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Buck Harvest Down For Northern Region and Statewide

Michele Woodford
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Hunters registered more than ten thousand bucks in the northern district during opening weekend.  That’s down by about 12 percent compared to last year according to the DNR’s preliminary figures.

DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz says part of the decline is likely due to last winter’s taking a toll on the herd. 

“It’s not uncommon when you have a winter severity that’s over a hundred like we did in 2013, that the next year we can expect a 20-30 percent drop in buck harvest. So we expected that there would be a decline in buck harvest, just on the winter severity alone.”

Foggy weather on Sunday also impeded hunters. 

Meanwhile snow was an obstacle to those in parts of the state with several feet on the ground, though hunters dealing with just a few inches reported it to be helpful in tracking deer.    

Vilas  County saw a 29 percent drop in the number of bucks taken compared to last year. 

Historically, after opening weekend hunters shoot fewer deer during the first half of the week, and the harvest picks back up on Thanksgiving.  

Statewide, hunters harvested a total of almost 49,000 bucks and about 41,000 does during opening weekend.   

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