Wisconsin DNR: 9-day gun deer harvest down 25% from 2018

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%
10,470 antlerless -36.1%
26,521 total -38.2%
Central Forest Zone 2,972 antlered -33.7%
2,049 antlerless -21.5%
5,021 total -29.2%
Central Farmland Zone 39,450 antlered -23.5%
52,995 antlerless -17.3%
92,445 total -20.0%
Southern Farmland Zone 16,763 antlered -26.4%
20,019 antlerless -21.8%
36,782 total -23.9%
Total preliminary harvest registrations 75,236 antlered -28.6%
85,533 antlerless -21.3%
160,769 total -24.9%