New hunters of all ages can earn their Wisconsin hunter education safety certification through a single, online-only hunter education course under a temporary change approved by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The temporary change allows those under age 18 to take the online-only course through Dec. 31. Those interested in taking the online-only course who are over age 18 may continue to do so.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DNR reviewed the available methods for delivering hunter education. A survey of volunteer instructors showed support for exploring alternatives to the traditional in-person hunter education course.

Those under age 18 who take the online-only course for the remainder of 2020 will not be required to complete the in-person field day.

Hunter education volunteer instructors often fall into higher-risk categories for contracting COVID-19. The online option addresses these concerns as well as issues with limited public facility availability for in-person instruction, personal protective equipment requirements, shortened courses and capacity limits for in-person classes.

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Students of the online-only course will be required to pay the approved online vendor fee plus the $10 state-required course fee. For more information on online-only hunter education, go to dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/onlineEd.

Traditional hunter education courses involving in-person instruction will remain available thanks to the dedication of volunteer instructors. A blended hunter education course coupling the online course with the required in-person field day will also be available. For more information, go to dnr.wisconsin.gov/Education/OutdoorSkills/safetyEducation.