2019-20 WDNR License Renewals: Go Wild makes it easy!

An article from WWA’s Words From The Wardens.

This article originally appeared in Wisconsin Waterfowl Association’s April, 2019 eNewsletter.

By WDNR Chief Warden Todd Schaller

WDNR recently kicked off the 2019-20 license purchase and renewal system.  Waterfowl season is just shy of six months away.

However, it is never too early to plan ahead and purchase your licenses.  Besides, with my interaction with waterfowl hunters, feathers isn’t the only thing you hope to chase or catch.

Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding securing your licensing, permits, stamps and more.

Back in 2016, the Wis. Department of Natural Resources launched the Go Wild online licensing system, which stores users purchases of licenses, safety education courses as well as registrations for boats, ATVs and UTVs.  It really serves as your individual profile for all things DNR.  Licenses can be purchased at traditional license vendor locations, many DNR Offices and online.  Personally, I’ve find the online system very easy and convenient. Give it a try.

Once you purchase the license, the next question is: What do I need to carry while enjoying Wisconsin’s great outdoors?  The answer is: Depending on your activity and location you have options. And, options are always good.

  • No matter where you are or what activity, you will be safe with the paper documents.
  • Conservation Card, which can be purchased with your license
  • Authenticated Wisconsin Driver License
  • Downloaded or image of PDF file on your smart phone or other electronic device

WWA Life Sponsor, Dale Arenz, out waterfowling in 2010. Photo courtesy Paul A. Smith

If you enjoy the beautiful boundary and outlying waters, please carry your paper copy of your fishing license. You may wonder, why? The benefits of the online Go Wild system is only accessible to Wisconsin’s law enforcement agencies – and that includes the conservation wardens. When it comes to the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes, these are patrolled by law enforcement agencies from our neighboring states and the federal agencies. These officers are expected to patrol these waters with the Wisconsin wardens; therefore, making the need for you to carry your paper copy required as these non-Wisconsin officers cannot access Go Wild.

The best advice is to print several copies of your license and keep them with your fishing, hunting and recreational vehicle equipment – and then forget about it because you’ll be covered regardless of the home agency of the patrol officer on the water. After that, your main focus is to enjoy your outing.

Also, please check the registration on your boats, as many expired after March 31, 2019. You want to make sure your new decals are in-hand when you are ready to use your boat. You can renew online at GoWild.wi.gov or through your customer Go Wild account. Or if you have your renewal notice already, you can use the new expedited renewal process through the GoWild.wi.gov web page under the Quick Sale catalog. Simply click on the RENEW NOW link, enter the RRN number from the renewal notice, which is located to the left of the name and address, and make payment. When done, a temporary operating receipt can be printed. Yes, it’s that easy – click, print, GO!

Get the paperwork out of the way early and go enjoy everything Wisconsin has to offer.

If you have information regarding natural resource violations, you may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Trained staff relay information to conservation wardens.