Howard Marklein

Howard Marklein

It is one of my favorite times of the year – deer hunting season! While many of us have already spent some time in the woods either preparing for the upcoming gun deer season or hoping to harvest a deer with our bows, it is important to know the new rules for deer hunting for 2017. There have been several changes to the rules and regulations for deer hunting in Wisconsin − both for bows and guns.

Some of us may view these changes as radical departures from tradition. We may have a hard time adjusting to things that we have always done. But many of these changes align us to our neighboring states and are common sense modernizations to our rules and procedures that will make our deer hunt simpler and practical.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources webpage for more information. They have done a terrific job of outlining these changes and highlighting the things you need to know for a successful harvest. They also have a helpline at 1-888-936-7463.

Deer tags requirements change: Hunters are no longer required to validate a deer tag in any way. We do not have to tag our deer or keep a copy of the tag with the meat until it is consumed. We do not have to wear a back tag. Back tags have not been issued since the 2015 season.

Always carry proof of a tag while hunting: Even though you don’t have to tag your deer or wear a back tag, you DO need to have proof of a valid tag/license while you are hunting. You can carry a paper tag, a Go Wild Conservation Card, a Go Wild-authenticated Wisconsin driver’s license or a Go Wild digital PDF file on your mobile device. If you are approached by DNR personnel in the field, they can access your Go Wild account using your customer ID to determine if you have the proper tags via all of the methods listed above.

Register your deer: All deer must be registered by 5 p.m. the day after harvest. You will need your tag number and birth date to register. You will find your tag number on a paper tag, a Go Wild PDF of your tag or in the MyGameReg section of your Go Wild account. To register online, visit To register by phone, call 1-844-426-3734. To register in person, find a list of registration stations at

Fill your tags in the Deer Management Unit and zone designated on the tag: – Hunters are reminded to register deer only for the unit and zone designated on the tag. The unit and zone are indicated beneath the tag number on paper and PDF copies of the tag.

Again, these changes are meant to modernize and streamline hunting regulations, licensing and registration. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact me. The DNR website is also a great tool, and they have specialists available via telephone at 1-888-936-7463 to answer your questions.

My best wishes to all hunters for a successful and safe hunt this year. I look forward to your pictures and stories as we reflect on another good year of hunting in Wisconsin.

For more information and to connect with me, visit my website and subscribe to my weekly E-Update by sending an email to Do not hesitate to call 800-978-8008 if you have input, ideas or need assistance with any state-related matters.

Republican Howard Marklein, Spring Green, represents the 17th state Senate District.


Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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