DNR says opening weekend deer harvest numbers low

MADISON (WITI) – Though opening weekend temperatures were cold, more than 615,000 people bought deer licenses to go out hunting, nearly 27,000 of them buying licenses to go out hunting for the first time. Many hunters went out with hopes of getting a deer, knowing that despite extremely cold temperatures, they would likely all be guaranteed the making of warm memories.

Though hunters define success in different ways, 110,298 deer were successfully harvested and registered in Wisconsin during the opening weekend of the nine-day deer season. The tally is based on preliminary call-in numbers collected from registration stations by Department of Natural Resources staff.

“Congratulations to all hunters who endured the cold and were able to harvest a deer opening weekend of the nine-day. Though getting a deer is often the ultimate goal, it’s the whole experience of spending time with friends and family, engaging in the traditions, and getting outdoors that makes the hunt so fun, even if a deer is not brought home,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “I hope those that weren’t able to get a deer during the season opener will get back out there and enjoy the rest of the days of the season.”

“We saw quite a few new hunters taking part in the traditions this year, with females representing 33 percent of resident First Time Gun Deer licenses sold,” Stepp said. “With the extremely cold temperatures opening weekend, many of these new hunters had quite the initiation. This makes me even more proud of the stories and the photos being shared with us, showing them having fun whether they got a deer or not. If people haven’t checked out our Facebook photo album of pictures collected over the weekend, they really should. It’s a great reminder of what the season is all about!”

To view some of the photos and stories shared, please visit DNR’s Facebook page.