Hunters will see more changes in 2016 deer season

Wisconsin State Farmer


As hunters take to the woods this fall, they won’t have backtags on their hunting jackets. The backtag requirement was eliminated by the State Legislature.

The Wisconsin DNR’s new Go Wild licensing and registration system for deer hunters takes full effect this season. Through Go Wild, hunters are now able to purchase their deer hunting licenses, select their antlerless tag(s) and print them all from the convenience of home at no additional cost.

Hunters also can still purchase their licenses and tags from over 1,000 license agents. To find a license agent, hunters go online at, and search keywords “license agent.”

Also, there will be no over-the-phone purchasing of licenses in 2016 - hunters must purchase licenses online, at a DNR service center or at a license agent.

With licenses and tags being printed on plain paper, there are changes to the forms of proof for hunting licenses. Hunters may present, as proof of license, a paper copy of their license printed from Go Wild, their Wisconsin driver’s license, a department-issued Conservation Card or a department-approved PDF of the license displayed on a mobile device.

All deer carcass tags will be printed on plain paper and a hunter may only hold a single copy of any individual tag when afield. Read more about Go Wild at

Carcass Tags and Tagging  

With all deer carcass tags being printed on plain paper, hunters can easily reprint a lost or damaged tag, but will need to take extra care when tagging their deer. To replace a tag, the easiest option, with no cost, is to go on their Go Wild account and reprint a lost/damaged carcass tag from home. Having a carcass tag printed at a DNR service center is also free, but there is a $2 fee for having a tag reprinted at a license agent.

However, while afield, a hunter may carry only one copy of each individual carcass tag. Hunters must keep the tag intact and in legible condition.

A plastic zip-top bag is recommended to keep tags intact. Hunters are still required to immediately validate their carcass tag after harvesting a deer by writing in the date and circling the time on the tag. For this reason, hunters are encouraged to carry a pen in the field as well.

The DNR recognizes that immediately attaching a non-durable tag to a harvested deer could cause an increase in damaged or lost tags. To alleviate these issues, starting in 2016 hunters are no longer required to immediately attach their validated carcass tag to the deer. The tag is not required to be attached until the hunter leaves the animal.

Examples of leaving the animal include: walking back to get a vehicle to retrieve the deer, leaving the deer in the truck when going into a gas station or leaving the deer at deer camp. Hunters are still required to keep their carcass tag with the meat until consumed.

While afield, no person may possess or transport another hunter’s deer, even after it has been registered (unless accompanied by the person to whom the carcass tag was issued). However, anyone may transport another person’s registered and tagged deer on a public road or possess it at a residence, camp or business. A hunter does not need to attach the carcass tag to the animal if he or she is in the vehicle carrying or directly following the vehicle carrying the deer.

Back tags gone, electronic registration continues

Due to a legislative change, back tags are no longer required to be worn while hunting. No back tags will be issued with the sale of a deer hunting license in 2016.

Fluorescent pink may be worn by hunters as a substitute for blaze orange. Those hunters who wear fluorescent pink are subject to the same minimum clothing coverage requirements as those who wear blaze orange. Fluorescent pink cannot be used as a substitute for blaze orange when marking a ground blind on public lands.

Successful deer hunters in 2016 are required to register their deer online, by phone, or at a participating walk-in registration station. For a list of participating businesses offering walk-in registration, search keyword “registration stations.” 
To register a deer electronically, hunters will visit or call 1-844-426-3734 (1-844-GAME-REG).

To start, the electronic registration system will prompt hunters to enter the unique carcass tag number for the tag they have filled and their date of birth. Then, harvest information such as location of kill, age (adult or fawn) and sex (buck or doe) of the deer and weapon type used to harvest the animal will be collected.

Hunters will then receive a unique 10-character confirmation number that must be written on the validated carcass tag. The tag with confirmation number will serve as proof that the deer was legally registered, and must be kept by the hunter and accompany the animal or processed carcass until the meat is consumed.

All deer harvested during any deer season must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after the animal was harvested.