Wisconsin resident veterans who have recently returned from active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom are eligible to receive a one-time free small game, archery, gun deer or annual fishing license, under recently enacted legislation.
2013 Wisconsin Act 20 authorizes veterans to receive a voucher code that may be redeemed at Department of Natural Resources service centers within 365 days of discharge for either a small game, archery deer, gun deer or annual fishing license.
“We are very happy to be able to team up with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs to show our appreciation to our veterans for their selfless service to our country and offer them yet another opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Wisconsin’s outdoors,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.
The DNR already offers all active duty U.S. Armed Forces or Wisconsin National Guard or Reserves service members, resident or non-resident, special license privileges for hunting, fishing and trapping. And residents who are disabled veterans or former prisoners of war receive free admission to state parks and forests.
Veterans who wish to receive a free hunting or fishing license must first contact the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs to determine their eligibility for this program.
Veteran’s eligibility-related questions should be directed to the WDVA’s Veterans Benefits Resource Center via web chat [www.wisvets.com (exit DNR) exit DNR], email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387).
Veterans can redeem their vouchers in person at any DNR Service Center or by calling the DNR Call Center at 1-888-WNDRINFo (1-888-936-7463) to receive the license by mail or to arrange for pick up at any DNR Service Center.
Veterans can learn more about the eligibility requirements by searching the DNR website dnr.wi.gov for keyword “veteran.”
The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs will reimburse DNR annually for fees of licenses redeemed via vouchers for veterans.