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Wisconsin repeals waiting period for deer bow hunters to purchase license

From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

-- Archery deer hunters no longer have to wait three days after purchasing a license during the open season to begin hunting in Wisconsin. The state legislature removed the three-day waiting period restriction during the recent legislative session at the request of the Department of Natural Resources.

The law has outlived its usefulness, according to conservation warden Tom Van Haren. "The three-day waiting period is an obstacle for young hunters who celebrate their tenth birthday during the archery season but had to wait to purchase their license."

The waiting period was originally enacted to discourage deer hunters from waiting until they killed a deer before purchasing a license and to discourage a person from buying a license for someone who had killed a deer but either did not have a tag, or did not want to use the tag on their deer.

The waiting period is inconvenient for anyone who didn't purchase a license prior to the season, then realizes they have the coming weekend open with time to go hunting. If they do not purchase the license ahead of time, they are unable to use the license that weekend. It has especially been a deterrent for non-residents who travel great distances to Wisconsin on a Thursday or Friday to spend the weekend with family or friends or for the primary purpose to archery hunt for deer, Van Haren reports.

Before the law was changed the deer population was low and the number of deer a person could get tags for was limited. Each archer was issued just a tag good for a buck or an antlerless deer. An abundant number of harvest tags are now available in most deer management units making it possible to harvest multiple deer legally.

The requirement that hunters wear a back tag while hunting reduces the incidence of hunting without a license. If a conservation warden suspects that something is wrong, the warden can instantly learn through the automated licensing system when a license was purchased, a date printed on the back tag. In 2009, bow hunters purchased 208, 022 licenses in Wisconsin.

For more information, contact Van Haren at (608) 266-3244.

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