Deer Harvest Down Statewide, But Especially In North

Dec 4, 2019

Credit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Fewer deer were killed during the recent 9 day gun-deer season than a year ago and a DNR spokesperson says weather was one of the factors involved.

Preliminary figures show that just under 161,000 deer were registered during the hunt, compared to 213,000 in 2018. Of the deer harvested in the 2019 nine-day season, 75,000 were antlered compared to 105,000 in 2018. The nine-day hunt also provided successful hunters with 85,000 antlerless deer, a decrease from 108,000 in 2018.

Big game ecologist Kevin Wallenfang says the totals were down in the Northwoods. In this part of the state, two large snowstorms hit Wednesday and Saturday.

Other parts of the state were less affected by weather...

"What we're hearing from hunters is it varies quite a bit across the state. It's always hard to put a blanket statement on deer hunting in Wisconsin. It might hold true in one area but not necessarily in another. We're hearing from folks in the far northern part of the state that the blizzard conditions up there really impacted their ability to get out and hunt. In the south, we had several days of high winds and rain. It certainly had an impact. If it didn't, people wouldn't have to sit in heated blinds and things like that..."

The Northern Forest zone saw a 38 percent drop in deer registered. The central farmlands were off about 20 percent from a year ago.

Wallenfang says one positive aspect of the hunt was there were few injuries, although one of the four injuries reported happened here. In Oneida County, a 38-year-old man suffered a self-inflicted firearm-related injury, striking his left foot.

Wallenfang says there's still opportunities to hunt including the muzzeloader hunt going on now until December 11, a four day antlerless hunt beginning December 12 and remaining archery and crossbow seasons.

More here.