MADISON -- New data from the state Department of Natural Resources shows hunters killed dramatically fewer deer during Wisconsin’s nine-day gun season than last year.
Preliminary figures show hunters killed 160,769 deer over the season that ended Sunday. That’s down 25% from 213,972 deer last year.
DNR officials have said the season started so late this year that hunters missed the rut and deer weren’t moving around. The nine-day season always includes Thanksgiving Day, which fell on the latest possible date this year.
Fewer hunters may have taken to the woods as well. Last year the DNR sold 577,576 licenses that would have allowed a hunter to kill a deer with a gun during Wisconsin’s multiple firearm seasons. This year the department sold 564,664 licenses. It’s impossible to know how many hunters went out during the nine-day either year, however.
For the nine-day gun deer hunt, the 2019 regional harvest breakdown by Deer Management Zone (with percent change from 2018) included:
|Preliminary 2019 Nine-Day Season Harvest Totals|
|Deer Management Zone||2019 Nine-Day Deer Harvested||Percent Change from 2018|
|Northern Forest Zone||16,051 antlered||-39.5%|
|Central Forest Zone||2,972 antlered||-33.7%|
|Central Farmland Zone||39,450 antlered||-23.5%|
|Southern Farmland Zone||16,763 antlered||-26.4%|
|Total preliminary harvest registrations||75,236 antlered||-28.6%|