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Trapper education for adults and kids now available online

In partnership with the Wisconsin Trappers’ Association, the Department of Natural Resources has adjusted trapper education course requirements for the 2020 season so adults and youth can earn their certification online or through a correspondence course.

This change provides individuals an opportunity to earn their trapper education certification with limited contact with other students or instructors.

The online course, which is usually reserved for adults ages 18 years and older, is now available for beginning trappers of any age until Jan. 1, 2021. The online course requires reading, writing and critical thinking and is designed for students ages 10 and older.

For individuals who do not have internet access, a correspondence course option is available to provide students an opportunity to complete the course work through the mail. In addition to waiving the 18-year-old age requirement, in order to reduce person-to-person contact and reduce the spread of coronavirus, the department has waived the in-person field test requirement for trapper education students until Jan. 1, 2021.

In addition to the online and correspondence trapper education options, in-person courses resumed July 13.

Those interested in becoming certified online or by correspondence should contact the Wisconsin Trappers’ Association online and correspondence course coordinator Mike Widner by email at or by phone at 608-356-3621.

More options

Adults and youth in Wisconsin can try trapping before making the commitment to become certified through the Supervised Youth and Mentored Trapping programs.

Kids under 16 years of age may trap without a license under the direct supervision of a licensed trapper. Youths may trap for the limited draw species of fisher and bobcat if a permit is awarded or transferred to them and may add the 2020 otter harvest authorizations to their GoWild profile for free. Harvest authorizations must be added in order to trap otters.

People 16 and older may purchase a mentored trapping license for $10 and trap alongside a licensed trapper. Customers may only purchase this license twice, though the purchase does not have to be in consecutive years. The river otter harvest authorizations will be added for free with the mentored trapping license.

Those using a mentored trapping license may not trap for fisher and bobcat.

Successful permit winners who are 16 and over must be trapper education certified in order to trap for these two limited-draw species. Information on permit drawing for fisher and bobcat is available on the DNR website.

More information on trapper education in Wisconsin is available at html. Additional trapper education resources are available on the Wisconsin Trappers’ Association website at