun buck, Farmland (Zone 2), and bonus antlerless deer harvest authorizations are eligible for this hunt. Hunters may utilize one Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless deer harvest permit to take one in any unit nationwide and an extra one if they hold an archer/crossbow license. Hunters may utilize the Farmland (Zone 2) antlerless deer harvest permission on any land type during this sponsored property hunt. If not filled, it must be used during subsequent deer seasons on the designated land type.
  • Prion proteins cause Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which kills deer, elk, and moose. Environment-resistant CWD prions may spread indirectly via polluted settings. Hunters should follow Wisconsin DNR CWD prevention standards. Despite no human CWD infections, the CDC cautions against eating CWD-positive meat. The Wisconsin Department of Public Health advises against eating or distributing meat from CWD-affected deer until test results are negative. Hunters may report CWD data through GoWild.
  • The Wisconsin DNR’s “CWD sampling” search returns a map for hunters seeking corpse disposal or CWD sample sites. The Hunt Wild App offers these maps, public lands maps, and local shooting hours. Log onto GoWild or the Wisconsin DNR website and search “CWD results” to verify a harvested deer’s CWD test result. GoWild saves hunters time by providing access to the online CWD form.

FAQ Regarding the Wisconsin Deer Season

When does the Wisconsin Deer Season 2023 start and end?

Several different hunting seasons are available during the Wisconsin Deer Season 2023, including Archery and Crossbow from September 16 to January 7 and September 16 to January 31, respectively, Muzzleloader from November 27 to December 6, Gun from November 18 to November 26, Disabilities (Gun) from October 7 to October 15, December 4-Day Hunt (Antlerless-Only) from December 7 to December 10, and Antlerless-Hunt (Only Holiday) from December 24 to January 1. It’s crucial to remember that any date might be altered due to legislation or regulation.

Can hunters use fragrances to lure deer during the hunting season?

Yes, Wisconsin hunters can employ scents to entice deer, but the scents must not be edible. In many counties, baiting is restricted to 2 gallons per 40 acres and is not permitted close to roads, campsites, or places where bears or elk are fed.

What are the different hunting methods allowed during Wisconsin Deer Season 2023?

Various hunting tools are allowed during the 2023 Wisconsin Deer Season, including crossbows, shotguns, and muzzle-loading shotguns.

What are the different deer hunting seasons during Wisconsin Deer Season 2023?

During Wisconsin Deer Season 2023, there are many separate deer hunting seasons, including Muzzleloader Season, a 4-day Antlerless Only Hunt in December, and an Antlerless-Only Holiday Hunt.

Do I need a valid hunting license during the Wisconsin Deer Season 2023?

Hunting is not permitted in Wisconsin without a current hunting license and the required stamps. Any open deer hunting season is appropriate for using a firearms deer hunting license to harvest a deer.

James Ellis

1 thought on “Wisconsin Deer Season 2023: WI Deer Hunting Guide [Schedule, Rules, Licenses]”

  1. Can you hunt with a crossbow during gun season? My grandson was told he could not hunt before or after the gun season.


Leave a Comment